“Those are a real challenge because they fly
Sources: University of Florida IFAS, Texas AgriLife Extension
“Those are a real challenge because they fly
Sources: University of Florida IFAS, Texas AgriLife Extension
Paid sick and parental leave, pay history bans,
Employers across the country are feeling the pain. Since 1973, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Center has been collecting small business economic data by way of a quarterly member survey. In the latest survey, 86 percent of owners hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. And 19 percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their “Single Most Important Business Problem,” second only to taxes.
This “new normal” is a tough pill to swallow for many established independent businesses that have grown successfully and hired and retained workers for many years. These businesses endured the entrance of the
What many are not doing — surprisingly — is adjusting their HR practices. Why? Because it’s hard. Really hard. And, they’re not quite at the point where the pain is bad enough. Problem is, these businesses have to compete with employers that have adjusted their HR practices, which puts them at a disadvantage in the eyes of job seekers.
If you believe it may be time to raise the bar on your HR practices to improve your chances of attracting and retaining talent, here are 10 emerging HR trends to consider.
1. Shift from traditional vacation, sick time, and personal days policies to a PTO (Paid Time Off) policy: A PTO policy combines all paid time off programs into one benefit that permits employees to use available time off for any reason. This supports a work-life balance and flexibility — two things millennials crave. Employees feel more in control of their time off and, as a result, unscheduled absences often decline. Best of all, managers no longer need to micromanage the reason why people miss work. In addition, one bank of time is easier to track and administer and, if a paid sick leave law is enacted in your jurisdiction, the transition will be easier because PTO benefits can run concurrently with sick leave benefits.
2. Focus on employer branding: Employers must showcase their brand and “sell” candidates on why they should work at the company. The most effective website career pages are optimized for smartphones, use visual platforms like YouTube, include video clips with current workers sharing stories about what it’s like to work at the company, and convey a concise but compelling message about why the business is a great place to work.
3. New and unique fringe benefits: Some of the “hot” benefits today include pet insurance, student loan repayment plans, gym membership, paid volunteer days, paid family leave, PTO, telehealth services, enhanced bereavement leave, and “Bring In Your Parents Day,” a day LinkedIn created five years ago for employees (and to share as an idea for other companies) so that employees’ parents can get a better understanding of what their children do for work.
4. Better bosses and assigned mentors: As baby boomer managers retire, the next generation is smaller in number and poorly prepared to replace them. Companies that want to retain talent understand that management training for new leaders is essential. They seek to develop exceptional listening skills in their managers and encourage them to increase their
5. Enhanced training: Younger workers want to invest in themselves. Companies that recognize this highlight growth opportunities when they recruit, and they invest in developing an internal bench of talent. They also transfer current workers more readily and for shorter assignments. To keep workers learning, employers are offering training in nontraditional work areas like personal finances, time management, and health and wellness, and they are revamping training programs into micro-learning segments that include videos, infographics, YouTube clips, and games.
6. Offering a work-life balance: Flexible work is the career goal of choice for younger generations. Businesses are adjusting jobs to offer more flexibility, such as compressed workweeks, job sharing, flexible start and stop times, or other alternative schedule options. If jobs cannot be restructured to offer flexibility, companies can highlight how they support a work-life balance. For example, closing the business on Sundays or closing to the public at 6 p.m. each day.
7. Uber-competitive compensation: There is wage pressure at the two ends of the labor market: high-skilled and low-skilled workers. Employers are paying above market rates to retain low-skilled and high-skilled workers. Employers that have not adjusted wages for workers in these categories will find it harder to hire and retain qualified workers.
8. Internal recruiters: Many companies are hiring internal recruiters to source candidates locally, help keep the pipeline full, and promote the brand in the community. (Caution: Not all HR professionals are good recruiters and not all recruiters are good HR professionals. They are usually two different breeds.)
9. Higher referral bonuses: Every employee has a network of friends, relatives, and general contacts. Savvy employers tap into their employees’ social networks by making it worthwhile (as in BIG bucks) for the employee to become a recruiter for the company.
10. Improved onboarding: To boost engagement, employers are stepping up efforts to create organizational commitment from day one. New hire orientation programs are being redesigned to focus on the company culture and to help new hires feel like they are part of the family. Companies are adding special touches such as lunch with managers or coworkers, a personal meeting with a top executive, presentations from leaders of every department, a small welcome gift, games that help the new employee get to know coworkers, and other unique or personalized programs designed to enhance buy-in from day one.
Of course, some of these trends may not be suitable for your business, depending on revenue size, number of employees, location, and other factors. Nevertheless, if you foresee a vacancy or need to hire workers in the near future, adopting even one of these emerging trends can make a significant difference in your ability to attract and retain talent.
So why wait? There’s no better time than now to implement new and improved HR practices.
Jean Seawright, CMC is president of Seawright & Associates, a management consulting firm located in Winter Park, Florida. firstname.lastname@example.org
Weather conditions will likely be warmer; houses opened, or you may be growing outside now. This is perfect for ornamental grasses, as they generally like full sun and the wind in their leaves, something that can be a challenge in a closed up greenhouse environment. You may be able to take advantage of cheaper outside production space with good growing conditions. You may be growing in open greenhouses, or you may be out of inside space and, out of necessity, producing outside. Every nursery is different, and only you know your options, but stepping back and looking at the best way to make your options work for you will pay off in the long run.
