Pivot With A Purpose
By Niel Dawson, IEC Atlanta/GA, Executive Director
So here we are in a new year when we all thought (or hoped and prayed) COVID, material delays, worker shortage, and price escalation might be in our rearview mirror, but instead, we’re looking at a full-length mirror of these issues. As we evaluate managing these issues, it is advisable to pause and determine if what we have been doing has been working. As the old saying goes, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” is the definition of insanity!
On the other hand, ask yourself what you have been doing to get good results? In that case, make more time to do more of that activity and eliminate unproductive activity. A method I have recently discovered is “time blocking.” Instead of making a list of things to do (which I am famous for), block out a specific amount of time on your calendar to accomplish a particular task. I know we are all reactionary to the outside demands, but the more you can take time to analyze and plan for the results you want, the more likely you are to achieve your goals.
We all feel there are so many issues outside of our control that it just seems exhausting. However, we all have control over how we react to these outside pressures. For example, at our recent IEC strategic planning session, the Board of Directors readily acknowledged the number one issue of a vast majority of our membership is workforce shortage. Not only is the electrical industry in dire need of workers, but it appears no industry is not clamoring for more workers. The “great resignation” is upon us like we’ve never seen, and it doesn’t seem to be subsiding anytime soon.
IEC’s new strategic plan calls for both implementing new and creative solutions and increasing the resources for those activities that have been beneficial to finding and training new workers for the membership. Here are a few strategies in our 2022-24 plan that you can do for yourself as you pivot and tackle purposely to find more workers:
- Contract with an ad agency to develop or upgrade your recruitment marketing material (who of us is a marketing expert?)
- Adopt a look high school with an emphasis on the trades (contact IEC’s Recruiter, Kevin Ward for a school and contact – firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Expand where you’re looking for workers, i.e., Hispanic, female, churches, sporting clubs, racing organizations, and other groups that are likely to have similar interests that match our industry.
- Contract with a person or agency, or hire part-time staff, solely with the task of recruitment.
- Evaluate your pay scale and benefits package. IEC is currently conducting a wage survey; be sure to complete it by January 31st. IEC is now offering a discounted health insurance program through Humana, and don’t forget our 401k retirement program.
These are just a few examples you can do, and you will also see IEC rolling out more new methods in the coming months. The point is not to react in the same ways to the same issues (they’re not going away) but instead purposely pivot to new strategies that create better results.