Network - Spring 2010 - (Page 35)

O Feature Is the Workforce in Limbo? By Bill Mitchell T hey are specialists and experts. As engineers, manufacturing gurus and financial whizzes, their technical skills are vital to an organization’s success. We’re talking about individual contributors—associates in non-leadership positions who are accountable for executing strategies, creating new products and building customer loyalty. Because they aren’t leaders, they may often get little attention from the learning and development functions of their organizations and their training options run heavily in favour of technical skills. But these teams are monumentally important to the success of their organizations overall. The bad news is that the majority of this group is dissatisfied at work. A recent survey on specialists and professionals in non-leadership positions asked 260 individual contributors in Canada how they feel about their jobs, their opportunities for growth, engagement levels, and skills they desired to develop. The results were consistent with more than 1,200 respondents across North America. The research uncovered a wealth of information about these workers, including their feelings about their present jobs and what they want from their employers. Human Resource Departments, and specifically learning and development functions, have the opportunity to proactively build strategies to address the dissatisfaction this workforce is feeling. In doing so, the HR function can demonstrate value to the business and move from taking a seat at the executive table to actually setting the table. I will present four of the main findings and then provide suggestions on how you can ensure this audience stays focused, engaged and continues to provide the results depended upon for organizational success. Canadian workers are in limbo—many feel stagnant due to a lack of opportunity and praise for their efforts. Four Key Findings from the Research Finding 1 - A stunning number of individual contributors feel their roles are stagnant. When asked how they feel about their current job, 46 per cent of our survey respondents said they feel stagnant. The questioning delved deeper, asking how respondents classify their situations at work; the most popular answer was that they have no room to advance. Of the people NETWORK O Spring 2010 who reported they are being asked to take on new, exciting challenges, just three per cent of these respondents reported feeling stagnant. Any way one looks at the data, there’s a correlation between feelings of discontent and a lack of opportunity on the job. Finding 2 - These stagnant workers are disengaged and their performance proves it. When respondents were asked what phrase best described their attitude about their jobs, the top answer, “Just do my job and go home,” smacked of O 35

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Spring 2010

Network - Spring 2010
Table of Contents
HRIA President’s Message
Recognizing Excellence in HR
Alberta HR Conference
Economic Crisis or Golden Opportunity? You Decide.
Advancing in the Right Direction: Maintaining Employee Optimism During Recession
Re-energize Your Employees Without Breaking the Bank
HR and the Post-Recession Landscape
Is the Workforce in Limbo?
Current Economic Conditions Breed Good Management
Learning Agility in Times of Change
Preparing for Economic Recovery – Alternatives to Terminations
The HR Office
Index of Advertisers

Network - Spring 2010