As the labor wars intensify, we’re seeing some interesting new twists.
Amazon, for example, is suddenly handing out $3,000 hiring bonuses. Not that it is alone. In industry after industry, desperate employers are doling out get-them-in-the-door prizes.
Not that it’s too hard to see why.
The fact is, August was the worst month so far this century for job quits. That is, assuming the pending September totals don’t exceed 4.3 million.
And although there are roughly 10.7 million job vacancies nationwide, many and perhaps most of the 7.7 million available unemployed Americans do not seem to be in much of a hurry to fill in those blanks.
Various reasons — beyond low pay — are being cited for this odd juxtaposition. Many would-be workers are both burned out and emboldened by the current seller’s market, some observers insist.
But is simply giving people what amounts to a one-time bribe the answer? Short term, perhaps. But long term? I doubt it.
My view is that most employers facing depleted talent ranks would be better served by making this simple adjustment: treating workers better.
Yes, the price of admission may be decent — or at least more decent — wages.
But it extends to other things that tend to be way overlooked. Things such as giving people the tools they need, and making sure those tools actually work.
It also means things such as hiring enough people to do the job.
Finally, it means making sure those you hire are properly trained, motivated and incentivized.
To be sure, my suggestions require a lot more effort than simply writing a check. But here’s the thing: when your employees feel like they are actually valued, they tend to return the favor. The opposite is also true.
So what’s it going to be? The lure? Or the cure?