One of the most important things to nail down is the finish time needs and options you have to manipulate finish times. Whether you’re following through with a scheduled second turn or trying to up your production in response to good sales, there’s a good chance you will be looking for a faster finish time to meet demand before the sales window closes.
Slow-release fertilizers will be releasing faster, and
Resist the temptation to up fertility rates with ornamental grasses to speed up finish times. While your grasses will grow faster, it can lead to several problems. Soft, leggy growth can result in leaves that are more susceptible to any number of fungal leaf spots, which can ruin the salability of a grass crop. You can also end up with a tall plant that falls over, is hard to ship, and doesn’t look good sitting in the garden center trying to convince someone to take it home with them. Staying with medium level fertility rates will help avoid these problems.
With ornamental grasses
A faster finish time frame can limit the selection of plants to choose from. Stay away from slow-growing varieties or cool-weather varieties that might slow down as temperatures rise. Warm season grasses like Panicum, Pennisetum
Josiah Raymer is
One of the biggest challenges in marketing heard by businesses across almost all industries is the constant search for their next idea—the one that’s going to hook and reel in new customers. It’s the idea that constantly eludes them
Unfortunately, this way of thinking is largely mythology. And, if you haven’t figured out the big idea of your product or service—what’s intrinsically compelling about it—you have bigger problems than coming up with the latest gimmick.
Searching for a single elusive idea is like looking through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars. It depends on that which is neither
Here are three steps to moving away from this myopic approach and toward a more strategic way of finding better tactics.
Take your attention off the symptoms of the moment—a sales slump, for example. Instead, ask these questions: What is the nature of the challenge or problem we face? Is there a larger issue we’re not facing that is causing our current predicament?
A short-term bump in sales is going to be hard to bring about without a larger understanding of what is causing the symptom of a temporary sales slump. Is it due to the seasonality in your business, an increase in competition, or a downturn in the market or economy that’s causing customers to spend fewer dollars?
Understand the causal factors contributing to the dynamic that has brought about your present challenge. By understanding the true nature of the problem, you will effectively prepare yourself to devise a better and more accurate approach. This new approach can be used to mitigate or overcome the forces that are causing a symptom, such as a short-term dip in unit sales.
Yes, develop a plan instead of brainstorming a single idea. Will it take longer and require more effort? Most likely, yes. Will it also solve your issue more effectively than a short-term tactic? Definitely.
Strategy—the binding approach that will inform all other plans and tactics;
Plans—individual recipes, each with coordinated activities in accordance with your strategy, that will serve your goal;
Objectives—observable, measurable and time-bound declarations of how you know you are successfully fulfilling your plans; sometimes called key performance indicators (KPIs);
Tactics—the details and activities that will be undertaken to fulfill plans and reach your goals.
The role of any strategic plan is that it serves as a blueprint for
Once you have a thoughtful strategic marketing plan in place, you will be shocked at how much more easily the tactics present themselves. A thoughtful strategy serves to focus everyone around a centralized, agreed upon approach. Since strategy forces choice, it eliminates the need to consider disparate (and sometimes desperate) ideas.
What you once thought of as innovative and other-worldly ideas will become almost foregone conclusions when a strategy is present. New possibilities present themselves more readily when you and your team are provided a guided pathway upon which to engage creative thought and energy. Because such ideas must fall within a guided strategic pathway they become, by default, integrated tactics.
If you think bigger to tackle larger problems, thoughtfully plan your marketing approach, and tactically integrate ideas around a strategy, you will move
Andy Slipher is
Rhodohypoxis can genetically cross with another genus in the same family, Hypoxis, creating a new hybrid plant called x Rhodoxis. Several beautiful cultivars of x Rhodoxis are available in the trade as liners. One of the most stunning of these is x Rhodoxis ‘Fairytale,’ bred by Philip van Hilst in the Netherlands and marketed by Concept Plants.
“Fairytale has surprised me by the amount of vibrant colored star-like flowers it produces year after year in containers and in the ground. In a four-year-old plant, there are literally hundreds of flowers. It even reblooms in autumn,” says Peter van Rijssen of Concept Plants.
Another noteworthy form is x Rhodoxis ‘Hebron Farm Cerise,’ which originated at West Acre Farm in the UK.
Cultivation of Rhodohypoxis or x Rhodoxis is relatively easy, as long as two important requirements are met. They must be kept dry in the winter, and they must have regular watering through their growing season. The plant goes dormant in the fall when the leaves will turn yellow, and you should discontinue watering about two weeks after this. After you cut off the water, you can even stack flats on top of each other to save
Mark Leichty is the Director of Business Development at Little Prince of Oregon Nursery near Portland. He is a certified plant geek who enjoys visiting beautiful gardens and garden centers searching for rare and unique plants to satisfy his plant lust. email@example.com