NCET explores business and technology
By Melissa Marsh
We are headed into a time in Northern Nevada where workforce readiness is a real concern. Without proper preparation, it will become a crisis for some—especially small businesses.
First, let’s examine workforce readiness and how it is attained.
According to the Nevada State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), workforce readiness is “preparing new and returning workplace entrants for the workforce and ensuring that workplaces connect with and welcome new workforce members.” 1
Northern Nevada community leaders are paying attention to the need to ready our workforce for current and projected growth. Keep in mind that EDAWN is predicting 50,000 new jobs by 2020 through its efforts to economically develop our region.
Workforce Readiness Resources
EDAWN, the Chamber of Commerce, NCET, Nevada State SHRM Council and others are developing support solutions to these challenges. As the economy improves, the need for workers―especially with specific, learned skills―will continue to rise. Working to find those candidates can be devastating to small business.
There are many service providers in our community that are preparing for, inquiring about, and responding to employer needs by offering training and services. Employers can review a list of workforce readiness resources from the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association.
Welcoming New Employees
Workforce readiness involves welcoming new employees. First and foremost, make the onboarding process smooth and welcoming. Next, it is imperative to be prepared to determine and act on what employees want in order for them to stay with the company—or plan for employees to leave their jobs every two to three years.
Handling new hires, training, and other turnover costs can be challenging but are necessary to survive our impending growth.
Prepare for Employee Turnover
During these times, employees will leave for as little as a dollar more per hour. Create plans now to deal with increased turnover, turnover costs and difficulty finding skilled workers. Determine your budget and financial resources for double or triple your current turnover rate. The cost can be up to $50,000 per turn, when you consider the costs of recruiting, hiring and training a replacement employee.
Prevent Employee Turnover
Some turnover can be avoided by giving employees more reasons to stay. Consider asking employees to review and rate a list of benefits to help determine new offerings. Asking, then implementing the most valued benefits, can be a key tool for keeping employees happy and preventing their departures.
You must be prepared to implement one or more of the benefits or you will send the message that the organization asks employees for feedback but does nothing with it. Studies show that employees leave when they feel the organization doesn’t care.
Studies also show that employees tend to leave managers, not their jobs. Ensure your middle managers are trained, treat employees well, and have resources to do their jobs.
Melissa Marsh, MA, SPHT, SHRM-SCP, is an HR Consultant and Owner of HRinDemand, Chair of Workforce Readiness for Nevada State Council of SHRM, and NCET’s VP of Tech Bite. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.