March 2007 Newsletter

In this issue:

What is the workforce crisis?

Have you heard the buzz about an impending workforce crisis? Most people define it as an anticipated talent shortage.

But look again. The issue is much larger than they imagine.

To begin, the demographic composition of the workforce has become more diverse than ever before--in age, gender, ethnicity, country of origin, level of education, family status, personal ambition, wealth needed for retirement and corporate loyalty. To thrive or even survive amid these changes, employers are finding they must accommodate this unprecedented diverse variety of employees.

In addition, the relationship between employer and employee has also radically changed. No longer an exchange of loyalty for security, it has become a multi-faceted give-and-take.

And now, on top of these changes, experts anticipate a collision of three factors--a collision that will create business challenges that make the impact 9/11 had on business look like a minute blip on a radar screen.

What are these three factors? Take a look:
  1. A large proportion of older workers in the workforce.
  2. A dropping labor force growth rate.
  3. A reliance on intellectual workers.

Never before has the United States had a generation as large as the baby boomers preparing to retire. Never in our history has our labor force growth rate dropped and stayed so low. And never before have we relied so heavily on intellectual rather than physical labor. Thus we cannot anticipate the compounding effects that will take place when these trends collide.

One thing is sure, however:

The crisis will cause a supply and demand problem in our workforce.

For years, you could contract or expand your workforce based on business conditions because you knew you would always have a labor pool. But that is no longer the case. The baby-boomers' rush to retirement coupled with fewer births has led to fewer people entering the labor force. Worse, we are just at the beginning stages of this rapidly shrinking labor pool.

So what to do?

Begin by anticipating your labor and skills needs in the context of these longer-term trends. And secondly, change your thinking about how you manage your workforce.

Here are some initial tactics to take:

With our changing labor force, employee engagement is emerging as a significant differentiator between just meeting your bottom-line goals and achieving significant breakthrough performance.

In next month's issue, I'll look at ways to foster a culture of engagement in your business.

Technical Corner:

New tool measures employees' engagement level

There are many advantages to understanding your employees' engagement levels. Companies with this knowledge have higher retention rates and superior customer service. They also realize enhanced bottom-line results.

What can you do to engage workers?

Measuring employee attitudes and beliefs toward their employers, current managers and job functions is the critical first step.

Unfortunately, we have no best-practices manual for understanding today's workforce. But we do have tools that can help.

Profile International's "Workforce Analysis Profile" measures employees' engagement levels and their total workplace experiences. It also indicates job satisfaction and the work environment of staff members within an organization giving leaders:

1) A vital perspective on the current reality in their organization's workplace, and

2) Areas of concern affecting the total workplace experience.

The "Workforce Analysis Profile" provides insight into your employees' opinions about human resource issues, the role work plays in their lives, what their needs and preferences are on the job, and what motivates them at work. It's an excellent first step toward building a satisfied and productive workforce.

Send me an e-mail or give me a call if you are interested in building a satisfied and productive workforce... or if you have questions about this new tool.

Sales Tip Of The Month:

How to reduce workplace stress

According to Princeton Survey Research Associates, 75 percent of employees today believe they have more on-the-job stress than workers a generation ago.

It's no surprise, then, that stress management programs at work have become popular with employers.

To make their programs more effective, employers often couple them with organizational change. But there's more an employer can do to reduce stress in their workplaces.

For the most part, stress at work is caused by duties that go beyond a worker's capabilities or resources. Thus making sure an employee's workload is in line with what he or she is able to do is a good first step at reducing stress. Other ideas suggested by American Psychologist include:

MGA can help put people in jobs where the demands match their abilities, the stimulation matches their interest, and they have the greatest opportunity to succeed.

Never forget, you already have a significant investment in your people through salary, benefits, recruitment and training. This investment can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, per person. With MGA you can maximize that investment.

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