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Stephen Wise Blog

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Team Building - Plea of the Project Manager

The top global business challenge is hiring and developing the right team members to continue positive business growth, according to the 2011 edition of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Private Business Barometer.[1] This report marked the second year that staffing dominated the barometer of business challenges, but it is merely the ongoing documentation of a problem businesses of all sizes face in the present talent market environment. Despite historically elevated global unemployment levels, businesses worldwide face a significant shortage of competent staff members. Firms that are unable to find the talent they need go to the market at a disadvantage. Firms with the right talent can secure additional market share, meet customer needs, and innovate for the future. How then can firms ensure that they are not left behind in the global talent race? It is not hopeless. There are a number of specific solutions employers can pursue to make themselves hiring leaders in their target talent markets. These solutions are not merely to throw money and perks at the problem. Instead, through the strategic implementation of hiring and competency development standards, organizations can set themselves apart as the discoverers and creators of an elite pool of loyal talent. This post is first in a series on Team Building for the enterprise.

Stephen Wise

www.IntegrationProfessionals.com


[1] The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Private Business Barometer. Human Capital Magazine, May 5th, 2011. Retrieved August 1st, 2011 from: www.hrleader.net.au/articles/B5/0C0705B5.asp

Team Building - Demographic Shifts

Germany is the epitome of a first-world, highly industrialized nation. Its working age population is declining and the fertility rate is below replacement level. Talent shortages, particularly for highly skilled, well-trained workers, are a persistent complaint due to high levels of competition for the limited pool of available workers. Germany's case is continued in other developed nations. The most extreme case is in Japan, where 90 percent of hiring managers reported difficulty finding qualified talent for open positions. With more and more skilled workers aging out of the workforce, finding replacements is a palpable challenge. Ethiopia, on the other hand, is a nation routinely held up as a volatile and developing country. It has an extreme youth bubble typical of African nations, with a major portion of its total population not yet in the workforce and a high national fertility rate. Talent shortages are present now due to the unavailability of a deep pool of well-qualified workers, and the education-business disconnect is likely to hit the millions who are coming from under the youth bubble into the workforce.

Stephen Wise

www.IntegrationProfessionals.com

Team Building - Environmental Factors

Fourth in a series on Team Building.

Along with personnel factors, there are also a number of business environment factors affecting firms' ability to hire and develop quality team members. Just as the world population is evolving, so too is the world work environment, and the speed of change is leaving many firms breathless.

Businesses must increasingly compete on a global scale and deal with staff just as mobile as their corporate leaders. Virtual teams are rising, freeing workers from the confines of the office, which in turn makes it more difficult to control and train talent pools. With lower loyalty levels to organizational leaders, the global, mobile, and virtual workplace can mean a staff free-for-all when competing for talent.

GLOBALIZATION 

The blending of talent pools from around the world brings diversity of ideas, cultures, and practices to the business environment. For some firms, this is a wholly positive experience. For other firms, this is disruptive and difficult to adapt to in daily practice. Yet the shifting demographics of the world mean that globalization forces are more likely to increase than decrease, requiring staffing managers and business planners to adapt or lose at the global talent game. 

RISE OF THE VIRTUAL WORKPLACE 

In the United States, 58 percent of companies consider themselves to be virtual workspaces, according to the Insight Research Corporation.[1] This rise of virtual work and virtual office environments presents a challenge to hiring and developing quality team members. Culture and fit to culture is a prime driver of employee success, but how can this be assessed if the employee will never spend time in the office? What is the role of workplace learning culture over Twitter or via Skype conferencing? How can team member development be instigated and monitored remotely to ensure training and development investments are paying off? These questions and many more are becoming larger and larger issues for recruiters and managers worldwide.

DECREASED LOYALTY/INCREASED MOBILITY 

Adding to the challenge of managing virtual work teams is the challenge of managing less loyal and more mobile workforces. While previous generations of workers were bound to one company for the effective duration of their careers, some 80 percent of modern workers are ready to go work for another firm if it appears more attractive according to research firm Right Management.[2] Over the course of their working lives, the average American worker will have 8 – 11 jobs, and up to five different careers. While this represents greater mobility than other parts of the world, it is not unusual for top talent in developing nations to switch jobs annually in pursuit of pay increases or promotions. Brazil, facing a 7.5 percent annual growth rate, can't keep up talent wise, while India and China face broad-based skill shortages as workers routinely jump ship to pick up the double-digit wage increases that are expected even in a down market.[3] Firms can no longer expect that workers will stay with them throughout their working life. On one hand, this makes organizations reluctant to invest in talent that may head for the door at the first opportunity. Yet on the other hand, firms who can grow talent become less dependent on individual workers and better able to pass knowledge between team members to reduce the impact of a highly mobile workforce.

Adapting rather than complaining about the turnover rates is going to provide smart firms with real talent advantages.

Stephen Wise

www.IntegrationProfessionals.com


[1]  Insight Research Corporation.  “The Mobile Workforce and Enterprise Applications 2007-2012.”  Retrieved August 5th, 2011 from:  http://www.insight-corp.com/reports/mwf.asp
[2]  Harnish, Tom.  “Be Flexible To Modern Staffing Challenges.”  Open Forum March 25th, 2011.  Retrieved August 4th, 2011 from:  http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/be-flexible-to-modern-staffing-challenges-1
[3]  Kazmin, Amy, Robinson, Gwen, and Weitzman, Hal.  “Talent Shortage Adds To Growth Strains.”  Financial Times, published May 19th, 2011.  Retrieved August 4th, 2011 from:  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5d288c4-816a-11e0-9c83-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1UNIic5IA

Team Building - The Education and Training disconnect

Third in a series on Team Building.

In light of the time spent in educational environments, it is surprising that 73 percent of firms cited a lack of knowledge, skills, and experience as the deciding factor against candidates, according to ManpowerGroup International.[1] While workers are pursuing vast quantities of education, they are not receiving the education they need to be ready for the modern workforce in the eyes of hiring managers. This is clearly a major disconnect between the world's educational systems and its business sectors. The problem is pronounced in highly developed and emerging economies alike,[2] sending millions of fresh graduates unequipped into the markets each year. Many expect that they will receive training on the job, or that their school certificates will be enough to qualify them for well-paid positions.

Stephen Wise

www.IntegrationProfessionals.com


[1] ManpowerGroup International. “2011 Talent Shortage Survey.” Released in May, 2011. Retrieved August 4th, 2011 from: http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/MAN/1349301451x0x469531/7f71c882-c104-449b-9642-af56b66c1e6d/2011_Talent_Shortage_Survey_US.pdf [2] Kazmin, Amy, Robinson, Gwen, and Weitzman, Hal. “Talent Shortage Adds To Growth Strains.” Financial Times, published May 19th, 2011. Retrieved August 4th, 2011 from:http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/5d2888c4-816a-11e0-9c83-00144feabdc0.html#

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