Today’s economy is cranking along. In fact, according to recent reports by the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate is at a 50-year low. What does this mean? Among other things, it means that just about everyone who wants to work has a job. Couple that with a record number of job openings – more than one opening for every unemployed person – and you have a serious challenge for financial institutions in search of top talent.
Could the situation get even worse for those institutions in a talent search? Unfortunately, yes. According to Gallup’s latest State of the American Workplace report, only about 3 out of 10 workers report that they are content in their current position. The report goes onto say that work dissatisfaction levels range from “don’t ask me, I just work here,” to “I hate this place;” not exactly responses you want to hear from in branch employees when working with customers. Hang out by the water cooler long enough and you’ll learn that almost half of your current employees are looking for a job elsewhere!
So, how do you attract, and retain, top financial industry talent, especially when the job market is so incredibly tight? Here are a few ways.
1. Make it Meaningful
What makes a job worth doing? Well, getting a paycheck along with health coverage are certainly two pretty good reasons to go to work in the morning, but are they the ONLY reasons? Gallup says no. It may, perhaps, be hard to believe, but many feel that there is much more to work than getting paid. “A sense of accomplishment” was high on the list of those who were surveyed in Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report. How is this sense of accomplishment achieved? When an employee can see how what they do contributes to the overall success of their organization.
To that end, do your employees know what your organization’s mission, purpose, and goals are? Are they managed, better still “led,” in such a way that they know what they need to do, personally, to achieve those big picture goals? As a leader, you must effectively articulate and reiterate your company’s vision and goals. You must clearly communicate to each team member, on a regular basis, what their individual goals and responsibilities are, as well as how they are doing when it comes to attaining those goals. Weekly meetings, bi-annual assessments where you can discuss career path and progress… these are just a few ways to keep your employees up to speed, engaged, motivated, and importantly, productive.
3. Create an environment that works for workers
Do your team members have the tools, resources, time, and support they need in order to do their jobs well and, just as importantly, enjoy doing them? As we mentioned above, support is key. Knowing that someone higher up in the organization “has their back” goes a long way in making employees feel good about their jobs. It’s called empowerment. According to Gallup, close working relationships between employees can boost job satisfaction by up to 50%. When employees have good working relationships with their coworkers and supervisors, work is more enjoyable and, as you might imagine, workers are more productive. It makes good business sense, then, to build teams that foster friendship and camaraderie.
Yes, having the right software, the right systems in place, the physical tools needed to do the job are certainly important, but the support of leadership, as well as co-workers, is absolutely essential.
You can do it!
According to a Compdata survey, the Banking & Finance industry has an 18.6 percent turnover rate, which is one of the highest among all industries. If you focus on building and sustaining a positive company culture, one where support and recognition are more the norm than the exception, where goals are shared and their importance constantly reinforced, and where every employee has a clear path to personal success, you can succeed. It’s not easy, but failing to do so simply is not an option.
I hope you find this helpful and, as always, am open to your thoughts!