December 16, 2021
Jacki Hart I can’t believe the 10-part, LO Peer to Peer Network Business Bites series has come to an end already! Last month, I had the pleasure of chatting with Domenic Richichi from EIO Solutions. Who focused on creative ways to keep the employees you’ve worked so hard to get in the door, onboard and train.

Domenic summed up what we’re experiencing as employers beautifully: This is a Worker Revolution.

In addition to COVID-19 management challenges, the ‘Great Resignation’ (Millennials), and the ‘Great Reshuffle’ (Generation Z — where up to 70 per cent of employees moved jobs in the last year), there’s a huge paradigm shift that employers must make in order to improve their recruiting and retention results.

This is something I’ve spoken about at countless LO Peer to Peer Network workshops, in this column and online for several years. It was nice to have Domenic validate it from his vantage point. In addition, Domenic offered some excellent advice:

Cross-train key employees
By ensuring your key employees are nurtured to have not only depth of experience and knowledge, but breadth as well, you’ll be sure to avoid burnout, boredom, and will be able to have ‘pinch hitters’ in a variety of divisions or roles when you need them most. And with your best players cross-trained, they will be able to support a broader team development with onboarding and mentoring in-house.

Life-work balance vs work-life balance
Yes, it’s a thing. Generation Z and younger Millennials are changing the face of balancing priorities in the workplace. They are redefining what they focus their energy on, and you need to adapt to meet them where they’re starting from. Top of mind are wages and benefits. You need to move away from a ‘one size fits all’ model and approach toward benefits. 

Gone are the days when one plan suited all, and where one plan was seen as a true benefit to everyone to the same degree. Your younger employees have different visions of ‘benefits’ than your older demographic. We’ve moved into an era where a focus on overall wellness trumps coverage for prescription glasses and gym memberships trump prescription plans for many younger workers.

Lifestyle accounts
Many employers have started to offer these health spending accounts in recent years. They can be set up by your benefits provider and customized to how employees can spend the money you budget for them by setting up company policies on what’s an acceptable expense. Lifestyle accounts are where it’s at if you want to engage employees in a benefits plan that’s ‘sticky.’

Lead, grow, support and engage
These are the four pillars of employee management from EIO Solutions. (EIO by the way, stands for Employee Investment Optimization).
Lead: Many of you have heard me talk about this before: creating hope, pride and a co-created company vision; clear, concise communication; creating opportunities for employees to continually make valued contributions.

Grow: First, your company has to sell itself to your employees constantly. It’s not the other way around. Gone are the days when a candidate came in to try to convince you why they were the right fit. Now, you have to convince them you’re offering a great place to work.

Secondly, your company has to select the right fit people for the right seats in the company bus. EIO Solutions has recently partnered with Predictive Success to provide both a role assessment tool, as well as a candidate assessment tool to ensure you’re recruiting the right people.

Support: Health and safety compliance, and having the culture to support and engage everyone in that mindset is paramount. Having the HR systems, a handbook, standard operating procedures, etc., helps the company run smoothly and consistently. 

Engage: Empower everyone to do their best. Set each person up to succeed every day. Equip them to do their job properly through training that’s effective, proactive and timely. Motivate the team to continuously improve, giving casual feedback and updates on progress toward goals and targets. And reward them. Reward for creativity, critical thinking, solutions, new processes, etc. Reward them for hitting or exceeding KPI’s. Avoid letting people feel like they’re being taken advantage of or like they’re unappreciated or just a number. Engage, engage, engage.

The reality is that the work paradigm has changed. Your workforce has changed it’s perspective as to what’s nice, desirable, enticing, engaging and ‘sticky.’ Are you ready?


Landscape Ontario member business owners can join the LO Peer to Peer Network for free.
To participate in private online discussions, email

Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager