Rebound: Ready?

By on May 1, 2009
Road To Recovery

All companies preparing for an economic rebound face similar challenges, such as reduced staff and extensive cuts to training and leadership development. Your response to those challenges is what separates the successful organizations from the rest of the field.

The first step is to make sure the workforce is prepared, trained and ready to meet escalating demands. Here are three ways to get ready:

Repopulating the Workforce: The strongest, most forward looking organizations see repopulating the workforce as an opportunity to improve previous selection methods, having the following positive effects:

  • Improve training effectiveness by matching employees more effectively with jobs that are appropriate for their skills and interests.
  • Increase production by putting employees in positions that leverage their strengths.
  • Selecting employees to improve attendance, retention and the probability of working safely (avoiding accidents), saving enormous amounts of capital.

Identify Training Needs: These same organizations recognize that reductions in training during the downturn have left them in a position of needing to play “catch-up.” Conducting a training needs analysis will help your organization to:

  • Identify and target the highest priority training needs. Allocate limited training funds to the areas that will have the greatest impact on improving workforce performance and meeting customer needs.
  • Identify trends in the industry that require proactive training action in order to respond to changing industries.
  • In many cases, results provide evidence and leverage needed to increase training budgets in preparation for increasing demands.

Leadership Development: Leadership development is a continuous process in successful organizations, but even the most forward-looking companies have lost some ground in this area during the recession.

Many are preparing for the rebound by doing a full assessment of both upcoming leadership needs and organizational talent, answering the following questions:

  • What leadership areas will be most critical to our success as business begins to “ramp up?”
  • Do we have the leadership talent available to meet our needs as our business changes and grows over the next few years?
  • How do we begin to address our leadership deficits? How can we accelerate the leadership development process in the areas where demand is likely to exceed supply?

For help in developing a rebound strategy for your organization contact Lou Gerst.

About Lou Gerst

Lou is the Practice Leader for Strategic Talent Development with the Workforce Solutions Group of St. Louis Community College.

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