There’s a simple, universally accepted fact about the workforce: there aren’t enough employees to sustain current growth trends. As the Baby Boomer generation retires, there’s gaps forming in the workplace. There will be, in almost every industry, an employee shortage.

In Rainer Strack’s 2014 TED talk, he demonstrates that although countries like the USA may have a temporary employee surplus in 2020, by 2030 it will be a different scenario. There will be widespread shortages, even in powerhouse countries like China, Russia, and Brazil. Dealing with a major employee shortage won’t be easy, even as we shift towards using increased automation and technology in everyday situations.

The #1 method to preventing an employee shortage

Thankfully, there’s a secret weapon to combat the potential problem of an employee shortage. In Strack’s own survey of more than 200,000 workers and dozens of other similar surveys, employees are consistently saying that there’s ONE thing that they want above all else.

It isn’t a better paycheck (although they sure won’t say no to that!). That’s #8 on the list of things employees want, according to Rainer’s TED talk.

It’s also not having a great relationship with their boss or mentor. That falls at #4 – an amazing 4 spots ahead of their salary!

The single most important factor to employees worldwide is recognition.

Employees want to be appreciated for what they do

We all want to be appreciated and thanked for a job well done. We all want to be recognized when we achieve or overachieve goals – whether we set them or were assigned to them.

So if the top job preference of multiple surveys is to be recognized, what workplace trends should we be implementing? We need to find better ways to recognize our workforce. After all, employees are assets and resources that help our business to grow! By investing in our employees, then, we’re going to ensure that not only are they continually motivated to perform, we’re also going to guarantee that they’ll stick around.

Because if they’ve got what they want, they are significantly less likely to start job shopping. And if your business has built a culture of respect, recognition, and retention, your company will sail through the upcoming employee shortages with ease.

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