Employee retention is important to any business: the expense of hiring and training new employees can be very costly. Another cost lies in the productivity lost while seeking to replace the employee who’s no longer there. In blue collar jobs, which are generally labor-focused, employee retention is often lower than in office and executive positions. High turn-over rates in blue collar occupations typically occur when employees feel they’re under appreciated, under valued, and over worked. These perceptions can make blue collar employees feel unfulfilled and send them searching for better-paying jobs.
Here are four ways to increase employee retention in blue collar fields:
Pay Employees What They’re Worth
Blue collar workers are the backbone of the labor industries; salaries should reflect such status. If pay is competitive, workers feel as though they’re valued by the company, and are less likely to leave and look for other employment.
Add Benefits & Perks
For some businesses, especially small ones, increasing wages, or maintaining a certain wage level, may prove to be difficult. In cases like these, consider adding benefits and perks. When blue collar employees feel that their needs are being met, they’re likely to stay in their current position. Benefits and perks such as affordable health insurance, paid vacation time, and flexible scheduling can translate into loyal, long-term employment and increase blue collar job retention.
Improve the Work Environment
Because blue collar jobs are labor focused, often industrial, and sometimes undertaken in harsh environments, employers should not believe work conditions are being ignored by management. Improving the work environment by adding small comforts and upgrades to the job site can make all the difference. For example, workers who are outside in high heat all day will appreciate an air-conditioned trailer for lunch and coffee breaks. Providing a nicely equipped break room is another way to show care for employees. Finding ways to respect employees in their environment can be the ticket to how they respond to their jobs.
Promote from Within
Many blue collar workers are not content to remain in the same job day after day until retirement. Many have aspirations to grow and move up to better-paying and more satisfying positions. Instead of letting good employees leave to find better jobs, promote from within. Employees already in place have valuable knowledge of the company, trade, and business. With an investment in additional training, plus their own motivation to excel, these employees can become even more of a major assets to the company.
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