Few companies have taken notice of what’s happening today in their workforce. According to the Department of Labor, one Baby Boomer retires every eight seconds. That means that during one thirty-second Super Bowl commercial three senior sales people have left a company, or three CEOs have moved on, or three icons of corporate knowledge have moved to Florida, or three … well you get the picture. Never before has so much talent exited the workforce at such a rapid pace. The Department of Labor also predicts this will accelerate over the next ten to fifteen years. This depletion of talent, however, is not the biggest problem companies’ face. There is a much bigger challenge ahead and very, very few have any attack strategy.
Does your company understand there are 15% few workers in the generation behind the Boomers – Generation X? There will be fewer people to fill the Boomer’s shoes. This creates two levels of challenges for organizations; 1) Attracting the right people, and 2) sustaining high, cost effective productivity with fewer workers. While technology, efficiency, and process changes will help, quality and job “fitness” of the right people will have the most impact on profits and competitive edge. The need to do more with less simply becomes an overriding business priority.
Doing more with less starts to happen when company leaders understand which jobs drive profitability and competitiveness. It is impossible to create an effective strategy unless companies know who is going to implement the strategy. They should start by profiling the key positions. Scrap the old job descriptions. They don’t describe the position’s success metrics. When there are fewer people companies have to know who they are hiring before they hire. Companies need to know their real needs. It is too expensive to hire a person you know nothing about for a job you don’t really understand. Nail it down today.
Winston Churchill said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” Although very inspirational, few leaders today believe that is all it will take to maintain profitability and competitive edge. Start by understanding who the company really needs and what the person needs to do to be successful. This is how companies get the right person in the right job at the right time. This is how they can do more, a lot more, with less.