According to data released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), New Jersey private sector employment increased by 60,800 jobs in 2016. This is the largest single annual gain seen since 2000. In addition, new data shows that private sector and total nonfarm job growth in New Jersey outpaced the national rate over the year from January 2016 to January 2017.
The preliminary monthly data released by the BLS also indicates that the growth has continued into 2017. Records show that 14,600 new jobs were introduced into the private sector just in the month of January alone. Overall, the unemployment rate in NJ has dropped to 4.6 percent, which is below the national average of 4.8 percent.
So what does all of this mean for New Jersey companies as they seek to recruit and retain best in class employees?
Now that more opportunities are opening up for employees to gain new employment, how do employers ensure that they remain an attractive option to top talent? Further, what can employers do to foster continued growth and encourage longevity of top talent within the organization? How do companies become ‘THE PLACE’ to work?
Communicate Often. Communicate Well.
In business, the two most significant factors that contribute to a lack of employee engagement are failure by management to properly communicate objectives and to clearly provide direction.
People appreciate input. They’re inspired by strategic vision, yet crave a collaborative environment. People want to come to work with a sense of ownership in their role and the recognition that comes with it.
Further, people want to succeed. So give them the tools to do so. All too often, organizations promote from within, but provide little training from management once the person enters their new role. The employee then feels alienated, frustrated and doomed for failure. So they give up. They either leave the company or concede to giving a lackluster performance, which will eventually result in termination.
Suddenly, the person who initially seemed so perfect for the job, quickly becomes the wrong fit for the role.
Don’t Just Take – Give Back
Developing an employee recognition program that rewards employees for their years of service, top performance and continued excellence shows them that they’re appreciated and respected and it makes them feel that their efforts are worthwhile. It motivates them to continue to give of themselves and in turn, your organization continues to prosper.
In addition, make sure to incorporate peer to peer recognition programs. The new breed of employees are less likely to seek supervisor guidance and support than that of their peers. In fact, many companies are moving away from annual reviews and instead foster employee growth and mentoring in a more informal way.
An employee recognition program that understands the shifting work demographic and uses stratified sampling to ensure that the program resonates with each participant is critical. Employees will tell you what is important in their work and life. As an organization, it’s important for you to listen.
Once you’ve absorbed that information, re-invest it in the relationship. Don’t just cast it aside. Organizations need to be actively involved from the very top and continuously communicate the objectives and rewards so that employees are motivated to work smarter, reach their goals and achieve the recognition they crave.
Meet Their Needs
Speaking of crave….
The hottest trend in consumer electronics is wearable technology. 15% of consumers wear fitness bands and it’s estimated that 100 million units will be sold this year.
Organizations can create wellness programs by including these devices in their rewards programs and target fitness at all levels. Tracking steps taken, calories consumed and sleep patterns lead to healthier – and happier - employees.
By incorporating a carefully-crafted employee recognition program into your organization, you will see a decrease in turn over, thereby saving on HR costs. You’ll see a rise in management ascension, creating a strong core that delivers the expectations of an organization. Most companies have the same percentage of employee engagement: approximately 30% are highly engaged and 20% are not engaged, while 50% indicate that the right program can make a significant difference on their engagement.
North, central and south Jersey offer some of the most talented, seasoned, professionals in the workforce. In order for organizations to obtain and retain these folks, they’ll need to create an appealing work environment where employees are treated as a resource, not a commodity…that means integrating a well thought out, comprehensive, employee recognition program.
-Rymax Marketing Services, Inc. is the leading, full-service loyalty marketing provider. As Senior Vice President of Sales for Rymax, Paul Gordon was recently recognized by Incentive Magazine as one of the most influential people in the Incentive industry.