3 Generations: 6 Stark Differences in the Workplace (Part 1)

Technology has changed everything, and for employers, today’s world is far more complicated than it was just one generation ago. Before smartphones and the internet ruled our lives, workplaces were more or less able to operate at status quo, as their employees’ needs and wants were fairly steady from year to year. In this era, however, human resources are far more difficult to navigate; technology has ushered in three very unique types of workers. The balancing act between Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials hasn’t come easy for many employers. These three generations—all working simultaneously, side-by-side—have arguably instigated some of the largest hurdles the HR industry has ever seen. There are stark differences between each set of staffers, and understanding how to accommodate each of their needs mutually exclusively—yet completely cohesively—is the perfect picture of an employment oxymoron. According to the results of the Employer Associations of America (EAA) 2018 National Business Trends Report, as many companies hire new employees from different generational groups, they’re noticing significant differences from one group to the next. In this two-part series, we’ll explore some of the top items candidates are looking for in today’s market, starting with the three elements that ranked highest on the list. 1. Competitive Pay Competitive pay hit the nail on the head for Gen Xers. 72% of respondents to the 2018 Business Trends Survey rated competitive pay as the number one request of Gen X candidates. Gen X employees have experienced ebbs and flows in the economy, including the stock market crash of 1987 known as Black Monday and, of course, The Great Recession. These employees have...

2018 National Business Trends Survey Shows Continued Business Optimism Tempered by Talent and Pay Challenges

Employer Associations of America (EAA) has released the results of its 2018 National Business Trends Survey. According to the survey results, many businesses continue to have an optimistic outlook for 2018 and are preparing for a positive year ahead. When looking at their own business results, 62% expect their 2017 sales/revenue to be slightly or significantly better compared to 2016. Continued optimism prevails as 73% of executives project slight to significant increases in sales/revenue for 2018. However, that optimism is tempered by several serious challenges to business growth. The top challenges include: a shortage of both skilled labor and professional/technical staff, and the ability to pay competitive wages and benefits. Regional Recruitment and Retention Challenges Members of MidAtlantic Employers’ Association (MEA) in PA, NJ, DE and MD reported strong hiring in 2017 and projected for 2018. 38% hired more than they planned in 2017 and 70% of executives indicated that hiring in 2018 would be to increase staff levels. Overall, 96% reported they will increase or maintain their staff levels. With 69% reporting that difficulty in recruitment is escalating, regional employers cite a lack of available candidates (64%) and market competition (39%) as their primary challenges. Employers have addressed these difficulties in several ways: What strategies have you implemented to overcome “recruitment” challenges? Increasing starting salaries: 62% Using temporary/staffing agencies, or external recruiters: 68% Starting/increasing use of social media for recruiting: 58% What strategies have you implemented to overcome “retention” challenges? Adjusting pay ranges upward: 56% Focus on staff receiving additional training/development: 58% Focus on staff retention in jobs where recruitment is difficult: 49% “We are seeing many employers...

MEA Survey Update: Planning for 2017? Make sure you have the best data.

In both tactical, and day-to-day decision-making, and in a long-term strategy for growing your business, the more information you have at your fingertips, the better your decisions will be.  MEA is the leading provider of salary survey data for middle-market companies in the MidAtlantic region, and all of this data is available to MEA Members as part of membership!  However, there’s a catch…  we need Members to continue contributing their data!  Here’s a list of surveys currently open for participation: Regional Salary Surveys Participation Deadline: December 15 MEA’s Regional Salary Surveys feature summary information of actual pay rates for each surveyed position, plus breakouts for industry category, employment size and labor market. Results will be released in 5 reports and also available in MEA’s custom report tool. 2016 Administrative & Office Support (100 positions surveyed) 2016 Engineering Scientific Technical & IT (200 positions surveyed) 2016 Executive (32 positions surveyed) 2016 Production Maintenance & Service (100 positions surveyed) 2016 Supervisory & Management (80 positions surveyed) Participate Business Trends Survey Participation Deadline: CLOSED The Business Trends Report (releases December 2016) surveys top executives’ views regarding business outlook, organizational challenges, staffing/hiring, retention, and pay strategies, etc. Results are released at MEA’s annual Business Trends Event with Joel Naroff (Date TBD). Holiday Survey Participation Deadline: CLOSED This annual survey (releasing late-November) helps Members determine which holidays are commonly provided to employees. Policies & Benefits Survey Participation Deadline: CLOSED This survey (releases March 2017) allows companies to evaluate how their HR practices and policies compare to other companies in the Mid-Atlantic area.  The survey reports data on health/retirement benefits, pay practices, working conditions, PTO,...

