Innovation and Workforce

Workforce and innovation equate to the economy, yet while our economy recovers our workforce numbers continue to stagnate and in some cases, drop. Why is this? This is mostly due to older workers retiring from the workforce while younger workers are not participating. To quote Demographic Drought-

"In other words, the boomer cohort, which once participated in the labor force in record numbers, will largely be retired, out of the labor force, and out of the working age population. This results in an aging population, with more people leaving the labor force than entering it”

How do we fix this? How do we entice new workers and unengaged current workers to participate in the workforce? The answer is innovation, with a hint of strategy, and a lot of development.  

Oftentimes innovation is confused with automation. Yet that is not the case, with innovation covering not only products and projects, but management and hiring processes as well. One of the most common examples of this type of innovation is the change in approach to jobs and recruitment. Companies should understand the job market, and that how the labor force approaches it has changed. Since 2020 the labor force has looked past the traditional work mentality and focused on job freedom, which is described by Demographic Drought as- 

"The job freedom mentality shifts the work-life balance concept on its head. For people with this mentality, it’s not about scheduling life around your work schedule. It’s the opposite. To appeal to these workers, offering flexible hours, contract work, remote work, or hybrid options can make returning to work more appealing.”  

In addition to this, companies that don’t invest in their community, as well as their employees, are less likely to see a return of educated and skilled workers. 

So how does a company not on this trend readjust their approach to more accurately fit the labor market? Simply put, they must redesign their marketing strategy and workforce development. 

As a strategy and development company, we’ve had years of experience introducing other companies to new ways to improve their business and their involvement in the community. This past spring Robinson Ventures partnered with Coker University to create a graduate-level fellowship program. This fellowship allowed students to gain experience in the workplace, while still earning credit, allowing for an easier transition into the workforce with real experience. How does this help with the local labor shortage? Demographic Drought spells it out plainly-

"The labor force gap is not for businesses to solve alone. People are the most critical asset in a community. If students leave your region upon graduation, that loss will be felt even more so in the current state of the labor force. But, if those graduates see a clear path to a job and a career in their local community, the impacts of the labor shortage will be far less painful.“

So with a renewed focus on people and community companies will be able to not only increase their employment rates, but by keeping those employees engaged with the company, retain them for longer periods.