How Strong Is Your B-Team?

Turnover isn’t an issue organizations face with just administrative and operations employees, it affects all levels of a firm’s hierarchy including C-level executives and upper management.  Does your team have other players that could step up if a key position became vacant?

As the economy and job market improves, top producers and effective leaders may be recruited or start looking for a better deal.  This possibility is real, and if organizations aren’t proactive, they could soon be impacted by loss in efficiency and loyalty among the staff left behind.  It may be prudent to make the changes needed to “beef up your bench” in a way that is not stressful and helps ensure the firm remains productive during the process.

Obviously, losing senior executives could have a major effect on a firm and the way it operates, but what about less-senior employees? There are other individuals throughout an organization who play a vital role in maintaining resourcefulness and driving innovation.  Though there may be no need to prepare for mass exodus, it is important to start training others in case a key player does leave for another job.

In developing a deeper bench it’s important to know who would be the best person to fill a position should a manager leave.  Fortunately, hiring managers may not have to look too far to find a suitable replacement for an exiting leader.  Are there current employees who show signs of leadership potential?  Identifying who will be able to fill executive roles is not necessarily a matter of seniority.  Focus on whom best fits the requirements of the position.

Understanding the leaders an organization already has is the first step in being resilient to turnover.  However, having a B-Team in place if change occurs is the step needed to truly foster sustainable success that’s built to last.  Firms that are prepared for the future are the ones that stand the best chance of seeing it.



Changing Roles

Making career changes can  be more of a dilemma than most of us might imagine.  There are some fields that are more difficult to leave than others.  Certain ones, in many of our minds, seem to have required more of a “calling” or humane dedication.  For example, an individual who wants out of the teaching profession may have a difficult time in doing so.  Thought seems to be very pervasive that we shouldn’t encourage people to leave such a caring role.  A minister or priest is generally perceived to be on such a pedestal,  that if we respond to their application for a change in vocation, we may feel ourselves to be a participant in an unpardonable sin.  Social workers, who may have gotten into well-doing at a young age, in some instances have cast their lot forever.

It’s rather interesting as we sit in our Ivory Towers, how many of us know better what is best for everyone else.  Changing roles can be important to all of us; even those in human resources.  There are many fields where experience can be transferred very effectively into a complete new area of interest.  Often, an organization can benefit greatly from the perspective that a fresh approach can offer.


Generation Why?

Ever wonder why that 24-year-old new hire comes off as being a little too competitive, confidently eyeing your office as if it’s up for grabs?  Who is this kid acting like the boss on their first day?  Don’t worry, there’s an explanation for this and it’s called Generation Why. Also known as: Generation Y, Millennials, Gen I (Generation Internet), Generation Next, Adultolescents and Echo Boomers.  The work force is changing and this group will soon account for the majority of workers, especially as Baby Boomers start to retire.

The generation of workers born roughly between 1977 and 1995 rivals the boomers in numbers, and is proving to have a significant influence as well.  It’s not just their multitude that makes Generation Next important to the labor market.  They’re unlike previous generations, and that’s forcing a shift on firms and managers. From wanting to make an impact on day one, to independently tackling huge challenges, Echo Boomers are requiring employers to adjust, not only to their behavior, but also to what seems to be a whole new set of career expectations.

Adultolescents are more concerned with an organization’s culture, than the job.  They prefer open communication and to interact freely.  An uptight formal traditional business style of culture is not going to attract and retain Generation Next.  This is forcing human resource managers to adjust, for example, methods of recruiting and retention, especially in order to hire and keep the best young talent.  Don’t endorse the old factory mentality, “when you’re at work you work, no down time.” Encourage free communication and promoting teamwork.  Just a little fun will go a long way!

Along with seeking work to be more meaningful and challenging, Generation Internet also aims to make significant impact in a short amount of time.  They want to work faster and better than others.  Their work ethic, which can be viewed as competitive, may well be an outcome of being independent and tech savvy.  The Twentysomethings are like living, breathing search engines.  Not only do they ask question after question, they’re quick learners and quick to put together information.  In that way, they are incredible assets.

With the ever-changing workforce, understanding and adapting to the new values and demands of Generation Y will no doubt be an important factor. In the coming years, Millennials will be called upon to help fill the big shoes left by exiting boomers.  These workers could force you to rethink and improve methods of recruiting, training, and management – the lifeblood elements of any organization.

Playing It Safe

People talk about things they want to change but doing so is sometimes as difficult as drinking water upside down.  Often it’s the comfort level, or the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude.  There is a problem with this… and it’s called missing out.

The guilt that we tend to carry around with us everyday when we procrastinate can become tiresome and may eventually lead to low self-esteem and even depression.  The guilt seems worse when we see other around us changing – keeping up with current thinking.  This is the time we may need to give ourselves a good lecture, or at least listen to others who keep trying to get the message across that living in the past makes it very difficult to find the future.

A blogger recently stated that to be successful one must take risks.   This is not news but those words often evoke fear, and rightfully so if the risks are foolish and unrewarding.  Any change can prove hazardous, but always playing it safe can lead to unfulfilled dreams and disappointment, especially when it comes to careers.

Even though change is often a good thing,  it is not always so.  Each person must, especially in uncertain times, evaluate their career and if the positives outweigh the negatives, dwell on all of those positives and find a way to keep the negatives in perspective.  Then, change may not seem so necessary.