Q: What are the biggest challenges facing employers today?
A: Employees are trying to develop the right skills to succeed in the ultra competitive job market and get work that is meaningful, all while figuring out the kind of organization that best suits their personality and needs.

Employers, on the other hand, are struggling to fill specific positions and aren't always able to create work environments that stimulate creativity and innovation. And it doesn’t end there. They also struggle with performance management and continuous learning systems. If they don't understand their employees' values and aspirations, employers are likely to have difficulty in retaining them. Many employers don’t know how to extract the best insights from all the data available to enable businesses to effectively manage the cost of labor and drive efficiency and effectiveness to improve the bottom line. 

Q: What are some of the challenges employees face in today’s workplace?
A: Typically, employees need to be engaged and find meaning in what they do in order to excel in the workplace. They need to see career paths that will enable them to grow and develop successfully. Unfortunately, many people are stuck in jobs they're not suited for or they're not compatible with a company's culture. As a result, employees' careers tend to plateau without the workers realizing their full potential. Employees don't always know how to best use their skills, focus on areas that need improvement or locate the right subject matter experts or necessary information to do their jobs.

Q: What are the key factors driving change in today’s workplace?
A: Right now it's becoming apparent that employees are becoming a lot more important to organizations. Here are four trends that we're seeing:

  • Businesses are becoming social businesses: Employees are connecting with each other more quickly than ever before, and in new ways, to share knowledge and expertise.
  • The rise of big data and analytics: Decisions once made based on limited information and gut feelings are now being made based on insights extracted from the massive amounts of information that's being published every day.
  • The rise of mobile technology: With almost 75 percent of the world’s population owning a mobile device, information is not only accessible, but available at our fingertips.
  • The rise of the independent worker: More people are striking out on their own, and as human capital becomes the leading source of sustained economic value, employers are looking for better ways to partner with independent and non-traditional workers.

Q: How does a smarter workforce help business overcome these challenges?
A: The need for high-performing employees -- and for hiring the right candidate for the right job at the right time and place -- has never been greater. We believe in "smarter" workforces, which can affect a business in multiple ways:

  • Businesses can eliminate hierarchy by adopting social business tools that tap into the collective intelligence of an organization and foster collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  • Companies can create transparency across an organization by opening up a constant dialog within the organization.
  • Executives can augment human judgment by the using mathematical and behavioral science analytics.
  • Managers can fashion predictable career paths with employees in the "best-fit" roles.

Q: How should organizations attract top employee talent?
A: An employer's brand plays a huge role in attracting top talent. The brand starts with defining the internal personality, or culture, of an organization, which affects all aspects of employees in their workforce, from recruitment to retention. By having a genuine understanding of culture, leaders can gain insight around the type of talent who will thrive within their organization, be motivated to encourage and engage others, and shape future and current leaders to lead in a way that nourishes that environment. For example, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals used its employment brand to quickly double its staff in order to fulfill a large contract. On top of adding new employees it has also been successful in retaining that talent.

Q: Why is it important to business to keep the workforce motivated?
A: Research has shown that when people are motivated and fully engaged, and perceive meaning and purpose in the work that they do, they are far better and healthier individuals, better partners/spouses, better sons and daughters, and better community members. When they are fully engaged, they are more productive, which benefits an organization in terms of better productivity and greater profitability. For example, Caterpillar (CAT) discovered its dealerships with the most engaged employees outperformed their other locations, meeting or exceeding quarterly financial targets by 40 percent. And it doesn’t end there. These same locations also had significantly lower voluntary turnover rates and higher technician productivity which ensured the dealers ongoing stellar performance.

Q: How can employers retain talent?
A: Employers can retain top talent in two ways, First they can ensure that each employee is in a job most suited to their skills and interests. They also must strive to foster a culture that recognizes employee contributions, invests in their employees' growth, learning and development, and career paths, and allows them to do work that is meaningful.