It’s hardly a secret that finding and keeping qualified workers is a major challenge. Unfortunately, that reality soon may get worse. Maybe much worse.
The latest threat comes courtesy of Walmart. On Tuesday, the nation’s largest employer announced that it would cover the costs of college tuition and books at a number of schools for both part- and full-time employees.
“We are creating a path of opportunity for our associates to grow their careers at Walmart, so they can continue to build better lives for themselves and their families,” said Lorraine Stomski, senior vice president of learning and leadership at the firm.
That news may be good for Walmart. But maybe it’s not so good for you.
For in case you didn’t notice, Walmart is joining a long list of firms that suddenly are offering better pay, perks and career opportunities to the very same kinds of people senior living operators are hoping to attract and/or keep.
Another big box firm — Target — recently announced that it would raise its starting wage to $15 an hour. As did Best Buy. Seems to be a trend here.
And as Walmart’s reveal shows, it’s not just money that’s being dangled. JBS USA, a beef and pork producer, recently launched a tuition program for workers and their families. Waste Management is now making free tuition available to more than 30,000 employees.
But wait, there’s more: In addition to increased competition, you might soon need to brace for heightened unionization efforts. The House earlier this year approved the PRO Act, which would make it much easier for workers to organize.
Obviously, these hardly are welcome developments. So what’s to be done? It’s simple really.
If you don’t want to lose current workers or prospects to the competition, you’ll need to become just as attractive. That may mean paying more, helping with college and offering real career advancement opportunities.
Otherwise, you’ll really have your work cut out.