What ought to be our next probable step for retention as employees reach the maximum salary on our pay scale? Would advancing them into the next job grade be considered a promotion? How can we ensure that our pay reflects going rates but also satisfies our employees?
—Unhappy and Over Budget, vice president of compensation, manufacturing, Detroit
What is the best way to assess the impact our corporate culture has on employee behaviors? This analysis is part of a larger change management initiative.
—Measuring Stick, people & culture specialist, retailing, Calgary, Alberta
There is some inclination by our execs to want to enshrine a training policy to make sure training of employees takes place/gets done. I'm not necessarily opposed, but I also am not convinced it's going to help much. We want to boost participation rates, but I feel like forcing employees to seek out training could backfire.
—Development Dilemma, agriculture/forestry, Lagos, Nigeria
We have people of vastly different age groups in our workforce. What's the key to tailoring engagement to individual groups by age? What can we do to appeal to the varied and different interest among these groups?
—One Size Doesn't Fit, talent management specialist, services, Singapore
Our recruiting methods are getting stale. We aren’t getting great results and it seems to be taking our recruiters more time to find qualified candidates. We rely on all the usual and time-tested methods to recruit, including traditional print ads and online job boards. It seems that the more options we have to post résumés, though, the harder it is to find standout candidates — people who genuinely jump off a résumé and say ‘Hire me.’ Makes me wonder if we are missing somewhere. Am I just venting or might we have a real problem with our recruiting strategy?
—Stuffy in Here, vice president of recruiting, services company, Union, New Jersey
How do we teach our leaders to be assertive decision-makers with their people without coming across as abrupt? It's a fine line to walk and we want to put in place some training and/or guidelines as a primer.
—High-Wire Act, manager, health care, Middletown, Connecticut
Is there any logical grouping or hierarchical order to the factors that impact talent management? For example, gaps include: A) imprecise career paths, B) engagement, C) skills development, D) subjective performance assessments, etc. Are there rules about which is foundational and which is built on the foundation?
—More than Theory, training and development leader, telecommunications, Quebec
I have three interrelated questions on succession planning. Our 300-person company is coming late to the succession-management game and needs to know the best way to ramp things up quickly. Should we start at the top with our executives, or is it more important to work from the ground up, beginning with key non-executive leadership slots? And how much analysis of our regional talent market should be included in our in-house assessments? As a small company we don't really have a formal board of directors to guide our process. Is that the first thing we should do?
—Unsuccessful Succession, co-founder, services business, Amherst, Massachusetts
How can we think more broadly about the link between our employees and providing rewards and recognition?
—Giving the Gift, publishing, Chicago
Being in health care, we are finding it difficult to adequately determine the number of staff needed at any given time. We need to develop a forecast for staffing ratios for our busiest shifts. What sort of data should we be examining to accurately predict dynamic demand?
— Guesstimates Won't Work, training and appraisal assistant, health care, Beirut