Questions Industry Leaders Need to Ask about Talent and the Workplace

 

By Tom Gilman, CEO & Managing Partner

 

Though we’re just past the halfway point of 2020, the year has shaken many of the ways we talked about talent and the workplace a few months ago. Here are the questions leaders should be asking now to ensure they aren’t caught off guard.

The past few months have shown that remote work can be incredibly successful and in recent surveys many employees have indicated they hope the option might become permanent. But before organizations start selling off their office space, take time to understand what is really driving the desire for remote work.

Do some employees want to work remotely because it still feels novel or because they are uncertain about their safety when returning to the office? Which positions in your organization can realistically be done remotely for the long term and which would be more effective from the office?

The recent protests and demonstrations in Cincinnati and across the nation sparked statements of support from organizations and leaders for the Black Lives Matter movement. Now is the time to put action behind those words.

What is your organization doing to ensure Black employees and People of Color feel included and heard? What steps are you taking to actively recruit diverse talent to your organization?

As many organizations continue to allow flexible schedules and remote work, it’s important to consider what will happen to coaching, mentorship and professional development initiatives.

With fewer employees physically together in the workplace, will there be fewer opportunities for these coaching moments to occur organically? What formal plans does your organization have in place to ensure you continue to develop your top talent?

As we kicked off 2020, baby boomers were staying in the workforce longer than at any point in the last half century. But with the uncertainty of workplace safety and the possibility of a second wave of the virus this fall, some boomers may decide now is the time to retire.

How comfortable are your organization’s most senior leaders with returning to work? Do you have succession plans for them in place? Are next-level leaders prepared to assume their new roles?

The unemployment rate might be significantly higher than it was just a few months ago, but the top talent in the market is still in high demand. They want to work for an employer that is not only stable but also one that has treated its people well during this difficult time.

How would you describe your organization’s value proposition to a potential job candidate today?

The past few months challenged leaders as they kept their organizations running while trying to ensure workplace safety and maintain their organizational culture.

If a potential job candidate asked about your organization’s culture right now, could you describe it? Would you describe it the same way as you would have before the start of 2020? Are you relying on the culture you built several months ago to carry you through or are you actively working to maintain or shift your culture?

2020 is undoubtedly a year that will have a prominent place in history books. But organizations that are able to question, adapt and act will find themselves in an even stronger position as they look toward the future.

 

This article originally appeared on the Cincinnati Business Courier website on 7/31/2020.