Tag Archives: succession planning

Retaining Workers Over 50

images(Post by Rick Dacri, December 11, 2015)

I met with a group of municipal and public utility managers yesterday. One of the issues that they brought up was their aging workforce. It’s a topic I hear at most meetings I attend, across all industry segments. The challenge we all face is how to address it. Executives and Boards are slowly realizing they cannot recruit their way out of this long-term issue. Both the loss of staff and their years of knowledge and experience can significantly hamper the viability of many organizations. So what should you be doing now?

While employers are slowly beginning to understand they must put in place succession planning programs while subsequently beefing up their recruitment and retention of younger workers, they must also not forget those 50 and older employees. These individuals often have the most experience and skills and possess the work habits most valued by employers. To be able to keep these workers longer, they will need to accommodate their needs. That means training, upgrading their skills and offering them alternative work schedules, particularly in their later years. Changes in benefit programs will also be needed. These could include prescription drug coverage, long-term care insurance, enhanced retirement plans and retiree health benefits.

Retaining these key employees and all their institutional knowledge and expertise can be your organization’s competitive edge.

Let me know what your organization is doing by placing comments in the Reply Section.

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Filed under Succession Planning, Uncategorized

N.E. Patriots Strong Bench The Difference

NFL: Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots(This post was written by Rick Dacri, October 1, 2013)

Vince Wilfork, the New England Patriot’s star defensive tackle and team captain was injured in the first quarter of Sunday’s game and will be lost for the rest of the season. This is a major blow for the team. But with or without him, the game had to continue ands he was replaced immediately by an undrafted rookie and later by a player who had been cut by two other teams. The Patriots won the game.

Injuries are a fact of life in football and successful teams know this and prepare for it. They develop strong benches. Drafting the right players; trading for others; continuously training, coaching and mentoring younger players; and always developing their players to be ready whenever they are needed.

The Patriot’s success over the years can be attributed to their strong bench. What about your organization? If you suddenly lost a key employee, do you have people ready? Is you workforce well trained, versatile, and ready to step in when they are needed? Remember, like the Patriots, your success is dependent upon it.

If you would like to learn how I could help you develop a strong bench for your company, give me a call at 207-967-0837.


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Filed under Leadership, Uncategorized

Fall Means Final End of Year Check-Up On Your Business

images(Posted by Rick Dacri on August 28, 2013)

The summer is nearly over and now it’s time to look forward to the fall. I wanted to check in with you and suggest a check-up on your operation. The economy continues to heat up and there’s a lot happening, so I wanted to take a moment to provide you a brief list of important items you should be focusing on to help you make managing your business a bit easier:

1. Turnover is Increasing: With an improving market, there is strong evidence that employees are feeling more confident and many, particularly coveted star performers, are beginning to look to make job changes. That’s not good for you.

Advice: Make sure your managers and supervisors are focused on employee retention. Implement a progressive retention program and initiate an annual employee satisfaction survey to take a pulse of your organization.

2. ACA Deadlines: Deadlines for the Affordable Care Act are upon us.  


My Advice: Make sure your plan meets all the new requirements and plan to provide employee education programs. You may also want to change your new enrollments dates and your benefit eligibility requirements. Update your classifications for full-time and part-time employees and evaluate whether it makes sense to restructure your staffing to address “pay or play” thresholds.

3. Evaluate Your Hiring: As the economy expands, you may find the need to add staff. With an improving economy, finding good people is proving more difficult.

My Advice: Continue reading

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Filed under Leadership, Management

4 Critical Issues Impacting CEOs (Audio)


(Post by Rick Dacri, July 15, 2013)

A number of issues are suddenly impacting organizations forcing employers to make changes in how they manage their workforce. Unprepared employers will find themselves scrambling to comply with these government mandates, while struggling to address a skills shortage, aging workers and a workforce that is more and more disengaged.

In a free wheeling discussion on WLOB’s Mind Your Own Business, I will dissect these issues and provide employers with essential strategies to compete in this new emerging workplace. Some of the issues covered included:

  1. Changes employers must immediately make since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA;
  2. With 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching age 65 every day, how employers must deal with this knowing that the younger replacements lack the essential skills to be effective;
  3. Why immigration reform must pass before our economy is permanently harmed; and
  4. What to do with the fact that 70% of workers are disengaged.

I analyze these complex issues and provide the listeners with practical advice that is understandable, making the job of managers, easier. To listen, click INTERVIEW.

If you want to learn more about how I can help you, click Dacri & Associates, LLC.


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Aging Workforce: Few Employers Prepared

We’re Running Out of Time

This article, written by Rick Dacri, was originally published in the York County Coast Star on June 20, 2013

When my wife and I built our house, we had two gas fireplaces installed. Beyond the ambiance, we wanted convenience and warmth for those cold Maine winters. We also added back-up, battery-operated starters in case we lost power. Turns out you need electricity to start a gas fireplace. Well, they work perfectly and they were a Godsend during the last ice storm. While we love to be warm, we also enjoy everything else that requires electricity, so we have since bought a generator that automatically clicks on when the power goes out — an all-too-frequent occurrence where we live. And if the generator fails (it did during the hurricane), I have a service to call that immediately responds.

