I was just going to say “happy new years” for today’s post, but then I wondered to myself what I did last year. So I looked up last years post.. Apparently I gave myself a ‘To Do’ for this year. In the spirit of the Do Doo List, let me just say this.. Aww Crap! So much for giving myself a day off.
So what do I have to Do Doo? Well Last year I wrote a post about Scary Career Resolutions. I said that next year, which is this year, I may write a list about “workforce resolutions for changing the system for the information age”. That’s a little pie in the sky but I will take a brief stab at it.
Drive Equity to the Professional, and really all levels of the organization.
Employers want just in time staff. Employees like the idea of flexibility. Everyone likes money. As the occupy wallstreet movement made famous, the majority of wealth in the nation is at the top 1%. This isn’t some secret or nefarious plan, it’s the simple end result of people who are good at building wealth over time, having the time to build wealth and the experience to get even better at it. The quintessential example is the adoption of stock options as the primary compensation method for senior executives. They figured out how to sidestep the intent of the law and turn salaries measured in millions into total compensation packages measured in the tens of millions to hundreds of millions. I’m not a socialist who thinks we need to transfer all that wealth, I’m saying let’s spread a good thing. Let’s develop a economic culture where everyone has ownership based upon their contribution. This drives wealth for everyone and that wealth takes care of many of the problems we have like how to give people enough runway to transition to new fields and how to pay for new skillsets. The resolution would be “Incentivize and prioritize equity attainment for all members of the Workforce”.
Create the ability to transition more easily from organization to organization
If we are going to have a culture where employees are rightsized every few years then all of the historical effort that went into employee retention programs needs to be duplicated, only this time for employee transitions. Yes, there is my plan for severance which would facilitate some transitions nicely, especially for longer serving employees who really do deserve something for their time. Unfortunately one size doesn’t fit all and there are other options that can be explored. The end result is that someone who is mid-career shouldn’t have to worry about healthcare, paying the mortgage, paying the kids school, etc.. So I guess the resolution would be: “Expand and focus on the discussion on solutions portfolio for workforce reskilling and transitions”
Create the ability to transition more easily from skillset to skillset
There are reports upon reports about the challenges of the ‘skills gap’. The reality of the situation is that it’s tremendously difficult for mid-career professionals to manage and pay for the upskilling on their own while they live the middle part of their life. Business and organizations simply don’t want to pay for it either even though they desperately desire a workforce with the right skills. To business it’s a very high cost and very long term investment for human services in a culture with very short employee tenures even with the use of post education commitment contracts between the organization and the employee. The solution is an easy one, but expensive. Just pay for it like they used to do when they internally developed their staff through the now defunct layers of management.
To make that palatable in the current economic environment government may need to get involved and help make it less expensive. That could mean subsidies for apprenticeship programs, tax incentives for credential based trainings, allowing for vehicles for shared risk employee trainings -think pension plans for employe reskilling where everyone has to pay but the cost of the ones who choose to upskill is subsidized by those who don’t/can’t. Whatever the solution the government pushes, it’s has to be very easy to implement, similar to student loans (single form, sign, and done). The only difference the risk of the loan resides mostly with the business or industry, not the individual. If it’s placed mostly on the individual then nothing really changes from our current situation and nobody wins. The resolution would sound something like “Develop a comprehensive and extensive set of solutions for the workforce to get new in-demand skills at limited impact to their quality of life”.
These are just three potential workforce related resolutions. I have to admit they sound a bit pie in the sky, but then again there is always a few people who continue to use the Gym past January. Maybe we can be that.
No matter what happens, Best wishes for a happy new year! – Mike 🙂