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The good and the bad news for Connecticut business


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The good news for Connecticut businesses is, the recession is easing.  The bad news is, people who have stayed in their jobs throughout the bad economy due to economic fears of losing their incomes and not being able to support their families, and those that felt they were maltreated during the recession, are polishing up their resumes.  Some experts believe that up to 80% of American workers are thinking about or are actually seeking new jobs.  The negative impact to many companies may be considerable.  From what we have seen in the past six months, employers have begun to implement programs to retain some of their most talented and key employees, including executives, managers, future leader and those who work on the front lines.

As turnover is rapidly increasing, many employers are preparing for additional employee turnover in the coming year.  Once employers recognize that if key employee retention is a problem, even with an unemployment rate still hovering at 8%, the situation will intensify when more jobs become available in the marketplace as the economy continues to improve.  Astute employers will implement those actions necessary to retain their key talent.

According to a survey completed OI Partners in Hartford:

  • 90% of employers are concerned about turnover of high-potential employees
  • 72% are concerned about losing sales and service employees
  • 60% worry about middle-management turnover
  • 45% are concerned about losing their senior level executives

Workers with the highest rates of turnover include operations and production workers, sales and marketing personnel, accounting and finance staff and information services.

Companies need to implement training programs, business coaching, enhanced benefits, financial incentives and well thought out succession plans, sooner rather than later to retain their top talent.

For those companies that will be filling vacated positions, it will be even more imperative that they hire “the right people for the right jobs” so that new employees’ cultural fit and learning curves will be greatly enhanced.

Don't let your organization's workforce become your competitors' "catch of the day."  Be prepared, don’t let this inevitable scenario erode your bottom line.




The Cost of Employee Disengagement


Are your key employees fully engaged? 

If your answer is no or you are unsure, consider the cost of disengagement to your organization, and to your bottom line.  Per a recent study by Gallup International:

  • In 2008, the typical employee was disengaged from their work approximately two hours per day

  • By 2011, the typical employee was disengaged approximately four hours per day

  • One disengaged employee can bring down the entire team's productivity by 30%Coach John Birch, CEOand Founder

These are frightening statistics in the global economy where our client's expectations require that "we need to get extraordinary results from ordinary people."   There are many reasons for the spiraling levels of disengagement amongst the workforce, including fear over the current economic environment, too much time spent on the social media, mismanagement, and a lack of feeling appreciated.  Another recent study indicated that because of the economy, many people that are unsatisfied in their current positions have stayed in their jobs even though they are no longer satisfied there.  Actually, four out of five employees are either actively seeking new jobs or are thinking about leaving when the economy picks up. Either scenario is ripe for stress related issues, further disengagement and cost. 

Again, can you afford to let this issue affect you, your employees and the direct cost to your bottom line?  If not you may have to take action.  There are several ways to correct disengagement.  The first is to improve employees' motivation.  This can only be accomplished by thoroughly identifying the underlying issues that are affecting your disengaged employees, a difficult process as you have to look at your organization from the outside looking in.  You may find that either you or your management team is creating a less than satisfactory work environment for your employees to grow, or your organizational culture may be stifling creativity.   If either of these situations is present, you may need either coaching or formal training. 

What we often find is that an organization's hiring practices are outdated and that the "wrong people are hired for the wrong jobs."  The fall-out from these practices result in high turnover, lower engagement, less than satisfactory productivity, poor customer service and overall organizational malaise, especially if your disengaged employees have key positions.  If you find yourself struggling with these issues, you may need to take steps to enhance your job matching process in order to replace those disengaged employees with the "right people in the right jobs."

The keys to effective Job Matching are:

  • Understanding the Key Accountabilities of the Job
  • Letting the Job Talk
  • Eliminating Bias from the Hiring Process
  • Creating the Ideal Candidate Form

Previously, the hiring process mainly consisted of collecting resumes, interviewing, and background checks.  Often, people were hired primarily for their technical skills, allowing bias to creep into the interview and hiring process.  Today, companies need people who not are proficient technically, but also fit into the organization's culture.  Effective Job Matching should be based on a candidate's education, certification, salary expectations, behaviors, motivators, professional skills, acumen and experience.

When hiring, keep in mind that your candidates are three dimensional, and that the hiring manager should examine all sides of the candidate to ensure a good fit for the specific job.

MOTIVATORS “Lack of advancement negates professional development”-NOW I HAVE HEARD EVERYTHING



University of Iowa study finds employee training might actually increase turnover-

--“Lack of advancement opportunities negates benefits of professional development programs.”

Please follow the hyperlink to an article referring to a study from June 2011 at the University of Iowa.  Just when you thought you heard everything…  Although it is true that if an employee does not see any career advancement opportunities in the organization, and the market place for new employees changes dramatically from the buyer’s market it is today, then employees will start picking their heads up and testing the marketplace.  However in this marketplace, not many are looking to be the new person on the bottom rung in an organization. 

When the economy shifts, any training, development and learning that employees received will be remembered and appreciated and should create new opportunities in the existing organization which ideally lines up with the newly acquired skills and better developed employees.  

First of all, let us not forget that it was not employees who started the unbelievable lack of loyalty to their employers, it was the other was around.  Call it right sizing, off-shoring, outsourcing, laying off…whatever you want.  To me it is a lack of company loyalty and employees paying for bad business decisions made by employers.  One of the fantastic changes that is coming out of this development, the genx ers and a lousy economy is that diversity, learning and development are really becoming important components of our compensations plans.  This is fantastic. 

To say that people would leave because they have no career opportunities is not a stretch at all, as a matter of fact, it is so obvious I am not sure why we call it a “finding in a study”.  Aren’t the professional development programs designed to, among other things, provide new opportunities for growth within companies and organizations.

Furthermore, please let’s not forget that I can find studies that I would actually call “studies” that prove GenY ers are more motivated by learning and professional development that from Salary.  They still will need opportunity for growth of course.  That takes care of itself.  The motivated GenX ers, while they are seeking work and life balance, will develop and market their growing value propositions to the existing companies.  Employees who did not grow and develop and take advantage of company offerings will lose opportunity and attrition out.  Wallah-growth opportunities for fully developed genx ers who are familiar with and comfortable with their changing and growing value proposition.  Who benefits?  The company, the employees, the customers, the vendors and the shareholders.  Who loses? The companies that do not pay for learning and development and the employees too lazy to take advantage of these offerings.

It has been proven that professional development costs usually return something like 500% ROI.  I guess that is only if you do NOT work at University of Iowa.

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