Managing People In A Hot Economy

Northern Alberta is experiencing one of the hottest economies on the planet. Virtually every business is looking for staff; there are help wanted signs everywhere. Donut shops are starting people at 12.50/hr and still can’t attract enough staff. There are line ups at almost every restaurant and businesses are setting new sales records every month. This economy has created some very unique management challenges.

When there just aren’t enough people to go around and when everyone is competing for staff, how do you attract quality people? How do you motivate people to be high performers when they know they can get another job any day just down the street? There is a simple answer to these questions. It’s not an easy thing to do and it requires amazing discipline but it is simple: Hire high quality people in the first place and provide a positive energetic work environment. Maintain high standards your team members can be proud of and celebrate your teams’ wins.

If you think these sound like the building blocks of any solid management strategy you are right! I believe the fundamentals of good management become even more important in a heated economy. I am hearing situations like the following all over the place: “We can’t discipline someone because they might quit and we are short staffed already.” “Nobody cares anymore. I place ads but the candidates I get aren’t any good, but we are desperate so I have to hire somebody.” Yet there are businesses out there that are not experiencing these labor problems. These are businesses where the people are positive motivated and doing a great job, day after day. How do they do it?

It takes strong leadership, unwavering standards and a great work ethic to manage a team in this environment.
• You have to constantly be in an active recruiting mode, looking for good people everywhere you go.
• Your team has to see your commitment to them and to your business.
• They have to know that you are proud of the business and will not compromise.
• This leadership must start at the top of the organization and must be consistent throughout the management team. This means that the hiring, training and managing standards must start with the management team.

I can go into more detail on this subject if your comments show an interest. One of the subjects I will definitely explore in more detail are my beliefs on hiring a motivated team.