It is important to take preventative actions to ensure safety and security. I faithfully replace my smoke detector batteries twice a year. But while they may warn me of a fire, I also have my escape route planned if we need it. Prevention and contingency plans are essential.

The Maine Department of Labor recently released a report written by the Center for Workforce Research and Information detailing how the state’s sluggish population growth, combined with an aging workforce, will lead to slow workforce growth. While this is a valuable and well-written study, it offers nothing we don’t already know. Just look around most workplaces and you see a lot of grey hair. Employees are getting older and there are fewer young people available to take their places.

Maine has the oldest workers in the nation. The median age of our workers is 43 years old and within 20 years, at least 40 percent will be over 65. As Boomers retire — and their exit has already begun — we need to replace them with experienced workers. But with an aging population comes low birth rates (you get the picture).

So what are businesses’ contingency plans? Unfortunately, few are ready. As many senior leaders plan to retire over the next three to five years, many organizations are just realizing that succession planning must be put in place. The recession gutted most training and development initiatives, not to mention any “excess” workers, so companies’ bench strength is weak. Employers will now be forced to quickly beef up their recruitment efforts in order to attract badly needed replacement talent — which exposes another problem: the skills shortage. The war on talent that seemed to end in 2008 with the “great recession” will now resume with a vengeance.

While the news is not good, employers do have a little time to right their ships. Training and development must be significantly increased; succession planning for leadership and key staff should be put in place; and recruitment programs must be implemented.

Education and government also have a big role to play toward attracting workers to our state and educating our young people for the world of work. Immigration reform, as I discussed in last month’s column, is also a critical part of the equation.

There are a number of initiatives throughout the state partnering business, education and government, all focused on addressing this problem. More is needed. Employers who take a wait-and-see approach will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. A focus on the people side of the business, an area many managers find too complicated to handle, must become a top priority. While cooperative efforts are important, where they don’t exist, employers must go it alone. And that means commitment, time and investment. Everything else will fail without skilled talent. This problem is not going away.

Contingency plans and actions must be adopted and implemented now. The lights are flickering. Hoping they’ll stay on is a mistake. It’s not a question of whether they’ll go out or not, it’s when. Remember, we live in Maine. You want that fireplace and generator ready to fire up. We’ll need them.

To learn how Rick Dacri can assist you with planning, click Dacri & Associates.

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Filed under Economy, Management

Succession Planning: Church Prepares to Elect New Pope

imagesThe Catholic Church is preparing to choose a new pope. When Pope Benedict XVI suddenly announced he was stepping down, the orderly process of succession planning kicked in, whereby the College of Cardinals come together and elect a new pope. The process has been in place for centuries and a new pope will be chosen within days. The world will be informed of their decision when a puff of white smoke rises from the chimney over the Sistine Chapel and the new pope will be introduced in all grandeur with the words Habemus Papem, “we have a new pope.”

If the CEO of your organization suddenly stepped down, do you have a plan in place to name a new CEO?

 To read more about how to set up a succession plan for your organization, click succession planning.

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CEO & Board of Directors: Forging An Effective Relationship


(This article, written by Rick Dacri, was originally published in Mainebiz)

Nobody takes care of the boss. The CEO’s job is to take care of everyone in the organization, but many CEOs feel no one is taking care of their personal and professional needs. Their Boards of Directors expect them to run and grow the business; carry out their mandates; recruit, retain and develop the internal talent; and prepare the organization for the future. CEOs accept this but expect to be taken care of just as they do for their staff. As one CEO said to me, “I work everyday trying to move this organization forward while keeping everybody happy and just once I’d like it if someone was there for me.”

It is the role of the Board to take care of their CEO. Not in a kumbuya sort of way, but more in a supportive manner. And this is where it often breaks down.

CEOs, like any employee, want their basic needs met and when they are not, resentment occurs. They want a Board that can provide:

  1. Clear expectations and accountability standards: After all, if you want her to drive the organization where you want, give her a map.
  2. Understand his needs and expectations: Boards need to take time to get to know what makes their CEO tick.
  3. Provide a timely performance review and know the market for executive compensation: Late reviews and salaries that fall below their peers are two areas that cause the greatest resentment resulting in breakdowns in the relations and turnover of CEOs.
  4. Set realistic performance goals: the strategic direction of the organization will only be achieved when this is done well.
  5. Provide ongoing feedback on performance: It’s lonely at the top. The CEO needs input from the Board.
  6. Support the CEO’s development: Grow your CEO. The world is constantly changing and your CEO must be able to keep up.

The role of the board is difficult and complex. Continue reading


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