4 Keys to Keep New Employees

Money can’t buy happiness and Jon Hyman doesn’t feel it keeps employees at your brewery for long either.

“I’m not convinced… that money motivates everybody,” Hyman, an attorney for Wickens Herzer Panza, told members of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association during its yearly conference. “I’m not convinced that’s as big of a motivator or some other things we’re seeing going on in the country and in the industry. I’m not sure that throwing money at people fixes their problems.”

Hyman is ​a co-founder of the ​company’s Craft Beer practice​ and he spoke on several ways to help your brewery retain a new employee after the hire. Here are four that can be helpful for your company today.

​Wages?

Hyman said that getting into a serial repetition of raising wages “keep up with the Joneses” down the street is what keeps people employed. 

“It will pull people in, for sure,” he said. “You will pull in a pool of applicants when you advertise, you are now paying $18/hour or $20. You will pull in applicants and you will fill positions. Then as soon as the brewery or the restaurant down the street advertises a higher wage, they’re going to bolt. 

“Money does not find loyalty. And it doesn’t buy tenure. It will buy you bodies in seats and that’s all frankly, it is going to buy you.”

​Mental Health Concerns

​The pandemic that’s coming after this pandemic, Hyman believes, is a pandemic of mental health issues. 

“Your employees — some of them and probably a lot of them — are suffering,” he said, noting stress caused by dealing with childcare issues, being sick, working with a toxic public environment, all add up.

“Your employees need to know that you, as their employer, take their mental health issues seriously,” he said. “Take them to heart.”

That means making sure that mental health services are available through health insurance or have employee assistance programs available. 

“Take a moment and check in with employees and just ask them how they’re doing,” he said. “Make sure they’re okay. Doing periodic check-ins with your folks.”

​Listen​, Talk

​If your employees are uncomfortable talking to you directly, either ​in a ​one​-​on​-​one ​setting ​or in a group​, create an anonymous communication portal, like a Survey Monkey​ poll.

​”​Things like employee suggestion boxes, ​a voicemail box for employees to call and leave a message in​ … something that allows employees who are not comfortable in going to management ​… it gives them the means to communicate what’s going on. 

​Hyman said if you are not getting any personal feedback from employees at all​, that is probably a problem that’s more endemic to the culture of the workplace in general that needs to be addressed.

Safety Concerns

COVID remains a motivating issue for many, many employees. 

“They want you to know that coming to work is safe for them,” Hyman pointed out. “They want to know that you, as their employer, take their health and safety seriously. They want to see things like masks required. They want to see things like Plexiglas barriers, hand washing stations, QR codes, and digital menus instead of menus being passed out. They want to know that you, as their employer, prioritize their safety, as much as you prioritize everything else in your business.”

Photo courtesy New Realm Brewing

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