Posted by Colleen Lauria
August 28, 2015

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The War for Talent

What can you do?

For most companies it’s a daily challenge: the war for talent. How do you retain your employees? What is the latest employee (engagement, productivity, satisfaction) (tool, trick, fix) insert your own buzzword here. Big business applies seemingly endless resources toward these issues but what’s a small company to do?  Can you really compete?

Yes you can. There are many advantages to working for a big company (richer comp and benefits, more structure, brand recognition, bigger budgets) but as you know there are also big rewards in the small company experience. As a small business advocate I can wax poetic on this all day but in this post I will focus on parental leave.

The U.S. is one of the only industrialized nations who do not mandate paid parental leave for its private sector employees. The media is abuzz about tech companies who are offering increasingly generous leave policies http://for.tn/1f3pFD8 and arguing about the responsibility of private employers vs. government. The debate about these practices and the potential impact on U.S. policy will continue to rage on.

But you’re a small business. What can you do to rise to the challenge?

The most important thing when considering your options is to conduct a thorough analysis. A rash decision can backfire as in the case of Gravity Payments, http://read.bi/1UiyDwr.   

Here is a quick guide to analyzing your situation and possible scenarios.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the industry standard? What are our competitors doing? What do our employees want?
  • What is our current employee demographic and who are we trying to attract?
  • How would a paid parental leave policy fit in with our other leave policies? How will it be applied equitably?
  • What would it do to our P&L? What will be sacrificed as a result?
  • What is the opportunity cost of not offering a paid leave policy?
  • How would an enhanced parental leave policy impact my employees and their families?

Once you’ve done the analysis and decided to move ahead the next step is to outline some options and financial models to explore different scenarios.

A couple of things to consider:

  • Don’t be excessive – the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your business and hurt everyone
  • Don’t announce anything to your employees until you are certain of your plan – false starts and miscommunication can cause ill will
  • Do your research – talk to your peers or put an industry task force together. Although competitors you will all benefit by sharing information.

As an employer you have a very real opportunity to impact your employees’ lives in addition to broader state and federal policies. This is an immense responsibility. While there is no right or wrong answer research and analysis are always a good place to start.

Need help? Send us a message. As always your comments are welcome below:

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