As a manager, you will be faced with several challenges in 2016 and workforce issues are right at the top. Recruiting and retaining qualified personnel, staff development, succession planning, employee morale, competitive compensation packages, and reducing employee health care costs will dominate your attention. Like a freight train screaming down the tracks, today’s manager must tackle these issues head-on. Let’s look at five of them:
- Aging workforce: We’re getting older. Baby boomers are beginning to exit the workplace in what some are calling the “silver tsunami” leaving both employment spots to fill and huge gaps in knowledge to replace. Most employers are ill prepared. Recommendation: Put in place succession plans which address replacements, skills gaps, and prepares the organization for an orderly transition of talent.
- Creating a performance based culture: Today’s workplace culture must reward performance and productivity and foster employee engagement resulting in worker retention and attracting the best external talent. Work rules that hamper productivity must be replaced with those that support flexibility and pay should be merit based and include performance incentives. There also must be an increased emphasis on setting priorities and goals, measuring productivity and monitoring performance. And your employees must be agile, customer centric, and willing to do whatever it takes for the organization. Recommendation: Put in place training programs to prepare both supervisors and employees. Add communication initiatives to demonstrate the need for and benefits of these required changes. Recruit only employees who can thrive in a changing environment.
- Managing a multidimensional and changing workforce: Today’s workforce is changing and different. As boomers age out, we are seeing a different look in the workplace then we have come to expect in the past. As the workforce becomes more diverse, managers must have the skills to lead this workplace. Engaging a younger generation, who will work along side older individuals who have different views and expectations of both their boss and work, will require significant adjustments, patience, tolerance and clear understanding. Recommendation: Multicultural, mutigenerational training should become a part of your training curriculum. Employee engagement/satisfaction surveys should be conducted annually.
- Recruitment, retention and rewarding: There is a new “3 R’s.” Work/life balance, flexibility, career development and telecommuting will be needed in order to attract and retain this new generation of worker. And to retain them, you will have to reward workers with cash (merit pay, incentives, benefits) and non-cash (opportunities, training, titles). Recommendation: Recruitment and retention programs should be put in place that include development of a recruitment brand and tool box; compensation market surveys should be conducted; and turnover analysis should be put in place.
- A strategic approach to managing: Managers must make decisions about the direction of their business utilizing a strategic framework. No longer can they simply move from crisis to crisis. A big picture, business approach will be needed, discarding “how we’ve always done it” approach and re-inventing your business to address today’s and tomorrow’s realities. There will be a greater reliance on technology, creativity, innovation, and best practices and benchmarking and these require a new kind of leader to manage a workforce that can thrive in this new world along with a workforce that can blossom amongst rapid change and have the skills to learn and adapt. Recommendation: Strategic plans should be updated to reflect the changing workforce and market place.
In 2016 and beyond we all must begin to think differently, have the skills to look around corners, while making bold decisions in addressing this changing workplace.
Other posts you may like:
- Aging Workforce: Few Employers Prepared
- Succession Plan in Municipalities Assure a Steady Flow of Talent
- How Unhealthy Cultures Stymie Progress