Here is an article written by Nisa Chitakasem for Talent Management magazine. To check out all the resources and sign up for a free subscription to the TM and/or Chief Learning Officer magazines published by MedfiaTec, please click here.
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The skills gap is getting wider, shedding light on the importance of retaining workers. Communication and direction can help employers hold on to their workforce.
In a work environment where the war for talent is making it tough to find qualified workers, and key skills are estimated to become even more scarce, the need to retain the most talented individuals by treating people well increases every day.
It is shrewder and more economical to work at keeping top employees than to let them go and spend money on recruiting and training new people who may take time to get up to speed. Losing esteemed colleagues can also have an impact on the rest of the team, department and business. Other workers may feel demoralized if they see the best talent being let go too easily.
Looking at the wider demographic picture brings up another reason to hold on to the best. With baby boomers nearing the end of their careers, a big skills gap is being created that’ll be hard to fill. Skills such as science, mathematics and engineering are predicted to be particularly sparse in the coming years. Managers shouldn’t underestimate how important it is to retain individuals who possess these skills and are in the prime of their working lives.
Retention of crucial talent is so key to businesses’ continued growth and success that it is worth investing the time and effort to ensure these individuals are happy to stay put and develop within the company instead of looking elsewhere for professional opportunities. Top employees enhance companies in several ways: by ensuring customer satisfaction, maintaining balance and productivity within the workplace, and driving product development and innovation onwards and upwards. Retaining employees — even ones who seem engaged and dedicated to the organization — requires a sensible and sensitive approach to the way people work.
[Here are the first two of eight practical recommendations.]
Give colleagues a sense of direction. Providing a sense of direction for them and the team overall, plus consistent and regular communication about what needs to be done as well as how they are doing in terms of their feedback, are fundamental to keeping the best and most involved workers. A lack of feedback, in particular, can lead to an employee feeling lost and directionless. It’s vital that workers be given an idea of what they’re doing right and wrong, so they can feel in control of their own improvement, development and destiny.
Tune in to every individual on a regular basis. This does not have to be formalized and structured as part of the standard appraisal process. This is much more about day-to-day management and supervision. People leave supervisors and managers rather than leaving organizations. The management and supervision of top achievers must be as high quality as the achievers themselves. Managers should not underestimate their role in holding onto their best workers. Avoid over-measuring: While it is important to measure outputs and performance, over-measurement can be a real irritant to high-performing individuals and may reduce their desire to keep doing what they do.
It is far better to have regular input sessions on being clear about the future and the team’s performance, followed by frequent, shorter feedback conversations both one-on-one and in small groups to check that the individual and the team are headed in the right direction. It sounds simple because it is. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to lose valuable people by overcomplicating what is really a simple humanistic process based on personal relationships.
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To read the complete article, please click here.
Nisa Chitakasem is the founder of Position Ignition, a talent retention, risk management and senior talent management consulting company, and an online careers expert and start-up business specialist. She is one of leading voices in the online space for careers, workplace issues and business development. Her focus and energy is on creating new businesses and in finding new ways to take great products and services to market. She also believes that everyone deserves to find a fulflling and rewarding career in their own unique way. She can be reached at her firm.
I am among those who have a keen interest in the Age of Enlightenment and especially in philosophers such as Edmund Burke whose thoughts about democratic cultures and human rights had such a profound impact on the leaders of revolutions in England and France as well as in thirteen colonies in the New World. You can thus appreciate my excitement when learning about an article in the current Issue of The American Scholar, “The Right Honourable Mr. Burke,” written by Brian Doyle.
Here is an excerpt from it, featured online by the website of The American Scholar, the venerable but lively quarterly magazine of public affairs, literature, science, history, and culture published by the Phi Beta Kappa Society since 1932. In recent years the magazine has won four National Magazine Awards, the industry’s highest honor, and many of its essays and articles have been selected for the yearly Best American anthologies. In 2006, The American Scholar began to publish fiction by such writers as Alice Munro, Ann Beattie, Steven Millhauser, Dennis McFarland, Louis Begley, and David Leavitt. Essays, articles, criticism, and poetry have been mainstays of the magazine for 75 years.
Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous speech, “The American Scholar,” delivered to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard College in 1837, the magazine aspires to Emerson’s ideals of independent thinking, self-knowledge, and a commitment to the affairs of the world as well as to books, history, and science. To read the complete article, check out other resources, and obtain subscription information, please click here.
