Nour on the Post-Pandemic Talent Agenda

David Nour
David Nour

Here are five ideas I’m thinking about around Talent in the post-pandemic world:

1. The Great Resignation – A lot of professionals have had their Covid Moments, thinking through what really matters to them most, what they want out of their work-life blending, and what they’re not willing to do moving forward. They’re getting several calls/day from recruiters and although they’re not actively looking, they’re certainly more receptive to listening. Which is often the first step to a new role. Get ready for a tsunami of resignations, even from some of the most loyal and tenured employees!

2. The Silver Tsunami – Similarly, the family void in not being able to see kids or grandkids for the past 14 months has made the seasoned workforce realize that there is more to their lives than work. They’re increasingly exploring alternative work environments (flex time, senior advisor roles, apprentice leadership, gig economy) to spend intentionally more time on their personal aspirations vs. their professional obligations. This could be an alarming trend, particularly in highly specialized/technical fields such as industrial automation, field service/repair/maintenance, where the rate of new entrants into the labor pool is a fraction of those leaving it.

3. The Company/Industry Signing Day – Have you ever noticed what a big deal we make when high school athletes sign agreements to play a particular sport at a university. According to national statistics, only a fraction of high school athletes play collegiate sports, and even a smaller fraction of those ever earn a living as a professional athlete.

Yet, many industries from law to engineering, technical services, and information technology, to name a few are struggling to replace their aging workforce. Why not create The Company or The Industry Signing Day, by recruiting promising high school students to commit to your company or industry? Similarly to the military, support their educational endeavors in return for a four-year commitment to your company or industry, post-graduation – we’ll avoid the pandemic that has become student debt, your company/industry will develop a pipeline of future talent, and similar to an athlete or an ROTC cadet, if they don’t continue to perform academically, you can terminate their financial support. BTW, an added bonus? You also get built-in summer interns and co-op students for the next four+ years!

4. You’ve Got The Job – Now What? I coach most leaders that when it comes to talent, the first 30 days is a good indication of what you’ll get; the first 90-days is exactly what you’ll get. So, whether you’re a brand new college grad or a seasoned professional, how will you show up in your first 90 days to maximize the impact you’ll create for your new organization? Most will focus on the product/service, the competitive landscape, the customer base, etc. What they’ll neglect the most – the relationships they’ll need to succeed. Your intracompany relationships aren’t about political jockeying or brown-nosing. It’s an intentional focus on understanding the informal way things really get done. Who do you know, who do you need, and how can you connect the dots with a unique value-add can often mean the difference between hitting the ground running and getting left behind!

5. Redefining, Reimagining, and Reinventing Work – In the pre-pandemic world, we equated you showing up with productivity. In essence, we cared more about the output from your work. In the post-pandemic world, where Working from Everywhere (WFX) will be the path forward for many companies, dinosaur leadership will struggle. It’s time to redefine work, reimagine accountability, and reinvent metrics, milestones, and growth. It’s time to focus more on outcomes, self-directed teams, and micro-enterprises with performance-based compensation in every position. After all, do you really care when and where they work? Or should you care about the value they create from their work?

I welcome your thoughts, experiences, and perspectives. 

David Nour

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