The Power of Passion: The Workforce Crisis and How to Close the Gap

ThinkstockPhotos-57571789Imagine your working world expressionless, monotonous, and robotic. People are just going through the motions; everything is the same as it was yesterday, and the same that it will be tomorrow. The finish line is 5 o’clock, Friday, payday, retirement, etc. This is life without passion. And more often than not, it’s what your team members see when you forget the most crucial aspect of success in your company: fueling their passions.

We are on the verge of witnessing one of the largest workforce changes in our history since the baby boomer generation dominated our working class. As these driven individuals turn to retirement over the next five to 20 years, millennials will represent over half of our workforce. This new generation of workers holds promise in its size and its desire to bring change, but the job market has an even bigger challenge that not even our largest generation can tackle on its own.

Old News with a Twist

This isn’t new news to us. We’ve known about this change for decades and people have been discussing this massive new workforce within the staffing industry for years, but there is more to this story. Rainer Strack, a human resources expert, explains this bigger challenge in his TedTalk, “The Surprising Workforce Crisis of 2030.” Strack states that even with a large generation entering the workforce, many of the world’s leading economies will still “have more jobs than adult citizens to do those jobs” by 2030.

Solving this workforce crisis is going to require changes from multiple different facets. For example, utilizing technology to automate jobs and decrease the amount of jobs available will be necessary. Due to advances in technology and software, machines will be able to take the place of some of our working class. However, this would lead to new skill expectations for our working class. Ultimately, the next challenge will be how to attract new skilled talent and keep them from jumping ship as soon as something better comes along.

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There is Hope

How are we to stand up against this new challenge in staffing? With an aggressive, yet simple strategy: fix your culture – NOW. Instead of scrambling to create the skills needed for these new jobs with as many people as you can, retaining employees will be your game-changer. The majority of your new working class will consist of millenials, and this generation is motivated much differently than your previous employees. Millenials have grown up in a professional world where technology is always at their fingertips, nap pods are around every corner, unlimited vacation and flexible schedules are expected, and, most importantly, they have the constant desire to change the world.

Do not underestimate this generation. If you build a culture with core values focused on a mission that can truly inspire, you have retained your biggest asset – your team. When your team truly believes in your vision, their passion is contagious and they stay loyal to the company fueling it. At the end of the day, passion holds more power than any skill can. Passion is unstoppable.

MORE: How good interviews become bad hires

Shannon August
Shannon August is marketing manager for ICON Staffing Network. She can be reached at shannon (at) iconmn (dot) com.

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