Skills shortage is crippling Australia”
“Job vacancies surge in Australia as Covid labour shortages choke supply chains”
“Staff shortages will take three to five years to fade: KPMG”
“Employers wanted 400,000 workers before omicron hit”
“Australia’s labour shortage is tightening its grip across all industries, new analysis finds, as tradies become some of the most sought-after workers”
“Labour shortages still a major concern for businesses – NAB”
Media headlines that have dominated so far in 2022 all highlight the fact that a number one problem for employers and the economy is labour and skills shortages. And if this is a concern for your organisation, industry sector or supply chain, region or country, what can you do, how do you solve seemingly unsolvable significant problems such as labour shortages?
Lots of things will need to line up well, particularly in the short to medium term so that this doesn’t become an ongoing pandemic legacy. And having worked in the area of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Workforce Planning & Development, Vocational Education & Training (VET) & TVET, International Capability & Capacity Development for 27+ years, it is about bringing policy, programs, projects and partnerships together and supported by funding to take the bits of what has worked well in the past and try new ways of addressing these issues using an agile, lean startup approach.
So what could it look like?
This blog starts with immediate tactics that employers can implement for Workforce Attraction, Recruitment, Retention, Reward, Recognition and Development (WARRRRD) and you’ll need to use your professional judgement to consider what strategies are worth exploring, validating and implementing.
Working from home and remotely, Australian employers need to consider that competition for talent is global, and therefore world-class and internationally benchmarked solutions need to apply.
Now before you say that some of these categories or suggestions sits within the personal realm and not professional, consider how much crossover there has been since 2020 with what happens in home and family life with work life. Current and potential employees are often looking for ways to save money and earn additional income, prioritise their family and health, develop their career and profile, manage time and balance all their commitments.
If you are concerned about this issue, and by way of risk management, check into documents such as HR policies and procedures, code of conduct, employment contracts, job descriptions and performance review processes.
Tactics are grouped under key headings including Fun and Experiences (for the family/household maybe friends too and not just the employee), Home Support, Money, Profile, Skills and Development, Time and Wellness.
Here are the suggestions of benefits and services you might like to provide to your team members.
Fun and Experiences
- Accommodation, mini breaks and holidays
- Streaming services and subscriptions for TV, film, gaming, magazines
- Vouchers/discounts/offers for activities, dining out, tickets, shopping, sporting events
This could be like the services provided by the RAA and other automobile clubs for their members.
- Battery storage
- Carpet cleaning
- Car servicing and detailing
- Cleaning products
- Cleaning services
- Decluttering services
- Packing/unpacking and house moving services
- Personal assistant hours
- Pest control services
- Pool cleaning
- School stuff – communication, curriculum updates, questions, schedules, before and after school
- Solar panels
- Window cleaning
- Working at home subscription services
- Car subscription service e.g. Flexicar
- Car wash
- Catering, food bars and drinks (like San Francisco–based SPRQ Point in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist 😊)
- Gift service
- Insurance and financial services
- Parking spots/vouchers
- Performance and target-based packages rather than time spent (depending on industry sector, award and/or EBA allowing all paying above minimum levels)
- Startup a side hustle – accessing coaching and mentoring, courses and programs
- Travel club membership e.g. QANTAS, Virgin Australia
- Employee awards, prizes and special events
- Headshots and other photos taken every year for marketing purposes and LinkedIn
- LinkedIn profile update
- Opportunity to host conferences and events, pitch and public speaking, webinars and workshops
- Personal website
- Resume update
- Styling services
- Support to create or be involved in blogs, books, podcasts and video content
Skills and Development
- Buddying and shadowing
- Coaching and mentoring
- Conferences and forums
- Education – accredited and non-accredited
- Events and meetups
- International assignments
- Leadership opportunities
- Memberships of peak bodies, networks and associations
- Project and Workbased Learning opportunities
- Study leave
- Tours and trips
- Webinars and workshops
- Additional leave i.e. from 4 weeks to 6 week or more
- Adventure day/s – to go on adventures with friends and family
- Automation and new technologies including digital people like Soul Machines to improve productivity like
- Birthday leave
- Childcare options – childcare centres, family day care, OHSC
- Driving lessons for team members and/or their children
- Errand day/s – for running around and doing all the pickup, drop off tasks
- Flexible start and finish times
- 4-day work week
- House sitting service
- Meal delivery service at work and home e.g. Lite n Easy
- Pet care and sitting service
- School and/or before/after school activities drop off and pick up service
- Social media management
- Virtual Assistant and Freelancer Services
- Volunteering opportunities
Wellness and Peace of Mind
- Exercise – workplace based and/or from home
- Gym memberships and subscriptions such as SWEAT
- Health day/s – paid time off to see the doctor, dentist, optometrist, pharmacy, for screens and tests
- Massage provided in the workplace
- Mental Health First Aid training offered
- Wellness day/s – paid time off for beauty treatments, hairdressing, chiro, massage, spa treatments
- Resilience programs
- Support to access and understand options for aged care, childcare, disability care, parenting and youth
- Will writing and celebrant services
And the list could go on – it would be great to hear what you would suggest, what is not already on the list, and where you think the priorities lie.
First and foremost, you need to ask your team members what would work well for them, taking every suggestion on board with an open mind, and these strategies need to build upon a solid team, existing leave and benefits, a positive culture demonstrating your values and behaviours, and being valued.
In the next blogs, the areas of industry sector or supply chain, region or country workforce issues will be discussed and the important question of funding.