First Step to Employee Engagement
Most employers know how important it is to hire skilled workers and to keep them engaged, in order to ensure retention Studies have shown that engaged employees are more productive and less likely to leave their jobs. That means they not only earn their companies money by producing above-average work, but they save money by reducing turnover rates. According to Business 2 Community, companies perform up to 202% better when their employees are engaged, compared with companies whose employees are not. Much has been written about how to improve employee engagement within an organization, but I believe that the first step is often skipped over, and that it is arguably the most important step: making the right offer to your new hires sets the tone for their entire future with your company, including how engaged and loyal they will be.
Set the Right Tone
A few months ago, I got a call from one of my candidates. He had recently interviewed with one of my client companies, and he had just received an offer from them. I could hear the excitement and gratitude in his voice; the offer was exactly what he had been hoping for, and he couldn’t wait for his first day.
My candidate told me that the offer he received made him feel valued. He knew that the company believed in his abilities and really wanted him to be a member of their team. He felt respected, and that made him excited and proud to start his career with that company. That initial level of excitement makes a difference forever. An employee who starts a job on that positive note will be more likely to perform at a high level, serve as a brand ambassador for your company, and remain loyal, even in times of economic hardship -- after all, your relationship with them is rooted in the respect you showed when you extended an excellent offer, and when it comes to keeping employees happy and loyal, there is no substitute for respect.
Now is Not the Time to Be Frugal
In today’s construction market, exceptional employees do not stay on the market long. You can be sure that if you have expressed interest in someone’s talent, another company either has already or will soon. An initial offer to a strong candidate is not the place for you to pinch pennies.
Consider what would have happened if the offer from my client to my candidate had gone the other way. For example, knowing that a company had a budget range of $80,000 to $90,000 for a position, my candidate could rightfully have been offended by receiving an offer at the very bottom of that range. Even if he accepted the offer, his level of enthusiasm would have been much lower, and he may have wondered how much the company really valued him rather than feeling certain that they held him in high regard and wanted him on board. If he was in contact with other companies, he may even have rejected this company’s offer, holding out for a better one, which would have prolonged my client’s search process and cost them more money than they saved with their reduced offer.
I recommend a simple policy: when it comes to making an offer to a candidate, you should plan to pay up to but not over your maximum budget for the position. If you can reasonably afford to pay $90,000, then make that your offer instead of trying to save a few thousand dollars and risking a valuable, long-term hire.
Respect Goes a Long Way
Put simply, your initial offer to a candidate is a clear communication of how much you value their skill set and how much you want them on your team. While money is not everything when it comes to securing a hire or to building employee engagement and company loyalty, making your first offer your best offer establishes a foundation of respect and enthusiasm that will cause a ripple effect long after your new employee’s first day.