Companies often forget about their own staff in tight labour market

Companies stop investing in own employees as focus turns to urgent recruitment needs.

Employers are scrambling so much to find new workers in the tight Dutch labor market that many are forgetting about their existing employees. And that is a big mistake, Carina Schott, public administration and organizational scientist at Utrecht University, said to “It is very important not to forget the incumbent staff. They are a source of knowledge and need to stay motivated”

The labour market tightness is still unprecedented. Security guards, catering workers, nurses, teachers, truck drivers, technicians, shop assistants: these are just a few examples of professions where there is a huge shortage of staff. Some shops are closing more often because they cannot find people. Other entrepreneurs are in despair and offer more than they used to do before to find new employees: higher pay, a bonus or complete freedom to set their own working hours.

But many companies focus too much on attracting new staff and forget to invest in their own employees, Schott argues. Yet some entrepreneurs are being creative and retaining their employees. Schott suggested multiple ways to ensure existing employees are happy in their work: “give employees more autonomy by letting them determine how they organize their work. The same applies to the work-life balance”, “provide a training and keep investing in the staff”, “look whether there are elements in the work that can be digitized”.