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Impassioned orator, eloquent statesman, esteemed writer—but who was Edmund Burke the man?
Everyone claims Edmund Burke as his patron saint, political forefather, lodestar and compass point, ancestral bulwark against the tide of whatever seething modern ill he despises. The right wing trumpets Burke, who excoriated the murderous rebellion in France; the left wing salutes Burke, who excoriated his imperial colleagues for their overweening and rapacious greed in India and America; Christians celebrate Burke, who considered religion a crucial and indispensable pillar of civic life; the Irish savor a native son who became, as Hazlitt noted, “the chief boast and ornament of the English House of Commons”; the English honor the writer and orator of “transcendant greatness,” as Coleridge wrote, with his usual casual attention to spelling.
But Edmund Burke the actual man is faded away—the man his wife called Ned, fond of vulgar puns and lewd jokes, an ample man, thin as a lad and then never again; the chatterbox “never unwilling to begin to talk, nor in haste to leave off,” as Samuel Johnson said (probably with a tinge of self-recognition); the man whose first schooling was in a ruined castle in rural Cork, because Catholics were forbidden education under imperial law; the man who lost one son early and the other too soon; the man who would launch into such furious and vituperative speech in Parliament that his friends would have to haul him down into his seat by his coattails; the man “quick to offend [but] ready to atone,” in his own words; the man whose one refuge from politics and creditors, friends and enemies, passions and plots, was a tiny “root-house,” as he called it, a mile from his heavily mortgaged estate house through the Buckinghamshire woods—a “tea-house,” as a young friend described the place, set amid “roots of trees, moss, and so forth, with a … little kitchen behind and an ice-house under it.”
Let us visit him there, late on a summer afternoon, the burble of hawfinch and warbler in the close walls of the woods, the keening of kite and hobby overhead. The tea is ready; he leans back in his battered chair, a gift from one of the men who work his farm; he runs a hand through his hair, bright red until the end of his days; he adjusts the spectacles he has worn since he was young; he says with a smile that at dusk he is due at the big house for dinner with his beloved Jane and their boy Richard and two or three esteemed guests from London; but for an hour shall we converse, shall we talk, shall we let loose our minds to ramble free, and ride ideas where they take us? “The roving flight of genius,” Hazlitt called Burke’s speech, “never [more] himself … but when … forgetful of the idle clamours of party, and of the little views of little men.”
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To read the complete article, please click here.
Whatever else we need, we need this: “the fullest development of the mental resources and technical skills of young men and women”
I don’t know what will solve our problems — and they are quite daunting problems.
But every expert seems to imply that education is a major piece of any solution. And yet, we seem to be floundering in that department.
I was reading this article this morning in Slate, Can America Ever Have Another “Sputnik Moment”? Our amazing response to Sputnik made America richer and stronger. But here’s why it would be almost impossible to duplicate that today by Fred Kaplan, and read this paragraph:
Not quite one year later (after Sputnik), on Sept. 2, 1958, Congress passed the National Defense Education Act, the first lines of which read:
The Congress hereby finds and declares that the security of the Nation requires the fullest development of the mental resources and technical skills of its young men and women. The present emergency demands that additional and more adequate educational opportunities be made available. The defense of this Nation depends upon the mastery of modern techniques developed from complex scientific principles. It depends as well upon the discovery and development of new principles, new techniques, and new knowledge.
Look again at this line:
The Congress hereby finds and declares that the security of the Nation requires the fullest development of the mental resources and technical skills of its young men and women.
And later in the article, “there was a consensus—a politically accepted consensus—on the problem and the remedy.”
And with that, we did discover and develop new principles, new techniques, new knowledge. And then, we went to the moon.
Clarity in diagnosis, resolve, and then targeted resources, create results. Are we lacking in all three today?
The article has more, like:
So what lessons does the original “Sputnik Moment” hold for the prospect of improving science education today?
First, there has to be a threat that animates the American people. It can be just a perceived threat, but the perception has to be based on something tangible. Second, there should be consensus about how to deal with the threat. Third, this solution should be linked to proposals favored by those who might not be so keen if the solution were offered on its own.
Obama was right that we need a “Sputnik Moment.” But, like the original, it will require a change in thinking, an expansion in the permissible boundaries of what government can legitimately do. Also like the original, it may take a catastrophe—or the widespread perception of a catastrophe—to galvanize the change.
Read the article!