Another positive employment
sign is a 5 point gain from last year
in the number of respondents who
said they are able to find suitable job
applications for their company. This
goes back to the skilled labor gap,
which certainly is affecting industrial
distribution, but at least the num-
bers are going in the right direction.
Asked to rate their ability to qual-
ify and recruit (Figure 1, page 34),
respondents showed they’ve gained
self-confidence. Sixty nine percent
of respondents rated themselves
“Good” or better, with 24 percent
rating themselves “Very Good.” Last
year, 61 percent rated themselves
good or better, with only 15 percent
at very good.
Once employees are in place,
getting them to stay long-term is
key. The manufacturing industry is
known for this, especially industrial distribution. This is often done
through a variety of incentives.
Our survey shows better than 75
percent of respondents offer performance-based pay
incentives as a way to retain staff, up 6 points from last
year. In second place, Training also showed a healthy
8 point yearly rise up to 55 percent of respondents,
while Improved Benefits was close behind at 54.5
percent and a 2 point gain. Tuition Reimbursement
was the fourth-most popular incentive once again, but
showed a 4 point increase up to 28 percent. Nearly half
of write-in responses mentioned an employee stock
ownership plan (ESOP), while there was one mention
of holiday bonuses, and even one distributor said they
offer breakfast burritos every two weeks. Overall,
distributors showed a solid increase in their incentives
As far as benefits specifically, 93.5 percent of respondents said they offer health insurance (+ 5 points from
last year), while 79 percent said they offer 401K/Pen-
sion (+ 2 points) and 63 point offer Bonus/Compensa-tion plans (+1 point) to round out the top three. Other
benefits making the biggest gains from last year were
Sales Performance Reviews (52 percent, + 8. 5), Training
Programs ( 43 percent, + 6), and Employee Recognition
Programs ( 34 percent, + 5). Only 13 percent of respondents indicated having to reduce employees’ overall
benefits packages over the last year, just a . 5 point
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