Firstly, attracting that talent out there which will move your business fortunes forward and keeping them on the job for some amount of time to meet those company goals.
What a change in the talent pool! Years ago we would look at resumes, flag job-hopping and those lapses in service. Nowadays, we are suspicious when there is little movement.
In a recent Inc. magazine article, the greatest challenge, as noted by CEO’s, was the search for talent and programs for retaining that talent once aboard. However, in that pool they are sourcing, the talent has absolutely no qualms about moving about from company to company. Corporate America and the global economy have created this chasm with decades of “rightsizing”. There is no loyalty anymore, only dedication to self, ones’ discipline and career progression. Industry is looking at a pool of 1099’ers, literally contract workers of the new century. Consider - we have made positions temporary, hired other firms to do our payrolling – what’s next - making everyone a contractor? This group wants to build their own portfolio, stay in place for a short time, learn, expand or enhance skills and then move on to the next bidder. Competition for talent will only become more intense.
Evelyne Oreskovich, Founder and President of Hospitality Evolution Resources, LCC, noted a historical perspective in a recent article, “Longevity served a few purposes. First, new hires got to know the company, the history, our way of doing business, generally what we refer to as the “culture”; and we got to know them... Hiring from within was encouraged, and both lateral and upward mobility served to satisfy both the company’s and employees’ needs for internal growth and reward”. That was then, ages ago.
Ms. Oreskovich provided some stats. In 1996, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics nearly half of all American workers age 45 to 54 worked for their employer for 10 years or more. Among those in the 55 to 64 years old group, nearly 1/3 have worked 20 plus years for the same employer. Today, the average worker stays in a job 4.6 years. That’s an average. Clearly “youngsters” (those under 25) have a much shorter longevity (2.3 years), as she began to consider the Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers. Pretty remarkable numbers and new terminology – not job-hopping, rather professionally pivoting (a terrific term).
We, as senior management, must conduct quite an orchestra of skills and needs. Given the changing face and nature of our workforce, how do we learn what is important? Naturally, Employee Surveys provide that view and insight. Then, you need to be ready to act upon what you have learned, or the survey becomes an empty exercise. The landscape of opportunity, benefits and perquisites has changed, and you must adapt.
We can bemoan the obvious, or we can begin to change our business culture to not only make it attractive to those we seek but also to those we wish to retain. You cannot remain static, for the human capital environment is simply too wired and competitive. Time to adjust and maximize that investment in your future. An Employee Survey is a strategic step forward!
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
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