25 Jul BEMA Convention 2022: Workforce
Workforce – Convention 2022
Workforce is a hot topic in every industry, rivaling in importance to the spotlight being placed on supply chain and automation. What are the implications of the current state of the workforce? Who is implementing transformational workplace solutions? How are their teams responding? Bottom line, is it making a difference? On June 24th at BEMA Convention 2022, we heard from the following industry experts that are leading the way in people-focused workforce initiatives.
Christy Pettey, Chief People Officer, Kwik Lok; Trina Bediako, Chief Executive Officer, New Horizon’s; Pamela Clayborne, Employee Engagement Specialist, JLS Automation; Nathan Norris, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Highland Baking; Emily Bowers, Vice President, Education & Operations, BEMA
Fuel vs. Friction
Workforce headwinds are forcing many organizations to re-envision hiring and retention in new ways. Companies can no longer rely on a business-as-usual approach. With a rapidly evolving workforce, it’s important everyone remain on the same page – from the leadership suite to the production floor. Companies that lead with intentionality can better engage for company growth and long-term retention.
- Answer employee questions at Town Halls
- Create a 90-day buddy system
- Implement quarterly and annual check-ins
- Ensure leadership is on the same page; keep the messaging consistent from the top down
- Recognize that change can feel like trauma
- Explain the “why”, especially with legacy employees
- Talk to vendors and learn about their own sustainability/DEI efforts
- Listen to all employees
Changing Company Culture
Changes occurring before, during and after the pandemic continue to present opportunities for re-evaluation and evolution of company culture. Today’s workforce is different, and employee needs are rapidly changing, particularly as a new generation of workers, those who have never been confined to a schedule, enter the workforce.
- Launch lunch-and-learn sessions
- Provide community engagement/volunteering opportunities
- Celebrate company culture and diversity
- Build trust through conversation
- Demonstrate a path for career advancement
Recruit and Retain
Across the industry, companies are struggling to find and retain employees. This is prompting many to create their own employment pipeline. Despite these efforts, it’s still difficult to find employees with technical skills and competition for hiring remains challenging.
- Talk with students and parents beginning in high school
- Partner with trade and vocational schools
- Tap into local groups and populations
- Recruit for internships and apprenticeships in junior college and university
- Translate job listings and trainings into multiple languages
- Scan job listings for language that doesn’t apply to females and minorities
- Reward employees for referrals
Today’s employees expect to be heard and to feel supported. In order to remain competitive, companies must open up the communication gates for two-way conversation with an intentional approach to listening. With these tools, companies can re-evaluate and update their message, mission and values for an evolving workforce.