How will your people align, grow, and prosper in 2018?

As 2018 rolls off the starting line, BC’s businesses find themselves operating in an environment of record unemployment and accompanying talent shortages. There are abundant job opportunities and those in career search can set the agenda for where they work, the length of their commute, and the compensation they need. In this context, employers must show renewed vigilance in doing all they can to attract and keep the talent they need to realize their goals for the year.

How then will your people align, grow, and prosper in the months ahead? Here are a few questions your management team should consider as you attempt to address both immediate and long-term talent needs:

How long has it been since you’ve asked your team members how clear they are about what’s expected of them? You may talk to them daily and everyone’s busy, but are they spending their time on the truly important? Are they clear on the vision – where the organization is going? Many are clear on the mission, why they are there, but where the company is going may not be so clear. Are their priorities fully aligned with business goals? Do they know what those are for this year? Further, does everyone on the team understand their measures of success and those of their team members? Synergy is easier to attain when everyone knows the rules of the game. The concept of Align can be a big one, and the more time invested in getting this right, the easier it is for people to deliver the results you need.

One of the biggest reasons people seek out new career opportunities outside their current employer is that they no longer see a future for themselves with the organization. Either resources are too limited to allow them to take on new challenges, or their managers are more concerned with daily tasks than the future of their people. Is it time for a check-in with your key players to find out how much they’re learning from current experience, and how they can continue to stretch themselves? If they aren’t growing their capabilities within the current role, don’t expect them to remain engaged and committed for the long term. There are too many other opportunities beckoning, and sadly, it can be easier to leave for greener pastures than make the case with their current manager to take on new assignments or initiatives that may be new for them or the organization.

The simple rule that getting business right is getting talent right rings especially true when innovation is driving the momentum we see all around us. When people are supported in their creative efforts to advance product development, refine service delivery, and make the most of technology that can drive new levels of efficiency, everyone wins. Ensuring that people have opportunities for sharing what they’re working on, learning from the experience, and benefitting from the input of others will propel a culture of prosperity for all. To match these efforts, your total rewards strategy should reflect the contributions people make. How long has it been since you’ve revisited the ways you incent people to perform at their best? Are your compensation practices in keeping with the market and customized for your business? Your rewards and recognition strategy must hit the mark in a way that allows your business to be talent competitive and able to win at every level.

Your people practices are always a long game but attending to a few key strategies every year will enhance your ability to attract, hire, and keep great people. Now is the time to refocus priorities to meet the challenge of a strong economy and a tight marketplace for talent.