One of the first responses when asking members of their challenges, is staffing. Even the Chamber has faced these challenges over the last few years. Today’s workforce is different than the one of my impressionable years. Some of the dynamics of younger generations entering the workforce and the changing ideals of individuals are causing business owners to scramble to find talent that fits the needs of their business. Many are facing the same challenges, from small business all the way up to industry and large corporations.
Previously, the Chamber held a Coffee & Conversations on “Bridging the Generational Gap in Workforce”. This discussion catapulted me into a new way of thinking. The word “Millennials” has a huge stigma attached. What I learned is a majority of that generation are no different from mine and the ones before. The methods may be different, but the dreams are similar.
Inclusivity is a “buzz word” making the rounds in the business discussions, internet chat rooms and various other platforms, such as TED Talks.
Inclusivity is defined as: “the fact or policy of not excluding members or participants on the grounds of gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc.” – www.dictionary.com
So, the question becomes, how do we as a community embrace inclusivity in our workforce? I know one business owner that stands out as leader among the issue. This individual has taught me to change MY way of thinking, ah, such a taboo idea to some. As you are reading I can hear the rumbling start:
“If they want to work for me they will follow my rules”
“I am not changing, they need to change to fit my ideals”
Okay, I hear you loud and clear, but the question still remains, if we want a valuable and committed workforce, “How do we accomplish that?” The best answer I can give is “Meet in the Middle”. Different generations, races, abilities, and classes all have something in common, which is the need to feel involved, heard, and appreciated. Take a few moments out of your day and try to learn something about someone who is different from you. What do they Value? What is their biggest struggle? I bet you will find, like I have, that the answers are not so different from yours.
As our world changes, some things remain the same. A safe, vibrant, healthy business community that promotes growth, sustainability and quality of life is desired by all.
The Forsyth-Monroe Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to “Promote and Stimulate Commerce, Community and Tourism”. In 2019, The Chamber is partnering with the Georgia Chamber to bring our members resources to assist in some of the biggest challenges we are facing: Healthcare, Business Education and Cost Savings. If you haven’t received a copy of our new Programs & Services Guide, you can find it in your renewal package or on our website www.forsyth-monroechamber.com
Thankfully, we are fully staffed now with a crew that is geared for success in 2019 and beyond. If your business is facing staffing or other specific challenges we can help with, give us the opportunity to assist you in finding the solutions.
We are all in the same boat, let us help you get to the shore.
Cheri W. Lance
Forsyth-Monroe Chamber of Commerce