The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a study by MetLife that said small businesses may be facing a new challenge – employee retention.
According to the study, there has been a significant decline in employee loyalty. In November 2008, 62% of small business workers reported feeling a very strong sense of loyalty toward their employer. In 2010, that number dropped to 44%. In fact, 34% of small business employees surveyed would like to work for a different employer.
In contrast, small business employers’ perceptions of that loyalty remained essentially unchanged over the last few years, with 54% currently believing that their employees feel a strong sense of loyalty to the company. During a down economy, the study said, businesses with great benefits are seeing team members stay. Those that don’t offer such perks have team members who hope to be working somewhere else soon.
Wow! This concept is difficult for people who love what they do for a living to understand. If the job you do every day is bigger than you, benefits are just that—benefits! But if you’re just working a J.O.B., then every benefit probably matters, especially in a down economy. I can see how lack of benefits could affect someone’s decision to stay or leave a job. Not every position I held was something I loved. In fact in my younger years, I had a few jobs I would have happily left for more cash in my pocket.
So what can be done about it? Give your people a raise! Yep, give them a raise by…wait for it…getting them out of debt! I think it is ridiculous for any company that wants long-term team members to not bring a course to work that focuses on individuals getting out of debt. Of course you do, it’s what you do for a living, you are probably thinking. OK, granted, you are right. But think about it for a second. If your team members weren’t in debt, would they be more likely to stay? Would they be more productive, too?
Studies show that 40% of employees say financial stress affects their productivity. So while this sounds like a shameless plug for our products, it’s actually a business guy teaching other business folks about one of the best benefits they can possibly offer their team members.
When people walk through our building, they always comment on how our folks are happy, passionate and on fire. There are two main reasons: They are on a crusade that is bigger than them, and they are not bringing any financial stress to work. And yet, most of our team is still working on getting out of debt. Go figure.
Question: Have you noticed a difference in the productivity and loyalty of someone who was out of debt?
To find out more about what we offer, go to the Financial Wellness section of our site.
16 thoughts on “Should You Be Worried About Losing Your Team Members?”
Okay here’s what’s exciting about this idea for me. I’ve been considering rolling in exactly this into my business. I’m a PR. But this isn’t PR, Joel! Not in the traditional sense, but it is in the way I do it. If a client pays me to help improve internal communication and therefore morale in their organization, and I discover their team is stressed by debt, isn’t it my job to raise that issue? Yes it is. It then becomes my job to help the leader solve the problem. Sadly the likelihood of this problem existing, as you pointed out, is high. While, again, this isn’t PR in the obvious sense, my job as a consultant ultimately is focused on helping the leader grow their business, which takes a strong team. I don’t know of any good leader who would turn down help like that even if it was coming from someone in PR.
Joel: Here’s the bigger challenge.
It has always been a pet peeve of mine when I hear someone like Susie say “Harry needs that financial program”.
Harry’s that obvious guy dancing the fine line between solvency and bankruptcy. Everyday. .He and Stupid have a date night just to see what next bad decision they can get into.
But what about Susie?
Susie is where the real harvest is. She has enough going on to make a difference. She has all the things that could change her life and in the long run leave a legacy trail anyone would be proud of. But she continues to do what I call dull dumb. Not bad decisions. Just poor ones.
Susie is just the opposite of Harry. Harry dances the fine line between solvency and bankruptcy. Susie dances the fine line between mediocre and celebration. But tends to find her footing in mediocre.
Susie doesn’t date Stupid. That’s not her style. Susie just hasn’t found Inspired. Once she does, I think it ignites her.
I really believe we begin to change the world when we can reach and touch the Susie’s of the world. Our challenge is to find the tool that gets inspired in front of her.
In other words, focus on finding the diamonds in the rough and lead them to greatness. Agreed! Coming from leadership POV, leaders must do exactly what you outlined and invest in those with the most potential and aptitude to succeed.
Strong stuff brother!!
I’ve been working on this for our team as well. It stemmed from a raise I gave my lead guy. He said “Thanks, but I still don’t have any money.” He is making more than I am! This told me there must be some financial problems at home. I can’t wait until I can lead all my team through FPU.
Wow! Fantastic example!!
Wow, what timing! My team is starting fpu next week. I’ve hired a financial coach through my church (our fpu instructor), purchased the fpu kits, with the goal of decreasing financial stress for each team member.
Nice!!! Let me say that will have a big impact on the team of a church!!!
I think you are definitely right about helping your people to get out of debt. When people aren’t worried about their finances they can focus more on their jobs and be more creative and productive. A happy team member is a productive one!
Agreed, but only if they are willing to see things from that perspective, and are truly willing to take up the help. I’m an FPU coordinator and i preach and breath financial discipline, but a couple times i have been so frustrated when i have somebody coming to class week after week, and at the end of it all, they go back to the same situation, where stupid, Murphy are their constant companions. More often than not there are some other underlaying issues, but a couple of them are just being stubborn, i think.
If you have somebody like this in in your organisation how would you deal with.?
It gives the team member a raise, and the company as well!!
Random question, but where do you get your pictures for your posts?
Do you have to pay for each picture or a subscription? Sorry – might be getting up in your “business” – but looking for a good source for photos for my blog!
HEY! That might make a great blog post!
This is an interesting concept – I HAD thought about it – and will think and pray about it – but debt-free employees would be much happier, peaceful, productive – so……might have to do something there…..