Top Talent to Win


It seems like everyday another news headline highlights a talent shortage or new insights into the 'war for talent'. Certainly there is little CEOs and Executives can do about factors such as changing demographics (accelerated early retirements), the pandemic (shift in how and where work is done), or the rapid growth in some industry sectors (information technology, entrepreneurialism, construction). A recent article by HR Reporter highlighted that "nearly seven in 10 employers globally are struggling to find workers to hire for specific positions, marking a 15-year high".


There has been much hope by employers seeking to fill vacant positions that as the pandemic aid support programs taper off an influx of workers looking to return to the job market would address it, at least to some extent. Clearly this hope is beginning to fade as the AP reports in the United States, "Where are the workers? Cutoff of jobless aid spurs no influx". Similar in Canada, The Globe & Mail recently shared that, "job vacancies increased to more than 700,000 in the second quarter of 2021, up from around 560,000 in the last quarter of 2020".


So what can employers do? Certainly some will simply hang onto hope and wait for the past to return. Certainly not a proactive strategy for success. Experience shows us that agile and growth focused companies and organizations will use this opportunity to reflect on current talent strategies and leverage it to explore changes, ranging from minor people and culture change to larger transformations of people practices. One very public message from today's workplaces is clearly emerging. "Help your employees find purpose—or watch them leave" according to McKinsey & Company, detailing that, "employees expect their jobs to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. Employers need to help meet this need, or be prepared to lose talent to companies that will." Lots of research already supports this very strong connection between high levels of employee engagement and purpose that an organization provides.


We consistently encounter five top challenges when in comes to growth companies through time. Having a tolerance of C and B players instead of focusing on A-players or high-performers can sap valuable time and energy. A-players are the top 10% in value contribution during the year. In the classic, foundational book for Topgrading by Bradford Smart, he notes that, "in typical teams with B's and C's, the As devote a huge amount of time to preventing and fixing problems of the low performers." Another challenge still too common is excessive bureaucratic, and often unnecessary policies or procedures. I learned an early lesson from a colleague who told me that for every new process or procedure I created, I needed to eliminate another one. I am thankful for this sage advice and have never forgotten it. It is long established that if a company hires the right people, builds an effective leadership development program, along with a trusting culture, there is less need for and reliance on rigid and rarely used, large procedures manuals. People over procedures! Slow decision-making and/or lack of empowerment is another top challenge that can surface in many companies trying to be agile in these trying times to scale their growth. How many levels of approvals does your organization have? Any more than three, and you likely have a real problem! What is the average time to get approvals for making a decision in your organization? Don't know. You are not alone.


Time for you and your leadership team to rethink your talent strategy to help guide your organization to improved success? Start by registering for our upcoming Top Talent to Win webinar to learn a simple, yet powerful tool to get you started.


As a Agile Growth Coach & Certified Business Coach, I utilize my professional expertise every day to ensure clients I work with can successfully ask the right questions to find solutions right for their organization. The 7 Attributes of Agile Growth® provides a proven, practicable and profitable path for companies, non-profits, and local governments who want to move beyond their current performance.


Jerome Dickey, MA, ACC, CPHR, Q.Med

Agile Work Solutions

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