Many understandably are concerned by the shortage of talent but this problem will only be solved by some new ideas combined with recognising what has been important in the past. It will naturally need more than a reliance on methods and tools which worked in a different time; it is important to create a new narrative, with strong culture, values, and technology at its heart.
The above paragraph does stress the words “worked in a different time” as they were not designed to work. They only came about as a result of cost cuts and easy access to labour which made many forget the core pillars needed for talent acquisition and retention.
Many can talk of the need for more investment in promoting careers in the industry but maybe the first building block is ensuring that strong pillars are in place?
The 1990s also had a severe talent crisis and research at the time showed that retention was led by strong career development programmes. Research in those days suggested that the 3 leading factors in winning and retaining talent were:
· Career development
· Leadership values and culture
· Salary and remuneration
Research in 2020 will say not that much different. So the question has to be why were the lessons placed to one side? The answer of course was how easy access to EU labour changed the dynamics of the day.
Today we face the same problems as in the 1990s but with added complications. It is almost easy to say that the working from home dynamics will make it harder than ever to recruit into the industry. How will the industry compete?
Many say that the younger generations are more fickle – snowflakes – with less desire to succeed. Maybe but unlikely that they are much different. The counterargument is that they carry more debt than previous generations, have less faith in real career development, and can see little real values held by their leadership teams.
Who is right is of little relevance; it is how this can be bridged.
The new work landscape is today being shaped by employees. There are many employers believing that it is only a matter of time before this shifts back to the employer, and that is true, but that is likely to be a longer time period than expected.
If one accepts that it will take time for the balance to shift, then the question is how best can one engage and ensure that employees feel “excited” by the culture and work?
Funnily enough, the solutions do not need to be new.
What today’s research also tells us is that:
· Work practices are going to have to change and be more employee-friendly. Modernising work practices have a strong argument for greater productivity so no bad thing to analyse the art of the possible.
· Modern technology does open the door to stronger internal comms which gives a voice and stronger interaction between leaders and employees. How can this be made as effective as possible?
· How will robotics and technology services to support business and talent?
· Employees today need to buy into the overall purpose and vision of a company beyond the basics. Similar to the above, it is no bad development to ensure that companies do have a strong clear purpose which is communicated to their teams. Research says that the majority of managers are uncomfortable communicating and vice versa, the majority of employees do not feel well communicated to. Right or wrong, it has been a negative cycle.
· If the employees hold the power, then they need to buy into any strategy. It will mean that many will need to change their internal cultures and start acknowledging that culture is one of the most important assets which a company possesses.
· Cultures need to be more progressive, diverse and inclusive.
· Stronger development practices
It will take time to solve the problems being faced today but the answers are there.