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THE BEAM // Winter 2019


Resources for engaging in meaningful dialogue

The topic of inclusivity in the workplace is not a new concern for many businesses and employers, and many, if not most, leaders understand the true value that comes from a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture. There have been numerous studies over the years that have helped us learn what companies can do to promote this type of environment, and one of the consistent and fundamental building blocks is open communication.

We also know that sometimes we avoid talking about important issues because of a fear of saying the wrong thing or using the wrong terms and coming across as ignorant or offensive. In our own experience, this seems to be particularly true when it comes to talking about issues that impact people who identify as transgender, nonbinary or gender fluid. In the spirit of encouraging meaningful dialogue, we have pulled together some resources you and your team can use to help you start these conversations and promote a culture that is inclusive and supportive of all people.

The Human Rights Campaign has a variety of resources available on its website. A great place to start is the Glossary of Terms, explaining the most-used phrases in conversations around the LGBTQI community. They’ve also put together a comprehensive Toolkit for Employers, covering a wide range of work-related issues. If you would like diversity, equity and inclusion training, there are often local resources available, such as the YMCA’s new Equity Innovation Center in Minneapolis, which offers a number of interactive programming options for leaders and groups. Additionally, there are organizations, such as GLAAD and PFLAG, committed to promoting inclusion and uniting people that identify as part of the LGBTQI community as well as allies.

The diversity, equity and inclusion landscape is dynamic and can be intimidating to navigate, but we hope these resources can serve to help you and your company move forward on your journey in meaningful, engaging ways.

Valuing results over desk time

According to a recent survey by Gallup, flexibility is one of the top perks employees say they would change jobs for. While the concept is far from new, the number of employers embracing it and the number of employees expecting it, seem to be on the rise.

Anecdotally we can report questions around workplace flexibility come up at some point in the process with nearly every candidate we vet. While some hiring managers might see this as cause for concern, it’s important to know a candidate’s interest in workplace flexibility is not a reflection of that individual’s work ethic. Rather, prospective employees often ask about flexibility as a means of testing whether the organization has a culture based on results, autonomy and trust.

In the current job market, which is marked by a shortage of candidates, your company’s culture is one of the key ways you can attract and retain talent. And for many organizations pivoting from a culture that values how much time employees spend at their desk to one that appreciates and honors results and impact can be a game-changer.

But developing structures that support workplace flexibility is a process that takes time. We’ve learned this first-hand at LymanDoran as we’ve been on our own journey over the last several years. We’ve had to learn through trial and error what works well for our team and our clients. And we’ve had to take intentional steps to ensure our spoken and unspoken norms align with and reinforce the results-oriented and inclusive culture we aspire to.

In their article, Do You Offer as Much Flexibility as You Say You Do?, Gallup shares the results of their recent State of the American Workplace report and outlines steps you can take to move toward a culture that encourages flexibility. We’ve found it to be an extremely valuable resource and would encourage you to consult it as you assess your organization’s culture and consider whether workplace flexibility is right for your team.


Five trends to keep on your radar in the coming year

As we step into the new year, the team at LymanDoran paused to reflect on what we’ve observed in the market and identified five trends we think will impact the talent landscape in 2019.

  • Over the last several years, we’ve seen a gradual shift in the skills and experiences companies find most appealing when considering CFO talent. Pivoting away from compliance and control experts, organizations want a Finance leader to play a primary role in steering enterprise strategy. While accounting aptitude remains an imperative, a preference for FP&A experts with a track record of leveraging data to inform and influence business decisions seems likely to continue as CEOs look to the CFO to take on the role of primary strategic partner.
  • Earlier this year, we wrote about the impact of a tightening labor market on compensation packages and observations that outside hires were commanding higher salaries. The last two quarters of 2018 continued the trend, and 2019 appears to be shaping up as a Candidate’s Market. As the cost of talent continues to rise, companies will likely not only see an increase in salaries but will also need to invest in employment branding and recruitment efforts as a means of differentiating themselves in a competitive market.
  • With external talent at a premium and a high percentage of workers open to entertaining an opportunity outside of their current employer, companies are likely to double down on efforts to retain talent at all levels of the organization. More than offering monetary incentives, companies are thinking holistically about what’s meaningful to employees and putting in place Total Rewards programs that provide flexibility and opportunities for advancement/development. These non-traditional perks are proving more and more valuable as Millennials step into management roles and companies strive to build results-oriented cultures of innovation.
  • As 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day, organizations across the country are facing an increase in the number of employees planning to retire, including leaders in key executive positions. As a result, we’re seeing more organizations take a planful approach to succession planning, including lengthier and more comprehensive transition plans, transparent and inclusive communication strategies, thoughtful evaluations of organizational structures and robust evaluations of talent needs in alignment with forward-looking enterprise objectives.
  • Increasing diversity in executive positions has been named as a top priority by many organizations for years, but data suggests little progress has been made and most of the movement we’ve seen has been in the nonprofit sector and in large public companies. In the last year, our mid-market clients have embraced this goal with new energy, moving from talk to action and putting in place metrics to drive results and accountability. Many of our clients are leveraging external searches for talent as a means to both infuse new skillsets and add to the diversity of their leadership teams.