Many human resources programs are designed specifically around avoiding liability. By making sure employees follow proper procedures, they keep them safe, but also keep the company from putting itself at risk of expensive lawsuits. However, while this is important, some employers believe this impersonal focus may be detrimental to hiring and retention.
For Beth Whitehead, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at American Savings Bank (ASB) located in Hawaii, the most important thing is keeping employees happiness at the forefront. Hiring and retention procedures that are built around safe work environments are important, but according to Whitehead, keeping those processes fun and interesting is a crucial part of keeping employees engaged.
Seven years ago, ASB substantially overhauled its traditional recruitment process. As a result, they saw their employee satisfaction ratings increase from 35 percent in 2008 to over 90 percent satisfaction today.
A huge part of this was the recruitment process. According to Whitehead, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide competitive salaries and benefits and to develop better recruiting and interviewing techniques to sell potential employees on the job. If you don’t sell the job well, you run the risk of losing quality candidates who could benefit the company and improve morale in the workplace.
Hawaii presents unique problems because it has a fairly small number of unemployed residents in its work force, its 3.7 percent unemployment rate sitting well below the national average. Employers that want to remain competitive and continue attracting new talent from that increasingly small pool would do well to take Whitehead’s advice and update their recruitment processes.
Furthermore, as Hawaii’s workforce continues to age, industries of all kinds in Hawaii will have to develop new strategies to maintain satisfaction among their employees over long periods of time, or see long time employees drift away to other companies.