It’s heartening to see forward-thinking HR leaders recognize that talent retention is an essential priority for 2012. Throughout the country, the term resume tsunami has been coined; it depicts the anticipated overwhelming circulation of top talent looking for new opportunities—essentially draining your own organization of those skills and passions you depend on to stay competitive. So I’m happy to report that employee engagement has taken on a whole new relevance this year—and hopefully in the years to come.
In its simplest form, engagement is defined as “passion for work.” It encompasses what employees feel toward their company, what they think about their work, and what they actually do. Engaged employees feel passionate, energized, and driven. When at work, engaged employees are “fully there.” Engagement is not just something you want to strive for from a human relations perspective. Organizational research has shown that companies with high engagement levels see a financial return, increased customer satisfaction, and increased profitability.
There’s no doubt the economy has been on a roller coaster these past few years, and it looks like that sinking-stomach feeling is here to stay for a while. While the very rich are unlikely to feel the effects in their personal lives, the rest of us have had to change our opinions about socioeconomic status and our expectations about living the American Dream. Common expectations, such as children being better off than their parents, real estate and college being good investments, and every family owning a home are being re-examined as the global economic outlook changes. This shifting and redefining will have an impact on the self-perception of the workforce for years to come.
In spite of the ups and downs of the economy, the average American’s wage has steadily risen over the last half century. Coupled with that, working-age women have increasingly gained a larger share of the workforce, rising from 26% in 1940 to 59% in 20091. Though monumental achievements, we find the economic realities leave little to celebrate.
The very successful 2011 Central Florida Workforce Connections Summit, presented by the Central Florida Human Resources Association (CFHRA) featured a series of presentations and panel discussions focused on ways to link employers, education, and government to build a stronger community. The event was held on September 27, at the Wyndham Hotel, Orlando.
Here’s the first understatement of the year: 2012 is shaping up to be a doozy—especially for HR. Is there anything that touches the headlines that won’t directly impact the way you do your work?