Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. They continue to dominate the headlines and we would like to take a few minutes to talk about the current situation and how it applies to mission-driven organizations.
Right now, students and job seekers alike know it's a competitive market and are looking to demonstrate their abilities anywhere they can. Gone are the days of specialized repetitive tasks and today's job seekers know they have to be flexible.
They understand the importance of technology, business principles, as well as fluency in leading languages such as Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic. They understand the value of maintaining solid relationships and have been steadily building their professional networks.
How will you use the available talent strategically?
In light of this incredible pool of energetic, talented, and driven candidates, it may be time to review your Organizational Development Perspective. We are not saying it's time to start hiring excessively, but is your organization making strategic moves now to best utilize this abundance of talent?
Many students and job seekers are looking to gain experience through internships. Today's interns (or even externs) are not "paper pushers" but driven and eager contributors. By giving them a chance to learn more about your organization, by giving them an opportunity to contribute to your team, you get fresh minds who are excited not by money but by the chance to prove themselves. Interns are often the best people to task with new and creative tasks as they are not constrained by outdated ideas or practices. And while they don't have all the skills or experience, they are eager to run with anything you give them.
Sure, there might be a dud along the away, but for minimal costs these internships give your organization a chance to bring in new energy and start developing your next generation of leaders. And if you provide real opportunities for impact, you will find that the best and brightest are actually more attracted to your organization.
Another strategic question should be discussed through the context of the Organizational Perspective. This question revolves around productivity. As budgets have tightened while expectations simultaneously increased, have your teammates and employees had the support they need to become more efficient? Lean thinking and process improvement are buzz words around productivity, but have you really taken the time to ask your employees what is really holding them back? Is there anything you can do as a leader to reduce their daily headaches so they can focus on the real mission?
Our final thought is on personal development. Tight budgets and economic stress have caused many organizations to be stuck in their 2008 mold. A majority of employees and team members are holding the same titles and responsibilities as a few years ago and have not had a chance to move up in organizations. This status quo behavior was required through a recession, but continuing the trend will drive high-performing team members away. High performers need new challenges--not busy work, but real challenges that have opportunities for growth. Opportunities foster creativity and excitement, which are critical to a healthy organizational culture.
So while there is plenty of uncertainty left in the world, it's time to begin opening the doors to new energy and talent. It's time to reaffirm your commitment to your team's growth. It's time to achieve mission driven success!