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What’s Next for Employers?

Bruce Springsteen once said, “When it comes to luck, you make your own.” Don’t wait for things to happen.  Evaluate your organization’s culture, leaders, policies, and practices with a critical eye and take action.

  1. Recognize it will be a candidate market for our foreseeable future.  The United States has more jobs than available workforce for a variety of reasons, including the retirement of baby boomers, more entrepreneurs and gig workers, and the lowest population growth in our history. Pivot your approach to a more applicant and employee-friendly experience.
  1. Stop employing bad leaders and jerks. There are probably five people in the world that are entirely irreplaceable. It’s not likely you employ one of those five people. One bad leader or one jerk employee will sap the energy and resolve of everyone else, and you will lose good people. You might also face legal liability. No one person is worth it.  If the bad actor cannot change, they need to go. 
  1. Don’t require unnecessary education. According to data from the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau, only 36% of Americans ages 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Yet, many job listings require college degrees, though education is not a critical requirement for most professions.  Rethink what is required and focus on intangibles like adaptability, a growth mindset, and a solution-focused approach.
  1. Know that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is not a passing phase. It’s also not something you just add to your website. There is irrefutable proof that a diverse workforce makes a more vital organization. Understand what diversity means, learn why creating equity is essential, and educate yourself on becoming an inclusive employer. Start with small changes and a different perspective. 
  1. Recognize that family commitments and physical and mental health challenges are part of life.   A weak point for New Hampshire is the lack of both paid and unpaid leave laws. I understand the arguments, but it doesn’t change the fact it harms our workforce and makes our state less competitive. Fill the void with flexible options, paid time off, parental options, wellness programs, and disability benefits.
  1. Providing personal growth opportunities helps your organization.  Many people want to learn, take on challenges, and grow their income throughout their careers. By providing these opportunities internally, you’ll meet employees’ needs by providing a career path while retaining institutional knowledge. Offer more mentorship programs and promotional opportunities. Invest in your people. 

There is no magic strategy especially given the differences in organizational structure, size, resources, and industry limitations. But the goal is to work hard to create a welcoming, empathic, respectful culture and prioritize people.

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