Enough Is Enough
by Peter Block
Tick Tock, Your Life Is Like A
Sorry We're Closed: Diary Of A Shutdown
Watch the Gap
Four out of ten surveyed by Select Appointments North America, Wakefield, Mass., a leading specialty staffing provider, say that the necessary skills to maintain a competitive edge are outpacing the skill sets of their workforce. Additionally, one in four executives feel their staff is not fully trained to meet the demands and expectations that are required of them.
With sales being limited by over 30 percent due to the shortage of skilled workers, "the skills gap is affecting businesses' ability to maximize the tremendous opportunities to be had in this historically strong economy," says Joe Strong, CEO of Select Appointments.
Fasten Your Seatbelts: Bumpy Ride
Nearly 90 percent of the 100 Fortune 500 executives surveyed by Bain & Company, a global strategy consulting firm in Boston, predict an economic slowdown and 50 percent believe that planning for turbulence is a top priority, but less than 15 percent feel fully prepared.
Darrell Rigby, a director at Bain & Company who conducted the survey, says, "With this new economic environment, it's very hard for companies and executives to confidently address today's turbulence with yesterday's textbooks."
According to a survey of CEOs at the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, 60 percent of respondents in rapidly growing technology companies cite finding and retaining talented people as their primary challenge.
Special incentives being offered by employers include unique work environments, continuing education and mentoring programs, onsite meals 24 hours a day and cash bonuses for everything from new employee referrals to exceptional job performance.
Some factors that contribute to low retention in high-tech jobs are the long hours, intense competitive pressures and rare free time.
To balance the pressures between a personal life and increasing intensity of work, employers are helping their employees rest, relax and relieve stress. Some offices are setting up areas with tents, air mattresses, earphones, eye shades and pillows for employees to catch a few winks or rest if they are not feeling well. Other offices are incorporating recess times that include going for walks, volleyball games and similar activities.
According to the Herman Group, strategic business futurists in Greensboro, N.C., benefits of these practices include team-building, stress reduction and improved wellness.