MidAtlantic Employers More Optimistic about 2014 According to Regional Business Trends Survey

January 15, 2014 – King of Prussia, PA. – Results from a national and regional business trends survey show 74% of employers in this region believe their organizations will see an increase in sales/revenue in 2014 as compared to 2013.  This is an increase from 66% surveyed at the same time last year.  Nationally, 71% of employers share this view.  These results are from the 2014 National Business Trends Survey, conducted by the Employer Associations of America, included regional results among members of the MidAtlantic Employers’ Association (MEA).  This survey included responses from almost 1,669 mid-sized employers (less than 1,000 employees), including 251 from the Northeast Region. “Overall, employers in our region  are more optimistic about their growth and new hiring for 2014 with more than 52% planning to increase staffing levels,” according to Kevin Robins, CEO of MEA, a member-based association that supports the workforce related needs of  mid-sized businesses in Pa, NJ and De. At the beginning of 2013, only 38% planned on increasing staff during 2013 although 51% actually did increase their staff during the year. Noted national and regional economist Joel Naroff, of Naroff Economic Advisors, joined MEA at an event announcing the results of the survey.  He noted that the missing link in this recovery has been sluggish income growth, which is a concern as the US economy is 70% dependent upon consumer spending.  He thinks worker compensation will start accelerating in 2014 as labor market conditions improve and we could see unemployment rates fall below 6% by year end.  This would lead to firms bidding up salaries for new workers and to start raising wages...

Manufacturing activity in Philly region jumps

Thursday, July 18, 2013 WASHINGTON (AP) – Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region grew in July at the fastest pace in more than two years, suggesting factories may help support economic growth in the second half of the year.  The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says its index of regional manufacturing activity jumped to 19.8 in July. That’s up from 12.5 in June and the highest since March 2011.  A gauge of hiring jumped into positive territory for the first time in four months and shipments increased. Orders also rose, though at a slower pace than June.  The jump follows an increase in manufacturing in the New York region reported by the New York Fed. The gains suggest that manufacturing is rebounding after a sluggish first half of the year. Source:...

NAM Releases Manufacturers’ Growth Agenda

In an effort to best serve our Manufacturing Member Companies, we’d like to pass on this release from the National Association of Manufacturers: “Manufacturing is in the spotlight as policymakers continue to realize our significant role in driving economic growth. Today, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is releasing its priorities in a document called A Growth Agenda: Four Goals for a Manufacturing Resurgence in America. This policy blueprint has bipartisan appeal and features four central aspirations upon which we all can agree: The United States will be the best place in the world to manufacture and attract foreign direct investment. Manufacturers in the United States will be the world’s leading innovators. The United States will expand access to global markets to enable manufacturers to reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders. Manufacturers in the United States will have access to the workforce that the 21st-century economy demands. This plan builds on the success of our Manufacturing Renaissance goals released in 2011. If these policies are enacted as we have proposed, we will unleash our economic potential and manufacturing’s outsized multiplier effect will be realized. I hope you will use this document in your efforts to advance our manufacturing agenda as well. Manufacturing made the United States strong, and it will make us even stronger if we speak with a united voice.” Visit www.nam.org to learn more.   Kevin...

MidAtlantic Employers Cautiously Optimistic about 2013 According to Regional Economic Trends Survey

January 15, King of Prussia, Pa. – Results from a regional business trends survey show 66% of employers in the MidAtlantic region believe their organizations will see an increase in sales/revenue in 2013 as compared to 2012.  The 2013 Business Trends Survey, conducted by the Employer Associations of America, included regional results among members of the MidAtlantic Employers’ Association (MEA).  This survey included responses from almost 1,600 mid-sized businesses (those with fewer than 1,000 employees), including 237 from the Northeast Region. “Overall, mid-sized companies in our region  are cautiously optimistic about their growth and new hiring for 2013 with more than 87% planning to increase or maintain staffing levels,” according to Kevin Robins, CEO of MEA, a member-based association that supports the workforce related needs of  mid-sized businesses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. [CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO FROM THE EVENT] Noted national and regional economist Joel Naroff, of Naroff Economic Advisors, joined MEA at an event announcing the results of the survey.  Naroff commented that the U.S. economy showed some real momentum at the end of 2012 as consumer spending on just about everything including motor vehicles was solid.  Moreover, the housing market is turning around and construction is picking up.  Europe is starting to stabilize and Asia seems to have turned the corner.  The only remaining uncertainty is the debate over the debt ceiling and spending cuts. According to Mr. Naroff, “Between the already passed tax increases and additional increases coming from likely tax code changes as well as inevitable spending cuts, the resulting “fiscal drag” is the one hurdle left for the economy to clear.  This...

