Hiring and retaining employees was the focus of the Barrie/Midland and Area Consortium Strategic Interest Group sessions for both the Quality & Production group and the Human Resources group.
The challenges of finding skilled labour were discussed and this continues to be an ongoing issue.
Many folks are reaching out to apprenticeship and starting their own in house as well as coordinating with various government programs such as Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs. These steps will bode well for future needs but companies are still struggling to fill immediate need.
One of the elements that is very clear is that some of the millennial folks that are hired approach work/life differently to older folks.
Where this can become an issue for employers is relating to this younger groups needs and wants and figuring out how to best accommodate and entice them to stay.
Issues and challenges discussed included:
- Lack of loyalty for companies – that being said, the approach of using contract positions doesn’t inspire loyalty.
- Getting commitment from probationary employees
- Commitment is reciprocal!
- Recognitions – shared and publicised build commitment and moral
- Succession planning – need to look at how to retain high performing employees by developing their skill sets – not only existing ones but new ones as well
- Development strategies can lead to retention strategies. Development including training and recognition develops commitment.
- Communication is key to developing commitment also – regular all hands and smaller group meetings/round tables where concerns can be raised and addressed, employee commitment surveys, etc.
- The discussions did highlight that not only do younger workers need to adapt to the workforce - companies need to adapt to how to make the influx of younger workers successful and, by extension, make their workforce successful.
- Key to making these transitions (besides an open mind and willingness to change approaches when necessary) are the supervisors to whom the new young workers report. It is imperative that supervisors’ skill sets are well developed on the people management side of the equation (what is important to or most valued by their staff and how to relate to those key concerns) or retention will be an ongoing issue.
As one SIG participant pointed out – people don’t leave the company, they leave their supervisor/manager/boss!