Ask the HR Department: Any tips for holding on to workers as inflation runs high?

By HR and health & safety consultancy Peninsula Canada

High inflation in a market hit by labour shortages only makes recruiting and retaining skilled workers tougher for small business owners. It becomes crucial then that employers implement cost-effective and innovative ways to improve employee experience. This would help you retain existing employees and make your workplace attractive for talented applicants.

What is employee experience? Employee experience is the relationship a business builds with its employees. Factors contributing to a positive employee experience include a healthy work culture, positive engagement, recognition, opportunities for growth, a sense of belonging, work-life balance, competitive compensation, benefits, and perks.

How do I improve employee experience and retention? Strategies to improve employee retention do not always have to be costly. Of course, there’s no substitute for good compensation, especially in a time of high inflation and rising food and gas prices. But there are other perks and benefits you could offer that may make your staff think twice before switching jobs simply for more money.

Offer competitive salary and benefits. A good compensation package makes employees feel appreciated and motivated. The top reason people change jobs is for better pay. So, make sure you are not underpaying your staff. Offer salary and benefits at par with industry standards. In the long term, it will be cheaper to offer a competitive pay package to retain talent than to keep recruiting and training new staff due to a high employee turnover.

Allow for remote/hybrid/flexible work. If the nature of your business allows it, offer your staff the option of remote or flexible work. In the past two-and-a-half years, people’s tolerance for long, crowded work commutes has declined. Remote work has also proved beneficial for staff with childcare or caregiving duties.

Remote or hybrid work or flexibility around work hours is now a perk most job seekers look for while changing jobs. According to the 2021 Hays Salary Guide, the option to work from home was cited as one of the “most desired benefits” by the employees surveyed.

Offering a hybrid or remote office also benefits employers. By doing so, you can recruit talented individuals from across the country and not just your province. You also save money on rent and overhead expenses that would come with a physical office running at full capacity.

Remote or hybrid work is also economical for your staff as they save time and money that would be spent commuting or eating out when working from the office. It’s a perk that’ll help your staff manage their finances better in a time of high inflation. When they work remotely, your employees can also move to cities with lower costs of living.

Peninsula is an HR and Health and Safety consulting firm serving over 80,000 small businesses worldwide, including dealers in home improvement. Clients are supported with ongoing updates to their workplace documentation and policies as legislation changes. Additionally, clients benefit from 24/7 employer HR advice and are protected by legal insurance.