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Posted 06/09/2016

More Strategies to Decrease the Skills Gap and Grow Your Business (Part Two)

In Part One, we presented strategies recapped from the winter edition of Enterprise Minnesota’s 2015 CEO Council. Part Two concludes our recap with additional strategies. Leading beyond the command-and-control model While most manufacturers concur that developing leaders is particularly important to growing business, Pat Voyles, a leadership consultant, thinks less than 10% percent of firms admit to having talent management as part of their business planning process. She says attitudes drive behavior; behavior drives actions; actions drive results; and results drive performance. If results don’t look like we want, we need to examine our actions. A different mindset is needed today as the workforce often includes four generations of people working in concert. Technology, demographics ,and workplace culture require thinking. Workflow is changing and evolving. Voyles says that we need people who can think, make decisions, solve problems, and resolve conflict. Develop leaders at all levels. According to Voyles, “a true leader is someone who puts others before himself and focuses on growing them to become greater and accomplish more than they’ve been able to do.” She suggests following Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner’s model. They are the authorities on leadership who co-wrote The Leadership Challenge, who advocate the following five themes: One, model the way by saying what to do and doing what you say. This modeling builds trust and credibility. Two, share the vision for the organization. This sharing inspires people to align with the future state. Three, move people from their comfort zones to stretch, grow, and develop themselves and their abilities. Four, empowering others enables them to think and act. It creates energy and enthusiasm. Five, build self-esteem by setting small goals and accomplishments that people can see, feel, and receive credit for along the way. Strengthen management Kent Myhrman, a business growth consultant believes a “management system” makes more sense when the functions to manage are considered interrelated and by relying on ISO 9001. ISO 9001 is the most widely accepted management system which provides a well-considered infrastructure for a manufacturer’s organizational management. Concurring with Myhrman, John Connelly, Enterprise Minnesota’s director of consulting, believes the newest iteration of ISO incorporates process, effectiveness, and risk, key elements for a business to be better positioned for growth. Myhrman and Connelly recommend a firm. become ISO certified because that will enable best practices for the firm. Addressing talent shortages Parts One and Two of this article have offered a variety of strategies for addressing skills gaps and the erosion of business for manufacturers. However, don’t overlook the key element of having a relationship with a specialized talent recruiting and staffing firm such as MPS Technical. MPS Technical speaks your language as a manufacturer. We help connect you with qualified employees to fill gaps within your firm, and we focus on providing you the best fit with seamless onboarding.   We have a branch located near you, and we’re ready to talk about your staffing needs right now. Let’s talk today.