Are you struggling to find and keep good employees? What strategies are you using? 

Some people have already resigned… others are staying, but just doing enough to get by… resigned with a paycheck, if you will. Meanwhile, you’re left trying to figure out how to get the work done, keep your customers happy, all while staying profitable. 

The “labor shortage” is enraging at best, with many business leaders scratching their heads…  

Don’t people need jobs to pay their bills?
If the government hadn’t given out so much free money, we wouldn’t have this problem.
People are lazy–they have no work ethic.  

To deal with the shortage of employees, most leaders are reaching deeper into their pockets–it has become a game of “who can pay more,” and bigger businesses are winning the battle.  

Of course they (Amazon, as an example, has scooped up all the drivers, apparently) can offer more cash. They have more resources at their disposal. But, here’s the deal…  

Currency Is More Than Cash

Currency allows us to get what we value. From this perspective, hiring managers would do well to take a deeper look at what their people value, and look for ways to help them get that. 

Is it–

  • More time with their family?
  • Support (education, resources, connections) in advancing in their career?
  • Time to take care of their health?
  • Better opportunities?
  • Acknowledgement and appreciation? 
  • Feeling cared about at work?

That last one is a big one, which doesn’t bode well under the old guard leadership ideology of– “I pay them to do a job. I don’t have time or energy to care about them.” 

While you don’t usually hear that second part, it’s inferred in the first part.  

What other currency do you have to offer the people whom you want to come work with you?  

A great place to start with this question is by asking more questions (just like you would with a customer you are trying to help), and then listening closely for what they value.

Ask Key Questions 

Questions like–  

What did you most/least like in your last job?
Why do you want to work here?
What are your career goals? How do you hope we can help you succeed?
Do you mind if I ask… what’s your story? How did you get to this place in your career?
What are your hobbies? 

As you develop rapport, you can dig deeper, and ultimately use your leadership position to help them reach their greatest goals. Helping them see, own, and share their talents not only helps them live into their potential, but it ensures your success.  

This ideology is not new, and it makes sense. Put good energy out, care for others, and good is guaranteed to come back. The problem is that somewhere along the way we made employees into something that needed to be managed, rather than people who need to be challenged, supported, and encouraged.  

Here’s to your greatness, 

Misti Burmeister

Misti Burmeister helps leaders and their team have conversations they keep avoiding but need to have. For nearly 20 years, she has facilitated communication that results in trust, increasing engagement and productivity across generations. Make sure your communication is coming across the way you intend, visit