June 15, 2021

Your Employees Are Saying: “Boss, Let’s Talk About The Future Here.”

By Paul Bieber

In a decidedly non-scientific survey, glass shops’ biggest problem is the inability to hire and then retain employees. This thought covers field glaziers, shower door installers, shop workers and office folks as well. Why can’t you hire and retain when there are glass shops that have no problems?

Almost every employee who I spoke to wanted better benefits. Only about 20% thought they were underpaid. The rest spoke about benefits. I am not at all surprised. It is easy just to throw another dollar into payroll. In today’s environment, that just isn’t the right way to build a company or spend money in the hiring and retention world.

Increase the benefits in your medical plan by reducing the deductible. Consider making it no more than $25 for a visit. It is okay to have an overall yearly deductible but keep it below $500. If you are part of a group plan, it is harder to get specifics written into your group, but read your group policy. Most will give you options, and this is your ticket to providing better insurances for your team. If you are on your own, go ahead and give as much as you can. A thousand dollars a family spent on health insurance is a better investment than providing a fifty-cent raise.

Get the best dental plan you can; usually, the better plans top out at $2,000 per person and benefit the entire family. Give an eyeglass plan too.

Give two weeks of vacation earned after ninety days of employment. Consider carrying this to three weeks at five years and four weeks at ten years. Consider five personal days a year to be used as sick days or anything the employee wants to use them for. Unused days can be carried over to June 30th of the following year, where they then expire.

If you are in one of our major cities, you will be competing with union shops for glaziers. Make sure you know their package and get as close to it as you can.

Okay, this is the money portion, and all of this is not as important as how you manage your folks. If you are a tough, no-prisoners-taken type of manager, you will not retain people. Have a regular, at least monthly, meeting with each of your departments and listen to what your people are saying about job conditions. You may not be able to solve every issue, but you can try. When I ran my company with about 200 employees, my teams knew a lot more than I did about the day-to-day operations. I learned from them each time we met. Tell your folks what is going on in your company.

If you are thinking about a hiring bonus, give this to your current employees when they refer a hired candidate. Say you want to give $500, consider giving half two weeks after the new person starts and the balance after 90 workdays.

Always look inside your company first for a promotion or growth to a new area. This doesn’t mean you have to hire from inside, but make that your first option.

Lastly, make your company an enjoyable place to work. Keep it a smart place to work by paying 75% of an employee’s costs to go to back to school for a late high school diploma or college.

Feel free to drop me a note with a specific question about your employee handbook. I will answer all questions without a consulting fee.