Business & Talent. Aligned.

How you manage talent spells the difference between success and failure. To gain a competitive edge, leaders must be prepared to address shifting economic, social and demographic trends that impact workforce performance. Stay informed with research, insights and advice from our leading industry experts. The world of work is changing. Is your company ready?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Navigating Workforce Strategy

Workforce demands and compositions are shifting in response to economic, social and demographic trends. Talent assets need to be managed as aggressively as the fine-tuning applied to other organizational assets. Everything else fails if the right talent isn’t in the right place. This requires an alignment of workforce strategy with business goals.

In the changing world of work, the one constant is the need for an exceptional workforce. The effectiveness of your workforce strategy makes the difference between thriving and diving. Today, talent is the only source of sustainable success and differentiation. Building an exceptional workforce will drive higher levels of performance and positively impact your organization’s ability to deliver on business strategy.

I will be presenting on this topic at the SHRM 2011 Conference and Exposition on June 28 in Las Vegas. Please join me and learn language, a process, business drivers and key metrics to architect an effective workforce strategy is aligned with business objectives.
Architecting a high-performing workforce strategy starts with the foundation of a five step process:

  • Identify current state and future goals;

  • Establish understanding and commitment;

  • Gather the data and assess priorities;

  • Analyze results and conduct gap analysis; and,

  • Action planning and implementation.
Why make the investment? Building an exceptional workforce will drive higher levels of performance and will positively impact your organization’s ability to deliver on its business growth strategy. Investing in this process upfront will iidentify constraints and accelerators to organizational performance – top strengths to leverage and top priorities to fund and why. It will also increase executive alignment across functions and geographies, while also aligning talent initiatives to business goals – whether they are related to globalization, growth, productivity or even the brand.

I hope to see you at SHRM.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Engaging an Aging Workforce

By 2050, the world population will be over nine billion. Despite this growth and the flooded employment market, employers worldwide report difficulty in filling positions. Many are facing an HR paradox: How to find the right people at the right time, with the right skills in the right place, and fill the gap in the midst of plenty?

On a global scale, birth rates are declining and populations are aging. This means that there is a smaller pool of working-age talent from which to draw. The world average life expectancy was around 52.5 years in 1960. But today it is 68.9 years of age –31% higher in just 40 years. The percentage of individuals over age 65 who are in the labor force jumped about 40% from 1998 to 2008 … and this trend is set to continue.

Combined with these demographic challenges is a broader, more strategic challenge of the global talent mismatch. According to Manpower’s Annual Talent Shortage Survey, 34% of employers worldwide experience difficulty filling needed positions. So it’s not just about having the workers available amidst a shrinking pool of talent. It’s also about having the right people with the right skills needed to drive businesses forward.

Experienced workers will make up a larger percentage of the workforce and employers will need to find ways to keep them engaged. They will need to train managers to manage a multigenerational workforce that includes the young and the old. The skills mismatch is set to accelerate, creating an imbalance between supply and demand.

On June 28, I will be presenting on this topic at the SHRM 2011 Annual Conference and Exposition. I hope to see you at SHRM.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Speaking to the Top of the House

The ability to influence an executive audience is an essential requirement for today’s leaders of all levels. Unfortunately, many are unable to effectively influence senior audiences to take action on their ideas. At the SHRM 2011 Conference and Exposition on June 28 in Las Vegas I will be speaking on this topic and I invite you to join me. In this highly-interactive session, you will learn how to:

• Immediately capture and sustain the C-suite’s attention;
• Present yourself credibly, authentically and engagingly;
• Deliver ideas that provide inspiration;
• Develop confidence to excel at results-oriented communications.

Recent research found that high-performing organizations have the head of HR reporting directly to the CEO. Only 67% of low-performing organizations had their reporting lines set up this way. As a result of this infrastructure, the high-performing organizations reported a stronger and more productive connection between business strategies and HR strategies when the head of HR reports directly to the CEO.

CEOs sometimes forget that people are the only real sustainable competitive differentiator. It’s up to HR to ensure the CEO realizes the value of these assets and commits to investing in a talent strategy aligned with business objectives. Lack of a talent strategy is the number-one impediment to executing on business plans. It is HR’s role to step up and convince the C-suite how to do this. Why? Because there are countless examples of how the business strategy falls down and goals are missed if talent is not aligned.

If you are an HR leader and want to earn a seat at the executive table, you must market the HR function so senior management realizes the value-add and the full impact of what you do and how you contribute to the business. You need to understand each C-level executive and relate your function’s activities to his/her strategic imperatives. One of the unique opportunities about being in HR is that your responsibilities infiltrate every aspect of the business. Why? Because it takes talent to get the job done. The collective talent of our workforces is the only sustainable differentiator that will provide competitive advantage over time.

I look forward to seeing you at SHRM.