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No One Wants To Work

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

“No one wants to work anymore” is a lament heard from many business owners and organizations. It appears that there is a shortage of qualified labor, but an over-abundance of open positions

Coming out of an unprecedented and rather wonky year, we find ourselves restructuring and reevaluating all components of our organizations, especially the need for physical location and labor needs. We have leaned toward blaming the additional unemployment compensation packages and stimulus payments for the lackluster candidate pool. This certainly contributes to the unbalance employers are experiencing, but to fully understand a candidate’s reluctance to join the workforce, we also must reevaluate organizational structure and culture.

There has never been a better time to pause and consider what makes your organization unique and attractive to potential team members. It is no longer feasible to expect great team members to sign on for an unfulfilling daily routine that drains their psyche and extinguishes their spark. If your organization intends on succeeding, you must consider how you want to be represented going forward and who you want to partner with to move into the future.

Start by reviewing your Core Values. If your organization does not have Core Values, this is a great opportunity and perfect foundational block to begin with. Many organizations have never taken the time to consider the impact Core Values can have. Often, they were hastily written because the initial business plan required them, or there aren’t any at all. Core Values are what you want your organization to look like and the standards that will support success. You want to find team members who understand and embrace these values and commit to this path.

Objectively evaluate your current staffing. It is imperative to look at every Team Member and determine if these are the people that are best suited to promote and grow the organization. In addition, are the Team Members in roles that best suits their skills, abilities, and desire for development?

Next, evaluate your current scheduling and/or workload. Many factors changed quickly and amid sudden change, it can be easy to overlook simple solutions such as the potential to shift staffing during peak business hours/days or enhanced project management.

These steps are imperative to determining where the staffing deficiencies are within an organization. There may already be Team Members within the organization that are better suited for open positions that could potentially be difficult to fill. Current Team Members are also an invaluable resource when looking for alternative ways to schedule and complete projects or tasks. They are doing the work every day, and can offer specific insights.

If the organization has decided to actively recruit Team Members, it is important to consider these factors aside from the open position:

  1. Do you need short-term or long-term candidates? Staff shortages can sometimes be remedied with temporary or contract employees.

  2. What kind of candidates are expected to apply? Obviously, this will vary greatly depending on your industry, but take into consideration other factors such as geographical and economic conditions.

  3. Is there a specific skill set that the organization is searching for? What is the best way to market for this skill set?

Finally, keep in mind that so many talented candidates are passed over because they are quickly deemed over or under qualified. While either of these things may be true, it is important to recognize that there was a specific reason why a candidate applied for the position. Perhaps they do indeed have the preliminary skills that the organization needs but may not be at the desired level. Or they may have far more experience than required. Remember that experience is never, ever a negative attribute and these candidates may bring new methods and ideas to the organization; and offering the potential for development or advancement can be a magnificent motivator.


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