Skilled Labor Shortage or Lack of Leadership?
In the beginning you consider that your organization needs a leader (for whatever reason or for many reasons). Then we begin our search for the ideal candidate. That individual will have 400 years of experience, instant credibility in the market, will bring potential clients to your organization and the compensation requirements are just slightly above minimum wage.
Okay, okay, so we make a few concessions!
We will take 20 years of experience, willing to relocate and then will pay him just enough to support his family and have reliable transportation. The result: we end up with a solid experienced leader who has the skills, a resume that shows years of success and a professional turnaround for other locations. Then we may ask ourselves: is this candidate the right fit?
Most likely this candidate will cost you six figures or more. But the plant will turn around and become profitable, though it may go backwards at the beginning; but in the end, it will be successful. But in my experience this candidate will not be loyal and will only do the job due to the compensation. Eventually they will want more money because they fixed the problem. If you don’t give in, they will move on to the next fixer-upper and your organization will go back to its previous performance of average and failure.
As it is, we know we have a critical shortage of labor in our construction and manufacturing industry. However, we also have a shortage of true leadership. That is, leadership which can be dynamic and implement procedures that they create. Implementing intelligent, long-term approaches that empower associates and employees to continually grow and get better day in and day out. We are talking leaders who have the energy and initiative to never stop looking for inefficiencies for continuous improvement.
Consider what processes you are implementing within your organization and ensure you have safeguards for protecting your success with true successive planning which contains solid operating procedures in place. Think of the core values you want for your organization and hire someone who aligns with these values and virtues. Be patient and coach the right individual who fits these requirements, and also coach on the missing experience. Then see what it really takes to create an organization that wins consistently.
I recently had a great experience with a component manufacturer, Homestead Building Systems in Orange VA. They adopted and remained loyal to four core values: integrity, teamwork, accountability and continuous improvement. I would encourage you to consider these when making your next hiring decision. This will give you incredible long-term gains and allow you to create an atmosphere of learning and growth. Soon enough you will see lack of leadership as a problem that no longer exists! It is very refreshing to see how the culture you create will shift your organization from good to great!