Labor Market Quantity Vs. Team Member Quality
At 4M Building Solutions, we always talk about how we can only be the best because our Team Members are the best. On the other hand, you may not hear us talk much about why we have the best Team Members. It is not just because we hire the cream of the crop, but, more importantly, we also make it a priority to make sure we keep them happy so that they stay part of the 4M family for the long term.
As of August 10, unemployment claims were at 240,000. This was the 127th straight week that claims had remained below 300,000, which is the level at which economists say is a threshold for a healthy economy. Pretty impressive! Our economy is booming, which is great for our country, but it greatly reduces the number of highly qualified applicants that we have to choose from whenever a position on our team opens.
This is the first time since 1970 that we have experienced so many weeks below 300,000 unemployment claims. Back then, 47 years ago, the workforce population was much, much smaller, meaning 300,000 people comprised a much higher percentage of the potential workforce. At this same point, a 4.3% unemployment rate was recorded[DJ1] . We are almost at full employment in our economy, and that means that even fewer people are seeking jobs.
So, back to why you hear us talk more about the Team Members we have instead of the Team Members we hire. We take the most pride in creating a rewarding environment that inspires our Team Members to stick around as they grow. We encourage that growth by investing heavily in their future, because we are simultaneously investing in our future. As we help our Team Members grow, our investment in their growth is repaid exponentially.
Some people may think that it sounds expensive to provide wage increases as a reward for hard work. But think how much more expensive it is to continually have to replace people and train new hires. If we do not treat Team Members as well as they deserve, then we risk losing them. And as the labor pool dwindles, the cost per hire skyrockets. So that is why we invest in the talent we already have: to ensure that we reward hard work, keep turnover low, and minimize the cost of maintaining an outstanding workforce.
Our challenge is to not only hire the best people, but also to provide them with incentives, recognition and rewards while remaining competitive in the marketplace. The reason why our clients so rarely hear complaints is because we have an experienced and well-trained workforce. With experience, they become familiar with the nuances of the job and buildings they service, which is the real secret behind working efficiently and effectively.