Young people in business attire smile

For the last three months, open jobs have outnumbered U.S. unemployment. Further, employees are quitting at the highest level in 13 years. So, not only do we struggle to find new employees to sustain our growth, but we have to work at keeping them.

In today’s hiring market, a competitive pay structure alone doesn’t work. How can jan/san distributors compete?

In order to attract and keep Millennials and star players, your company’s culture, direct supervisor’s management style, and of course, perks, are important.

Marketing Your Company Culture
Every company has a story it shares in the interview process with potential employees. Telling that story is important, living that story is paramount to attracting desirable candidates. For example, if you say you support your local communities, the new hires should see your brand at local events or at least see evidence of your support on your website and social media pages.

Millennials appreciate work/life balance and will appreciate a company culture that offers flexibility in the work day. Let’s face it, beyond the field sales team, our industry lags in offering modern flexibility. In some industries, working remotely is a given, flexible work hours are an expectation and “summer hours” are a real thing.

Managing For Millennials
People leave managers, not companies. But they also view their immediate supervisor as their medium to company culture and policies. Millennials need to have consistent feedback, transparent communication, a sense of purpose, and they absolutely need to know that their manager is there to have their back and pave their future.

That’s a lot to unpack. Let’s break it down a bit.
• Does your team have goals that reflect company, team and personal goals? Do you mentor employees on how to reach those goals with specific and consistent feedback?
• Do you offer social interactions with your team at least quarterly?
• Have you developed a training path to demonstrate you are vested in employees’ personal and professional development?

On-Point Perks
Flexibility requirements go beyond work hours. People love perks, and having the option to choose their type of healthcare plan is a big one. But that’s not all. Flexible holidays are a great way to show that we care about the diverse values of individuals.

Another aspect to consider is travel. Do you offer off-site conferences and other travel opportunities to those who want it? Do you offer video conferencing and ensure it is effective for those who don’t? Is your hotel per diem, auto allowance and other reimbursement package competitive? Details count, and smart employees factor all of the above.

This topic is absolutely an evolving one and I’m sure there are a lot of people who think my strategies outlined above are way too liberal. I welcome your insights

Tina Serio Saunders, I.C.E., MBA, ACT is president of SonicTrain, LLC, creators of The Arena gamification platform, and director of marketing and innovation at Nichols. She is an industry leader in marketing technologies and has led development on numerous sales tools. She has provided training, strategic management consulting and marketing implementation around the country. Her insight comes from over 20 years industry management experience. You may contact her at 419-297-0822 or