Enhancing Atlantic Canada’s economy through the strengthening of our workforce
Atlantic Canada’s economy is fuelled by a diverse array of private and public sector entities that employ thousands of people and contribute to our region’s growth and prosperity. But how are these organizations optimizing the potential of their people? What insights have they gained about the future of our economy from their innovative initiatives?
It’s a comment I’ve heard all too often over the past few years; “I’ve graduated with my degree and I can’t find work in Nova Scotia so I have to leave.” I don’t believe this is a new problem as Atlantic Canada lacks the larger head offices of central and western Canada, limiting the opportunity for certain types of roles. However, many new grads just entering the workforce seem to be developing this mentality prematurely.
We’ve all likely watched too many movies involving a maze where the hapless characters find themselves meandering aimlessly through the many zigs and zags in hopes they might miraculously find their way out. These poor souls are often portrayed as fumbling along, panicking at times, and relying mostly on luck in hopes that they might reach the other side. Some make it through and some don’t, some are lucky and others unlucky. But what if those same characters entering the maze knew exactly where they wanted to go?
They are the newest generation to enter the labour market, yet they already have clear ideas about what they expect from you as an employer. They are in high demand, so if you can’t meet their needs, they’ll find someone who can. And, with boomers beginning to retire, they will play a pivotal role in the continued success of your organization.
Apple, Coca-Cola, BMo, Allstate. As consumers we are aware of these brands, and the products or services they represent. We recognize their logos and distinct visual identities –on product packaging, at retail locations and in advertisements. When we are exposed to these brands, we have an immediate emotional reaction — which may be positive, negative or neutral. Deserved or not, our perception of these brands drives whether we as consumers will purchase their products or services.
Does technology now trump human interaction?
Recently, I had the pleasure of delivering a Constructive Conflict workshop to a group of local leaders. Going in, on a Friday afternoon after two days of meetings and what looked to be a hearty lunch, I wondered about the energy of the crowd. However, when I arrived, the room was full, and people were eager and ready. Constructive conflict is a hot topic these days and one that was particularly relevant for this group.
When I was a 30-year-old mother and career-driven director at IWK Children’s Hospital, I was mistaken for the paper-boy by a staff member’s mother when dropping off documents at her house one Saturday afternoon.
For years, organizations have been advised to pay close attention to “cultural fit” in their hiring practices. Paying attention to a potential employee's fit with your organization, workplace culture or company values has often been touted as the solution to hiring misfires, poor retention, and negative morale. But what do we mean by fit? And how do we decide that a potential candidate doesn’t fit?