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Recruitment and Retention: Five Things Employers Can Learn from the Police Hiring Crisis

Hannah Greenwood

Hannah Greenwood

improve recruitment and retention with professional development

police are suffering from a recruitment and retention crisisRecruitment and retention are becoming extremely important in all industries. According to Inc., 17% of employees are quitting their jobs due to management and overall work environment.

If you’re a dedicated employer, you work diligently to make sure your employees are in it for the long haul. You want to ensure they’re comfortable, content and fulfilled in their position with the help of company perks, benefits and a work-life balance mindset. Well, when you’re a policing agency in a hiring crisis, it’s vital to take these methods into account.

With the rigid organizational structure and dangerous work duties, policing agencies everywhere are struggling with employee recruitment and retention. There are fewer applicants because of growing societal issues (mental health, substance abuse, online crimes) that most aren’t prepared to handle. Then there’s the sometimes-negative stigma around cops in general. Although keeping employees around and engaged is another issue, due to the taxing daily responsibilities and expectations many cops are inching towards retirement.

So, what can companies learn from the police hiring crisis?

Take employee feedback and suggestions seriously.

Make sure you’re always implementing employee and exit surveys to gain valuable insight and make any necessary changes. When you start taking suggestions into account and putting them into action, employees will take notice and want to stay. You can distribute these surveys as part of digital postcard campaigns to make them more compelling, include additional information and to convey the urgency.

looking out for employees' mental health can improve recruitment and retentionOffer counseling services in your employee benefits, regardless of the industry.

Be aware of the societal and workplace pressures employees endure daily and provide counseling and mental health services as part of your benefits package. A surefire way to improve your recruitment and retention efforts is to show employees you care about their well-being. It’s not just about being able to perform their jobs but them living their lives in the most effective way.

Provide PTO and mental health days for employees.

If your company already offers paid time off, you’re already ahead of the game. But what about mental-health days? These perks allow employees to recharge and return refreshed and engaged. This may also be a great selling point for recruiting. There are still many companies that don’t offer this type of benefit.

Discuss crisis management tactics with employees so they know how to deal with certain situations.

Every industry has its stresses and critical moments. Sometimes these crises are public-facing—like when police departments have unfortunate outcomes and bad press. Others are more internal. Major weather events can suddenly leave you scrambling to manage operations that are usually an afterthought. Having a crisis management plan is crucial. Every employee should be involved in that execution. When employees know how to respond to common or difficult situations, they will feel less distress and more in control.

improve recruitment and retention with professional developmentMake training and development a focus of your organization and keep employees up to date with new practices and issues.

Personal and professional development opportunities are a high priority on a job seeker’s list. Offering these types of programs will improve recruitment and retention efforts because it shows employees you care about their growth. Keep your staff up to date on trends and new policies. This prepares them for any situation and they’ll know it. Internal, explainer videos will be key during these training sessions.

So, what can we take away from the current police hiring crisis? Put emphasis on mental health, prioritize employee feedback and prepare your employees for any situation with the right skills. When recruiting, promote the idea of self-development in and out of work. Once you have a good group of employees who feel valued, understood and satisfied, you’re on your way to creating an environment that fosters long-term employment. Which, in turn, improves your business.

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