TZL 1335 (web)


Change with the times

Many firms still cling to old-school attitudes and business practices that chase away top performing employees looking for a more future-friendly place to grow their careers.

T oday’s AEC firms are facing the biggest talent shortage in history. Record low unemployment and competition for top talent is forcing firms to offer higher salaries and become more creative with benefits, work-life balance, and culture.

On top of the talent shortage, the workforce is changing. But many firms are still clinging on to old-school attitudes and business practices that not only dissuade potential employees from coming on board but chase away top performing employees who are looking for a more future- friendly place to grow their careers. So, who is winning this fight? DOES YOUR FIRM “GET IT?” While some leaders are entrenched in maintaining the traditions of the past, wishing the world was still the way it was when they came up through the ranks, others are embracing new hiring and business practices that are more in line with today’s younger employees. And it is not just the employees who are changing – times are very different now and employees, and clients, want to work for a firm that “gets it.” THE FACE OF THE WORKFORCE IS CHANGING. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials are the largest segment in the workplace. Within the next two years, 50 percent of the U.S. workforce is expected to be made up of millennials. It will be 75 percent by 2030.

Gallup reports that “millennials are pushing for change in the world – including in the marketplace and the workplace. They don’t accept ‘that’s the way it has always been done’ as a viable answer. They want to be free of old workplace policies and performance management standards, and they expect leaders and managers to adapt accordingly.” The next generation to follow them, Gen Z, grew up with a digital device in their hands and is just entering the workforce. How are you preparing your firm for this new generation that has very different attitudes, expectations, and technical skills? And to complicate the picture in the next few years, ACEC Engineering, Inc. magazine, July/ August 2018 edition reports that 50 percent of all experienced engineers will retire in the next three years. In order to accommodate the changing workforce expectations and prepare for the future, many AEC firms are moving away from old-school

June Jewell

See JUNE JEWELL, page 12

THE ZWEIG LETTER March 9, 2020, ISSUE 1335

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