Employers from across industries are having a tough time finding and keeping good talent, according to a new report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which found that more than two-thirds of surveyed organizations have a difficult time recruiting for job openings. That number is up from what it was in 2013, when half of responding organizations reported having recruiting difficulties for full-time positions.
“It’s getting harder to find people for the jobs they are trying to fill, and the top reasons are a low number of applicants, lack of needed work experience among those that do apply, competition from other employers and a lack of technical skills among job applicants,” said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workforce trends at SHRM. “Another factor that many HR professionals noted was that their local markets were simply not producing enough qualified candidates.”
In recent months, members of the Society of American Florists have voiced similar concerns —along with related challenges, such as the sometimes tricky business of coaching existing team members to better performance and the always touchy subject of sorting out “troublemakers,” said Peter Moran, SAF’s executive vice president and CEO.
“We’re hearing from our members that they are putting tremendous effort into finding, training and keeping employees, but they aren’t always getting the results they want,” he said. “We realized many people could benefit from new ideas and advice on best practices, shared in one place among industry members and experts.”
In response to that direct member feedback, SAF has given workforce issues a central role at SAF Maui 2016, the group’s annual convention (Sept. 21-24). Educational sessions led by seasoned pros from within the floral industry and outside of it will tackle some of the thorniest issues related to employee relations.
These sessions will include advice on how to:
- Stop the Drama. Join Glenna Hecht of Humanistic Consulting as she talks about practical, legal ways to avoid hiring a potential problem employee and how to implement progressive coaching in your store in “Dealing with Difficult Employees.”
- Train Smarter. Longtime Floral Management magazine contributor Tim Huckabee of FloralStrategies promises to help you get new hires up to speed quickly with advice on fast-tracking POS training, easy onboarding and painless customer service tips in “Training New Hires.”
- Keep ‘Em Going. Huckabee will also provide proven approaches to setting sales targets and methods to help staff understand how, and why, paychecks are directly tied to every transaction during “Motivate Them! Become a Better Sales Coach.”
- Tie Pay to Performance. Speaking of paychecks, a panel of floral industry business owners will discuss best practices in implementing incentive-based pay for all positions, granular details on how to track and reward performance and tips on getting staff on board with a new pay model during “Incentive Plans that Work.”
For SAF Retailers Council Chairman Manny Gonzales of Tiger Lily Florist in Charleston, South Carolina, these kinds of educational sessions represent the biggest draw — and potential ROI — of the SAF convention.
“Being a small-business owner is tough; being a florist is even tougher,” said Gonzales, who has presented at past SAF events and been profiled in Floral Management for his efforts to implement an effective incentive-based pay plan. “Like other businesses, we buy and sell, hire and fire, but we also create art and express emotions, all while earning a profit. Reading books and watching programs on business helps, but being at the SAF convention is the real pay-off. At convention, we learn a ton in a short amount of time from floral industry experts. Real life things that we can do right away. Convention helps us get better every year.”
SAF Treasurer Chris Drummond, AAF, of Plaza Flowers in Philadelphia agrees.
“Convention is the best opportunity to learn from top speakers and fellow florists,” he said. “It’s like plugging your mind into a wealth of information and downloading. When I get home, I can’t wait to implement all I’ve discovered.”
Check out the schedule for SAF Maui 2016 and register today.