Economic Perspective: Keeping Employees

NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences professor Dr. Mike Walden working in a recording studio.


“Today’s program looks at keeping employees. Mike, with today’s tight labor market more businesses are putting a priority on keeping their valued workers. How do they do this?”


“Well, obviously the best way, or one of the most appropriate ways, is to pay them more, and give them better benefits. That was a traditional did, or a business did, in order to keep employees. The problem today is that the economy has become so competitive, not just domestically, but internationally.”

“If one business all of the sudden pays it’s folks, it’s workers, more, and they have to increase their prices, that puts them at a competitive disadvantage. So businesses have been searching for other ways to keep their employees. One, that is rather new, is flexibility of hours. There are more and more businesses who are now working with their employees, and talking with them about, well, ‘Can we adjust your hours in ways such that your work fits in better with your family responsibilities?’”

“Also businesses are giving more attention to the personal issues of their employees, particularly issues related to their family, if they have young children, and making accommodations that can help those employees continue to work. And a simple thing as businesses rewarding people, just telling them you’ve done a good job.”

“And then lastly, something that has just come on the horizon recently, is businesses are offering to train their inhouse so they can advance in that company. So it’s really a brand new labor market.”

Mike Walden is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University who teaches and writes on personal finance, economic outlook and public policy.

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