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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 - Modern Staffing Challenges

Second in a series on Team Building.

Modern staffing challenges cross industries and international borders. More than 34 percent of nearly 40,000 companies in a 39 nation survey of hiring practices reported being unable to fill positions due to a lack of quality talent, according to ManpowerGroup International's 2011 Talent Shortage Survey. The reasons given for the talent gap included a lack of hard or technical knowledge, a lack of experience, and a lack of proper qualification or certification to do the desired work.[1] Instead of tangible goods, many firms are now in the business of intelligence and services. What drives the bottom line is no longer manual labor – it's mental power that is the engine of growth. Firms depend on analysis, innovation, and creativity to move the bar, and this requires a dramatically different talent force than what was required in previous generations.[2] Pure genius, however, is not necessarily the answer. Firms have to hire intelligent, adaptable workers who can not only keep current with a changing economic climate but also work well with each other in the realities of the present. Soft skills such as communication and sales are in high demand, as are advanced technical competencies and analytical abilities. Without sufficiently adept workers to fill these gaps, businesses struggle to thrive and expand in the knowledge economy. 

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] 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

Team Building - Performing effective onboarding

Once promising new hires have been selected, the next step for organizations is to complete effective on-boarding of their new hires. The on-boarding process introduces new hires to the organization as functional workers and links them to the knowledge that they need to be strong performers right from the start. The on-boarding period has been called one of the most critical times for businesses and new hires. This brief period, often no more than 90 days, is a make-or-break moment for both sides. Workers have to show their knowledge and ability to perform in role, but companies also need to ensure workers are mapped to the appropriate resources and contacts within the organization to successfully execute their assignments, notes leadership transition expert Michael D. Watkins. His groundbreaking book, The First 90 Days, points out that nearly a quarter of all workers enter new roles each year, and bringing these workers smoothly into their new roles gives organizations significant competitive advantages.[1] Workers who were hired with clear metric to support their acquisition by the organization know what is expected from them, easing the on-boarding process. Companies then simply have to ensure that the most effective training is given near the start of the work contract to bring potential top talents up to speed quickly and ready to execute on behalf of the firm.

Stephen Wise

http://www.IntegrationProfessionals.com


[1]  Watkins, Michael.  The First 90 Days:  Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels.  Harvard Business Press, 2003.

Team Building - Power of Standards

Addressing the modern staffing challenges and business environment challenges to hiring and developing quality team members begins by identifying the true needs of the organization. In this way, the power of standards and competency development tools can be harnessed on behalf of the organization.

Standards and competency development tools help organizations navigate the challenges of modern staffing with clear goals. They have a clear picture of the elements that most influence talent performance at their organization, and a solid program for developing the talent that exists within their corporation. With standardized metrics for evaluating potential and incoming hires, effective on-boarding practices, and ongoing competency development program, firms can discover and develop performers that have the potential to be top performers. 

ESTABLISHING CLEAR HIRING METRICS 

Clear hiring metrics begin long before the talent search with the establishment of competency models for all key roles. These models should be developed as a joint initiative between line staff and recruitment teams so that they accurately reflect the current expectations for each role. Once defined, these competency models offer a number of benefits to the organization when approaching staffing challenges. Competency models for each role to be filled establish clear hiring metrics and remove gray space from candidate evaluation, benefiting the organization both in the present and in the future.  Competency models:

  1. Ensure a match between the current workforce needs and available talent pools
  2. Guide recruiters toward the skills and proficiencies needed for current talent gaps and anticipated talent needs
  3. Save firms money by helping to avoid hires that are a poor fit for the organization's needs[1]

By removing the mystery and hire costs from the talent selection process, firms will be able to pull better-quality candidates from their available talent pools. No longer chasing talent which will not ultimately meet their needs, firms can focus on the right candidates to secure more critical team members for open positions.

Stephen Wise

www.IntegrationProfessionals.com


[1]  Federal Acquisition Institute.  “FAC-P/PM Competency Model”.  Retrieved August 5th, 2011 from:  http://www.fai.gov/pdfs/FAC-PPM%20Competency%20Model.pdf

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