Complimentary Business Trends Event

Uncertain about any of these issues??? → On January 15th, MEA will hold a complimentary event releasing its 2013 Business Trends Survey. You will also hear the views of a nationally recognized economist about what to expect in 2013. Over 1600 mid-sized companies from across the country were polled by MEA and other employers’ associations. Come hear the results of the survey including sentiments around growth, hiring, and compensation. You will also hear that the biggest perceived risk to growth is economic uncertainty. Businesses have been battered by a sluggish economy and worries about the fiscal cliff. But despite the New Year’s Day agreement, has anything really changed? MEA is pleased to have noted economist, Joel Naroff, who will give his predictions for 2013, and answer your questions. Joel has been featured in numerous local and national radio and TV shows including CNBC, ABC, CBS, and NPR. In his eyes, we are poised for growth, and the only thing to be uncertain about is Washington itself. Join us to hear why. Attend In-Person or via Webinar – Jan 15th, 8:30 – 9:30amComplimentary breakfast for in-person attendees – 8am   Click Here to Register Now...

2013 MEA Holiday Survey Report

MEA wishes you a safe and happy holiday season! MEA is pleased to offer your our 2013 Holiday Survey Report to help you plan for next year.  This annual survey allows organizations to determine which holidays are commonly provided to...

Are You Budgeting Salaries for 2013?

2012 Compensation Survey Data Now Available MEA is the leading provider of salary survey data for middle-market companies in the MidAtlantic region. Make more informed pay decisions using cross-industry data for over 450 jobs that MEA has aggregated from companies just like yours. Here are a few reasons you need MEA’s salary data… Keep your top talent happy. In a recovering economy, your top performers are more important than ever.  Don’t let them get away (or go to your competitors). In the last several years, salary levels for certain jobs have spiked while others have dropped.  Do you know how your jobs are affected by the market? Quality information in a convenient format – MEA’s online platform offers customizable demographic cuts including geographic area, industry, company size, and union status. What you get… If you are not an MEA member, and you participate in the survey, you’ll receive downloadable .pdfs of all our survey data and access to our online custom survey report tool for just $995.  Non-participants receive the same access for $3,510.  MEA members who participate, get access for free.  It pays to be a member! Email surveys@meainfo.org or call 800-662-6238 for more...

Survey Shows Post-Recession Engagement Efforts on Rise

New survey shows post-recession engagement efforts on the rise — SURVEY RESULTS Even as employers appear reluctant to ramp up hiring, a new survey shows that the majority are committed to retaining the workers they have and are focused increasingly on employee engagement as the most effective means of achieving that goal. In the survey of human resources professionals, 80 percent said their companies were focused on employee engagement and 67 percent said the focus on engagement is greater now than it was before the recession. The survey was conducted by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. among attendees at the annual conference and exposition of the Society for Human Resources Management held recently in Atlanta. “As the job market continues to improve, albeit slowly, more and more workers are starting to seek new opportunities. In recognition of this, employers are stepping up their efforts to hold on to the talent that was critical in helping the company survive the downturn,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “However, as many companies understand, retention is not merely a matter of salary hikes and fancy perks; it is about taking steps to ensure that employees feel that they are valued, challenged, and that their contributions impact the bottom line. That is what engagement is about; forming a bond between the employee and the employer.” Several surveys and studies show that when employees are not engaged, they are not only more likely to seek positions elsewhere, but they are less productive and are not motivated to do their best or go beyond their basic job responsibilities. In...

Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council Report Released

On Tuesday, I attended one of the events announcing the release of the Report and Recommendations of the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council (“Council”).   The Council, comprised of 24 members from a diverse cross section of manufacturing interests across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, was formed by Governor Tom Corbett in November 2011 to focus on the current and future state of manufacturing. The full report can be downloaded here.  The Report highlighted several key facts that demonstrate the significance of manufacturing in Pennsylvania: Manufacturing employs 574,000 Pennsylvanians accounting for 10% of the total workforce. Average annual compensation in manufacturing is $64,913 which is 44.2% higher than the non-manufacturing sector. Manufacturing accounts for 70% of all research and development expenditures in Pennsylvania. 98% of all manufacturing firms in Pennsylvania employ fewer than 500 employees, accounting for 75% of the total manufacturing workforce. 23 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Pennsylvania, including at least 10 primarily focused on manufacturing. 82% of manufacturers report a serious or moderate skills gap and 74% report that this is negatively impacting their ability to expand. 25% of manufacturing employees are 55+ and as of June 2012 there were 7,639 manufacturing openings. The Council found that the most pressing needs center on finding people with the right skills and education to fill current and future manufacturing roles and to develop future leaders.  Highlights of the report include: “Adopt a School Program” to better connect our schools and curriculum with the needs of the manufacturing industry.  As an example, the event yesterday was held at the Edison/Fareira High School Welding Facility in Philadelphia where we saw how several...

