July 21, 2010 – Although large-scale layoffs have mostly ended, those who have survived workforce cutbacks may not be completely out of danger as the sluggish economy persists, and companies are preparing to make more adjustments. Employees need to demonstrate they have the skills their companies desire for the present and future or that their employers should invest in developing them, according to a survey by OI Partners, a global talent management firm.
- More than half (52%) of employers reported that some of their managers do not have the right skills to achieve their business goals. Over one-third (35%) said some of their executives are lacking the necessary skills to move their organizations forward.
- Inadequate management skills such as leadership, motivating people, and building team work are the top reason why executives and managers today are not working out. 65% of surveyed companies cited deficient management skills as the main reason why executives are derailing. It is also the No. 1 reason why managers are not succeeding, according to 56% of employers.
- Almost twice as many companies cited inadequate management skills as the main reason for executives not working out (65%) as those that blamed insufficient job skills (35%).
- The surveyed employers also want executives and managers to adapt to changes that have occurred in their jobs and workplaces. 53% of companies cited inability of managers to deal with changes as a major barrier to succeeding, and 45% of employers said executives also need to make adjustments.
OI Partners received survey responses from 262 mainly large and mid-sized employers.
“Many companies that have laid off workers are now evaluating whether their employees have the right skills for today and tomorrow. A company’s needs change continually to meet the prevailing conditions. The skills that may have been right to lead and manage businesses through cost-cutting and layoffs may not be the same needed to re-focus and grow,” said Tim Schoonover, chairman of OI Partners.
“Employers are assessing their management strength and determining which employees currently have the skills critical for success, as well as which workers they want to develop further,” Schoonover added.
OI Partners recommends the following ways for employees to show that they have the right skills, or are worthy of career development:
- Demonstrate your ability to motivate others and build teamwork. “Businesses most want to retain and develop people who can motivate and inspire others. With raises and bonuses limited, managers and executives need to design low- and no-cost ways of keeping people motivated, including recognizing contributions and expressing appreciation through face-to-face meetings, personalized e-mails and notes, and inexpensive tokens of thanks,” said Schoonover.
- Watch your attitude. “Companies do not want to retain or develop employees who continually complain about changes that have been made in their jobs or workplaces. Accept these and discover new ways you can contribute,” said Schoonover.
- Ask your boss for suggestions on how you can improve your performance. “Don’t wait until a formal job evaluation. Communicate regularly with your supervisor,” said Schoonover.
- Verify that you are keeping your professional knowledge and skills up to date. “Take additional courses, attend conferences, read trade journals and industry publications and websites, and share this with your supervisor,” said Schoonover.
- Spread the word about your successes and accomplishments. “Don’t be uncomfortable or shy about promoting your accomplishments to your boss. Forward positive e-mails and letters you receive from clients or customers in an under-stated way without boasting,” said Schoonover.
- Volunteer for opportunities that will enable you to showcase your leadership and motivational skills, including civic and community endeavors.
- Offer recommendations on improving operations, increasing business, or cutting costs.