Five key New Year’s resolutions

by 20 Dec 2011

It has been a turbulent, and in some ways unpredictable year for business – national and international economic conditions have weighed heavily on decisions throughout 2011, but as the year draws to close, reflecting on accomplishments and defeats can drive future success.

Key issues which have been in the front row throughout the year have included the skills shortage, disengagement and navigating the economic turbulence.

According to the 2011 L.E.A.D. Survey of the leadership management landscape, there are five key issues which need to be effectively addressed in the New Year, namely:

  1. Job satisfaction

In 2011, almost 60% of the workforce was disengaged from their employment, and just one third of employees and middle managers/supervisors (37%) felt positive about their job satisfaction.

HR resolution: Leaders and managers need to ask themselves a tough question – “Am I providing the work environment that my people want to be part of?” The opportunity exists to create a more satisfying experience in the workplace – an opportunity that leaders and senior managers must work to maximise.

  1. Staff turnover

A lack of job satisfaction contributes directly and substantially to staff turnover. According to the latest data, half the workforce has considered looking a job elsewhere in the last six months and one in eight have actually sought new employment.

Better salary/pay, better opportunities for career development/growth and a more interesting/ challenging position/role/work were the key reasons for considering working elsewhere.

HR resolution: Take the time to get to know and understand the motivations of your team – what makes them tick, what influences their performance, what makes them want to stay and develop with the organisation rather than move. Identify what changes are needed to attract and retain your most important asset – your people.

  1. Skills shortage

The reality of skill shortages came to the fore in 2011, and two-thirds of leaders (57%), managers (70%) and non-managerial employees (66%) in Australasian organisations currently recognise skills shortages in their organisations. Beyond technical skill gaps and shortages (which are largely industry-specific and therefore require specific industry-based training), two of the top six are the areas of leadership and management.

HR resolution: Leaders and managers must look closely at their own skill base and ensure their skills are up to scratch. Further, potential future leadership and management successors in organisations need to be identified and developed for talent for succession and future growth.

  1. Generational disharmony

Generational relationships have been discussed in detail throughout the year, and a lot of discussion have been focused on the new trends brought by Gen Y. The relationships between and with Baby Boomers were shown to be far more fractious than those with and between Gen-Y, the traditional ‘problem children’ in the workplace.

Baby Boomers continue to fill the majority of leadership and senior management positions in organisations and will do for at least the next decade, but the implications of a workforce unwilling and uninterested in working with and being managed by Baby Boomers are profound.

HR resolution: Understanding the needs, expectations and motivations of a given generation could be the difference between keeping and losing some of your best people in the long run, Grant Sexton, executive chairman of LMA said.

Managing the managers: HR

2011 has witnessed the continued rise and prominence of HR management. An impressive 93% of leaders and senior managers now regard HR departments/professionals seriously and support the role (an increase from 80% five years ago).

HR resolution: Many leaders and managers have only recently discovered that HR professionals can assist them to deal more effectively with all aspects of the management of their people. Yet there is still greater potential for HR to play a key role in collaboration with leaders and managers in critical areas including:

  • Gathering input and feedback about employee needs and issues
  • Recognising and rewarding employee performance and productivity
  • Following-up and implementing initiatives to drive engagement


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