Health reform most challenging for firms with large populations of part-time, low-paid workers

Health reform most challenging for firms with large populations of part-time, low-paid workers: Mercer — SURVEY RESULTS Companies with the greatest number of part-time and low-paid employees will face the greatest challenges from the reforms provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new Mercer survey has determined. Although 60 percent of the 1,203 employers Mercer surveyed expected some increase in cost as a result of the key ACA provisions effective in 2014, nearly half (46 percent) of retail and hospitality industry firms and two-fifths (40 percent) of health care industry employers anticipated cost increases of at least 3 percent. These industries have large part-time employee populations. Only 31 percent of service industry employers expected such an increase. “With health benefit cost already rising at twice the rate of general inflation, an additional increase of 3 percent or more will be very tough for employers to absorb,” said Sharon Cunninghis, leader of Mercer’s U.S. Employee Health & Benefits business. Also, in companies where pay is low, employees who are eligible for coverage are more likely to opt out of enrolling, Mercer noted. For example, among large wholesale/retail and health care employers, opt-out rates average 19 percent and 18 percent, respectively, compared to just 8 percent among transportation, communication, and utility companies, where pay is higher. Once the individual mandate requiring all individuals who can afford coverage to obtain it (or pay a penalty) goes into effect, employers with high opt-out rates could experience a significant increase in enrollment. Editorial comment: note that the large opt-out rate among these populations may be due to availability of coverage...

Health reform most challenging for firms with large populations of part-time, low-paid workers

Health reform most challenging for firms with large populations of part-time, low-paid workers: Mercer — SURVEY RESULTS Companies with the greatest number of part-time and low-paid employees will face the greatest challenges from the reforms provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new Mercer survey has determined. Although 60 percent of the 1,203 employers Mercer surveyed expected some increase in cost as a result of the key ACA provisions effective in 2014, nearly half (46 percent) of retail and hospitality industry firms and two-fifths (40 percent) of health care industry employers anticipated cost increases of at least 3 percent. These industries have large part-time employee populations. Only 31 percent of service industry employers expected such an increase. “With health benefit cost already rising at twice the rate of general inflation, an additional increase of 3 percent or more will be very tough for employers to absorb,” said Sharon Cunninghis, leader of Mercer’s U.S. Employee Health & Benefits business. Also, in companies where pay is low, employees who are eligible for coverage are more likely to opt out of enrolling, Mercer noted. For example, among large wholesale/retail and health care employers, opt-out rates average 19 percent and 18 percent, respectively, compared to just 8 percent among transportation, communication, and utility companies, where pay is higher. Once the individual mandate requiring all individuals who can afford coverage to obtain it (or pay a penalty) goes into effect, employers with high opt-out rates could experience a significant increase in enrollment. Editorial comment: note that the large opt-out rate among these populations may be due to availability of coverage...

Research shows U.S. leadership development spending surges in 2012

Research shows U.S. leadership development spending surges 14 percent to an estimated $13.6 billion in 2012 — SURVEY RESULTS Bersin & Associates announced new research that shows U.S. companies have increased leadership development spending 14 percent over 2011 levels to an estimated $13.6 billion in 2012. The findings, which appear in the Leadership Development Factbook 2012: Benchmarks and Trends in U.S. Leadership Development also indicate a shift in spending further down the leadership chain as companies focus on developing all levels of leaders, especially high-potential talent, to remain competitive. The research shows that companies that excel at leadership development spend up to 60 percent more per participant on average than their less sophisticated peers. That investment delivers key business results including 20 times greater employee retention. The research is based on an online study of nearly 400 U.S. organizations, and was conducted in part through collaboration with Human Resource Executive magazine in Q1 2012. The research included a series of qualitative interviews to better understand issues and trends. “With the economy improving and corporate restructuring behind them, most large organizations have set their sights on global expansion, highlighting the need for new leadership skills in global acumen, agility and innovative thinking,” said Josh Bersin, chief executive officer and president, Bersin & Associates. “Of the $13.6 billion we estimate U.S. companies will spend on leadership development this year, we see those funds invested in developing a new breed of leaders, creating more comprehensive solutions, hiring additional leadership development staff, and acquiring tools for identifying and developing future talent in-house rather than relying on the external job market to solve their...