Workforce Solutions: Retaining Talent
Retaining talent is a problem the print industry is currently facing. As the economy improves and unemployment rates go down, there are fewer qualified individuals seeking new jobs. And the best and brightest of them are snapped up almost before they can send out their first resume.
For printers, this means you are competing not just with other shops, but with other industries.
How do we compete? “Focus on the application and the exciting opportunities print provides,” says David Conrad, Director of Sales and Marketing, Mutoh America (Booth 4241). “Everything from desktop to wide- and grand-format provides multiple application opportunities for different types of individuals and their interests.”
One way to do that can be found across the PRINT 17 show floor. Visiting the Workforce Solutions vendors can help connect you with the resources you need to move forward, and there are a range of educational seminars that can help. Don’t be afraid to talk to your equipment and software vendors as well. “Education classes are always being provided by vendors to help understand various aspects of the industry,” notes Conrad. “Look for seminars that focus on your area of interest.”
Beyond that, he continues, “Build a relationship with local educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. Networking is key, and being an active part of the community will expose your business to more of these types of programs, and expand your hiring possibilities.”
Retaining talent is about more than just paying the most money, or even providing the best training opportunities, although both of those will factor in. Every person in a shop will have different things that motivate them. If you want to tap into that passion, here are a few things you can do as soon as you get home from Chicago:
- Talk to your people. Ask them what they look for in their place of employment, and what they might be missing from you. You might be surprised at what they really value.
- People want to work where they are valued, not just for a set of skills they might bring to the table, but for their opinions and ideas as well. Set up a process where employees can throw out ideas. Be willing to go into them with an open mind and to try new things.
- Be up front. If an idea or process, or new piece of software isn’t in the budget or isn’t feasible, don’t just shut it down. Take the time to explain your thought process—no one expects to have 100% of their ideas adopted, but if they feel like part of the process, they are more likely to be invested in the business.