November 18, 2015
By Danielle Wilson
In today’s challenging business environment, recruiting and managing your company’s workforce is vital for success. Employee recruitment and retention is emerging as a major challenge facing organizations. Additionally, despite improvements in unemployment and overall economic outlook, many American workers are not engaged enough in their jobs.
Throughout periods of economic instability, executives have focused their attention more on the financial aspects of their company, rather than the workforce. Similarly, managers place less emphasis on candidate engagement, as soaring unemployment rates lead to the notion that employees are happy to be employed at all, and that further engagement is unnecessary. I believe it is pivotal for employees to enjoy where and who they work for in order to have a successful business.
Many times, managers overlook how important a positive work environment is for their employees. Employees want to feel like they’re part of something special – awards, recognition and praise can be one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain happiness and productivity. Here are additional ways companies and their leaders can maintain an enthusiastic and motivating work environment:
Attracting job seekers – Interview candidates carefully, not just to certify that they have the right skills, but to also make sure they fit well with the company culture, managers and coworkers. Working in the air ambulance industry, it sometimes makes it easier to attract a passionate workforce as the industry is not typical – we are very diverse and multifaceted. Our trade adds to credibility and sets us apart.
Low turnover – A 2012 study by the Center for American Progress reveals that it costs a company roughly one-fifth of an employee’s salary to replace that employee once they’re gone. One of the business strategies that I implement for maintaining a low employee turnover is great incentives, such as year-end bonuses, retention bonuses and namely, an employee appreciation program. This program features a monthly form of special recognition via a gift certificate, tickets to a local show, etc. I love being able to support my team and the local business community at the same time. Most importantly though, I want my employees to know that they are important and to continue their hard work.
Employee professional growth – Most employees want to work with a company that has potential for career growth. I always recommend outlining challenging, clear career paths for staffers to work toward. Employees want to know what their goal is for the next level, and how they can get there. I like to give annual reviews for this discussion, and also encourage my team members to come to me with career questions and requests throughout the year. It also helps create an atmosphere of constant challenge, which I believe contributes to the overall passion of my workforce.
Fight burnout by offering flexibility and rewards – It definitely helps to provide a flexible schedule for your organization. Particularly if you have a younger workforce of millennials and students, working around school schedules, family commitments and other priorities are a must. In regards to gratifying employees, I plan seasonal events and parties, which also helps to boost corporate morale. And if an employee does something exceptional, they’re also separately recognized with a special honor, such as a Certificate of Excellence.
Pay a fair wage – Compensating employees fairly is extremely important for keeping a happy and healthy work environment. It’s a competitive business landscape out there and employees weigh the pros and cons of working with you.
Recruiting and retaining a talented workforce is a project that requires authenticity and determination. Managers’ efforts have to be real and sincere, and employees can see through anything that can create future issues and quality-of-life limitations. Treat your employees like the assets they are and, just like the case with a good investment, you should notice and appreciate their value.
Aero Jet Medical president and CEO, Danielle S. Wilson, is an accomplished health care executive with over two decades of air medical experience. Aero Jet Medical is an all-inclusive provider of worldwide air ambulance transport services. The company provides patients with clinical excellence and operational expertise.
In addition to Aero Jet Medical, Danielle is also the president and CEO of sister company United Medevac Solutions. United Medevac Solutions provides a full range of aviation specialty programs, health care supplementation and emergency response for the federal government, the Department of Defense and private sector organizations.
Self-termed a “global nomad,” Danielle has a passion for exploring new cultures during her extensive world travels.