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What do employees want?

What do employees want?

If there’s anything keeping HME providers, especially those that own their own businesses, awake at night, it’s the ongoing mystery of the empty labor pool.

“For six months, we ran ads on all the job boards and got three applications,” Craig Rae, a provider in North Carolina, told me. “I ran ads again yesterday and have my fingers crossed.”

Laurie Bachorek, a provider in Texas, has been searching and searching for help, but she says it’s difficult to even get applicants in for an interview.

“One guy I hired, a delivery tech, didn’t show up for work,” she said.

One thing she can do: focus on retaining the employees she does have. With a good core of employees, you can accomplish a lot, she told me.

That message was also highlighted during a session on leadership that I attended at the Heartland Conference led by Christa Miehe of the VGM Group and Katie Stevens of Reliable Medical.

“The key to our success is the people,” Miehe said. “You don’t have robots delivering equipment.”

Gone – or at least, fading – are the days when overwork was a badge of honor and people were expected to show up as “Work Theresa” from 9 to 5 and collect a paycheck.

Employees want flexibility, they want autonomy, they want transparency, they want to be heard and they want rewarding work. They want recognition. 

Editor Liz Beaulieu has taken to posting Friday Feel Goods on our company Slack channel. Everyone gets a shout out. Sometimes it’s really specific, “Great design on the poster!” or more generic, “Thanks for being flexible!”

If this is all a little woo-woo for your tastes, that’s OK. To put it in a more business-y frame, happy employees will reward your business with a greater commitment to the work and the workplace. Productivity and quality go up.

Need it by the numbers? Highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability, per a Gallup poll.

Now I’m not sure that the Friday Feel Goods are gonna result in a 21% increase in our profitability (we’re in the media business, after all), but it certainly makes for a moment each week.

I’m also guessing compiling the list is one of Liz’s more challenging tasks each week, but I know it’s appreciated.

Now, if you can just get job applicants in the door…


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