Message from Michigan: Bet on Talent

Will Owen ·

The casino floor at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort offers many gaming options for its loyal patrons; its variety presents the opportunity for customers to choose the way they may “hit it big.” At the Michigan Works annual conference, there was only one option that participants were able to bet on – PEOPLE. The clear message from Michigan Works was that employers and agencies must focus their efforts on developing, utilizing and retaining top talent to ensure future success.

Conference speakers provided constant reminders that employees and jobseekers need to be looked at individually to determine what strengths they bring to the organization. Jim Abbot told the crowd that talent can come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s the responsibility of the employer to utilize the unique talent properly. This thinking reminded workforce development professionals in attendance to see through the eyes of the jobseeker and to search for the true needs of the employers they assist.

What are some ways that employers can build their internal talent?

Here are a few of the key takeaways the EDSI team heard at the Michigan Works Conference:

  1. Own the Training: Employers must take ownership for developing their existing employees and future hires. Expecting employees to understand processes or tasks based on a degree or certificate is no longer acceptable. Employers who are building strategic training programs internally are the ones being recognized and retaining their top talent.
  2. Have a Plan: Proactive talent planning will always trump reactive talent actions. Employers must have better conversations with their people, understand their needs, and provide opportunities that show the employee that the organization values them. If you don’t show your top talent love, someone else will! Overwhelmed with Talent?
  3. Build Partnerships: Talent can be overwhelming; don’t let the fear of the unknown suck you into a state of no action. It’s ok to ask for help with talent, and building strategic partnerships will allow organizations to build their talent plans with limited internal capacity.

Putting people first will always put your company first in the mind of your employees!