What are your Workforce New Year’s Resolutions?
Happy 2013 to MEA Members! As you plan for 2013, have you made any workforce resolutions? 2012 was a year where workforce changes became more apparent and real. We now know that healthcare reform is here to stay, Millennials will make up 50% of our workforce in less than 4 years (at the same time many Boomers will retire), and we have a skilled labor shortage. Oh, and social media and technology are integral components of both business and recruiting.
Unlike 20 – 30 years ago, these changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary and many forward thinking Members have jumped in to avoid falling behind the talent race. To help you think about your workforce resolutions, let me share some Member successes we saw in 2012:
1. Recognition and Development Programs.
There is much research that all generations, but especially Millennials, place a high value on growth and development. This is a key part of the new employment “contract” (lifetime employment is no longer enough). This is not a nice to have but a must have as employees of all ages seek this out, whether with you or somewhere else. This is especially true of high performers/potentials. MEA Members have developed strategies such as latticed career paths, new merit based compensation strategies, tuition support (partial or full) and skills based development programs to meet this demand and retain their best employees.
2. Leadership and Succession Planning.
Many Members have recognized the upcoming management transition, few have put a succession process in place. It is never too late to start. There are several critical ingredients here: identify clearly what makes a leader successful in your business, hold current leadership team accountable for leadership development and succession planning across the company, and identify and develop high potential employees on an accelerated pace. We also recommend integrating leadership attributes into all hiring decisions so you build your future pipeline.
3. Coaching versus Managing.
While those of us who are Baby Boomers have raised a generation that thinks and acts differently, Millennials, and those to come, have also challenged us to rethink ways we do things which will benefit everyone. One positive trend is the movement from “managing” to “coaching.” Effective feedback and coaching is becoming the norm which places pressure on all supervisors and managers to have strong communication skills and to enhance manager review and feedback processes for effective goal setting and measurement and coaching. As one example, the once or twice per year review is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. I have seen forward thinking Members invest in management skill development, daily and weekly scorecards and quarterly or even monthly coaching feedback as the new norm. The impact has been strong and I hear from many CEO’s about how excited their managers are when they learn these new skills which align more directly with their business needs.
The research on the impact of engaged (or disengaged) workforce on business results is too overwhelming to ignore. Many Members are finding that better data helps them target specific ways to improve engagement. Recently, I presented engagement survey results to the executive team of an MEA Member. This business has grown tremendously over the past 5 years. Their engagement results were fantastic, well above average and almost at world class levels. They also have a very high retention rate with a highly skilled workforce. This was a dramatic difference from 5 years earlier. Then the biggest negative identified in surveys was a lack of communication. They attacked this deficiency through Senior Leadership and with multiple communication programs including wall scoreboards, strong vision statements, town halls and CEO lunches. Not expensive, just effective.
5. Culture and Values.
While some of our Members are well known names, many are B2B with no real brand presence. Yet, when I enter their often non-descript buildings, unknown to even their neighbors, I find great organizations with long-term success, that really care about their employees and where many of us would love to work or have our kids work. Yet, they rarely advertise or promote their culture. Thus, finding new talent often takes considerable effort with a lot of risk of someone not “fitting” which costs so much more than the cost of recruiting. Today, through social media and other avenues, it is much easier to promote your culture and employee values so that top talent seeks you out. Many companies, like Zappos, have actually made their culture part of their overall brand. Some of our Members have done this as well and they are creating very powerful statements that can be communicated online or through social media. DVL Group, Inc., a Member of MEA posted the following on the careers section of their website:
- OUR TEAM IS our customers, our company, our associates and our partners.
- COLLABORATION is critical to our team’s success.
- CREATIVITY is our passion.
- WE ARE not afraid to do the right thing.
- PROFESSIONALISM is a cornerstone of our business.
Short but powerful. And distinctive. Not some off the shelf mission and objectives that don’t tell someone who you are and what is takes to be successful. By the way, they are also a multi-year winner of “Best Places to Work.”
So as we start 2013, we at MEA are excited to help our Members achieve success. We are uniquely positioned by virtue of our role helping our more than 400 Members attract, motivate and develop their workforce to share those best practices and help you implement the most important “evolutionary” changes to help your business grow. This is all we do. Give me a call if you would like to meet with me or the MEA Member Experience team to discuss ways to align your workforce programs with your business goals.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://meainfo.org/app/uploads/2014/10/kevin-robins.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kevin RobinsCEOkrobins@meainfo.org[/author_info] [/author]