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Managing talent in a growing economy

The economy is starting to pick up and the race for talent has begun. What will be the key strategies and activities HR teams need to think about as we move out of recession into growth?

  1. Don’t cut back on employees. The temptation during periods of poor economy is to cut back on employees. Organisations who have been inflexible and treated their colleagues poorly during the recession will suffer most as external opportunities open up.
  2. We now have multi-generational workplaces so you need to be aware of the composition of your organisation and the nuances of the different generations. A recent article in Forbes Magazine gives readers some of the different generations viewpoints; it also poses some interesting thoughts on how to maximise employee engagement.
  3. Technology is increasing in the workplace with mobile and HR gamification getting more popular. As the use of smart phones increase and improve our daily lives, employees are looking to do more work activity on their phones.
  4. The use of social media in the workplace is rising – brave organisations are opening up social internally. But let’s be clear, your customers, suppliers and colleagues are talking about your company in social today anyway, whether good or bad. Your employees can help to raise the awareness and reputation of your business especially on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  5. Websites like Glassdoor will gain ground (a “Trip Advisor” rating websites for employees to comment freely on employers). Where employee surveys give insight into your business, contributors to Glassdoor can be brutally honest, for good or bad!
  6. Portfolio careers will rise. Workers are looking for more flexibility than ever before. Only recently, the use of zero hour contracts got bad press. As more research has been done, it has become apparent that some (particularly younger) workers strongly prefer the flexibility. Some of the younger generations are less loyal to single companies.
  7. Your business objectives should come first and your talent strategy needs to underpin it – you need to ask yourself what you are here for. You then should use both qualitative and quantitative data to help you unlock intelligence of how to use your people better.
  8. Managers are key! You need to train your managers extensively – when interviewed, more people leave a job because of their managers than for any other reason. Manager training and support has been one casualty in many companies during poor economic conditions, but this needs to be restarted quickly.
  9. Most people want to make a difference – when asked openly, only very few people are really disengaged from what’s happening around them. We all want people who enjoy their job, so the effort we take to find out how engaged they are, and to then do something about it, is critical.
  10. Find an individual’s passion, and ignite it. Too often we rush by in the hectic pace of the workplace, and never really find out what an individual can really contribute, if only asked, or allowed the space to do so.

So how do you show your employees that you appreciate their efforts? We’d love to hear from you!

*the above article first appeared in Ceridian following a recent speech by CEO, Angela O'Connor


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