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.

 

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What’s Around The Corner?

A number of organizations are wondering what hiring and human resources will look like in the future. With the beginning of the New Year this is a great time to consider predictions. The following is what we expect to see in 2014 and beyond.

Temporary is the new permanent. One thing that will remain constant in this year is uncertainty. Given the current unpredictability in the economy – such as the recent governmental shut-down, stock market fluctuations, and reluctance to move ahead with new initiatives, we foresee firms will likely continue to bring on temporary workers when help is needed.

Part-time hiring on the rise. While various factors will influence hiring trends, we anticipate employers will hire more part-time workers in 2014.

The way we work is changing.  Many firms are starting to re-evaluate their staffing needs and this development is particularly notable in the legal field.  Skilled attorneys, paralegals and other support staff are recognizing these new options and are entering the temporary and part-time labor pool. A number of clients feel that this is the best way to attract needed, skilled employees, and it provides greater opportunities for cost containment. In addition, bringing on an employee in a “try-before-you-buy” scenario can be a good way to assess whether a candidate is right for a position.

Demographic shifts are occurring.  An increasing number of individuals will look to contract, part-time work and other less-than-long-term employment. Here’s why: Younger workers are more mobile and receptive to contract staffing. Technology is providing the flexibility people need to use their skills in new ways.  Combine these and other factors with a firm’s focus on controlling expenses, and you have both the employment model as well as the needed workforce to propel growth.

Are you ready to see how temporary staffing solutions can benefit your firm’s objectives? If so, I would like to discuss your staffing requirements and help create a recruiting plan that will assist you in achieving them.

Stress

Every individual must find their own way to work productively even under stressful conditions.  Of course, one way is to adopt an attitude of not caring what anyone else says or does, or what decisions management makes.  That attitude however will not put one’s name on the top of the promotions list, nor will it assure merit raises.  However, one’s doctor may approve.   But… who will pay the doctor’s bill?

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.

Workplace Humor

With the significant increase of “stress-related-issues” organizations are increasingly looking for ways to keep employees happy and productive. Some firms are apt to discourage laughter in the workplace, seeing it as a distraction from getting the job done.

This mind-set is reinforced by the attitude that many were raised with: “Work isn’t supposed to be fun.” However, managers are learning that stress is not only harmfully impacting morale but also productivity. Employees in a humorless environment can negatively affect the profit and loss of a company.

In situations where we have little control over economic circumstances, much depends on how we react to them. Being able to laugh about our situation and ourselves helps us release tension, regain our perspective, and accept that which we cannot change.

In order to cope people can either choose to laugh or be depressed. Most organizations are full of very funny and quick-witted people who just need to be given permission and encouragement to use their sense of humor on the job. As more and more firms choose to “lighten up” and realize the benefits of workplace wellness it not only results in more productivity, but also increases bonding with the rest of the team.