We’re living longer these days, which is a good thing. With added longevity, we may be working longer by choice or necessity. So, what does it take to be “employed for life”? The following is the final part of the Q&A from my interview with Grace Trafton of “The Better Part”.
GF-What are some of the factors that are important for retention?
TW-Employees need to feel excited about getting up for work, feel that they are making a difference, receive recognition for their work, feel valued. These are some of the factors that enhance retention.
GF- What are HR professionals doing to address the issues of the 21st Century?
TW- HR executives are exploring many ways to address modern day talent concerns. Some examples include an increase of lateral rotations for skill development, real time performance feedback rather than the annual review and creating more opportunity for employees to participate and own projects so they can self-direct their careers.
GF- How important is company culture?
TW-Culture is very important. Today every firm has a different culture you may fit in one firm and not in another firm. I think employees need to research firms as aggressively as firms interview them. No one wants to start a job and then realize that they made a mistake after they start.
GF- What do 21st century employees want from work?
TW- Each generation brings in new expectations about work. Today life is much for integrated than in the past so there is a desire for people to contribute, feel like they are accomplishing something at work, they are noticed for their accomplishments and have flexibility to obtain skills while living an integrated life. At the same time employees are looking for firms that not only make products and services that they value but also embrace and give back to the community.
GF- How can we plan for a career that might last over 50 years? Do you have some practical advice that you can give us?
TW- My advice is to start planning now. Think about each decade what you want to achieve and what you see yourself doing when you are 90 or 100. Then reflect on what you need to do in each area- education, finances, health, skill development, social aspects to ensure that you are reaching your dream. The book Employed for Life has a planning framework and some examples.
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More information on this interview:
Host: Grace Trafton, “The Better Place” KMVT TV