The perfect storm will be converging on employers this year—a shortage of skilled labor available for hire, an aging workforce who will be exiting their jobs, taking with them years of knowledge, and a high percentage of employees who will be leaving their employers for greener pastures.  To add further complexity, the current political environment is stirring the pot (literally, in some cases) with a host of pending and new regulatory changes.

Employee Development

Employers eager to optimize their success in this climate of growth are wise to adopt multiple paths for employee development.

  • Beefing up employee onboarding and training will quickly assimilate new hires to their work environment, decrease time to productivity, and allow less experienced workers to be hired.
  • Leveraging online educational resources enables employees to inexpensively and conveniently learn new skills. Beyond blogs and white papers, employees can attend MOOCs (massive open online courses) or access content on aggregators (i.e., Udemy, OpenSesame,
  • Organizations short in promotional opportunities can keep employees engaged by encouraging cross-training, pairing them with a mentor or coach, or assigning challenging, new projects.


While employees tolerated pay cuts and freezes during the recession as a perceived tradeoff for keeping their jobs, today’s expectations are dramatically different. Most employees are expecting a pay increase of 3-5% this year and, if they don’t get it, are prepared to seek work elsewhere. Savvy employers will stay ahead of this curve by assessing their compensation strategies and benefit offerings.

Employer Brand

When it comes to a company’s brand, now more than ever, the power has shifted from employer to employee. Thanks to social media and online job networks, employees and applicants alike are sharing their experiences. Whether you like it or not, employees are messaging your brand every day and what they are communicating may not line up with your company’s perception of itself. To ensure your company is well-positioned to attract and retain top talent:

  • Keep a pulse on the social buzz;
  • Look at your company through the lens of your employees and applicants; and
  • Apply marketing concepts to promote and align your company’s brand with the realities of your work environment.


Between ACA, marijuana legislation, paid sick leave, minimum wage increases and a host of other regulatory changes that have been implemented or are being considered, employers need to avoid unnecessary business distractions by insuring they are keeping on top of policy changes, educating their employees and leaders, and assessing the potential impact of these changes to their business and marketplace.

If you are not sure where to begin with your 2015 game plan, strap on an innovative mindset and bolster yourself with a boldness that places your company in the lead from the get go. The competition for top talent is fierce and if unprepared, you may quickly find yourself slipping behind.