New Articles

Does Your Recruiting And Culture Meet The New Candidate’s High Expectations?


Does Your Recruiting And Culture Meet The New Candidate’s High Expectations?

“The Great Resignation” in 2021 created a talent shortage and prompted company leaders to re-evaluate their perspective on hiring and culture. Amid job candidates’ shifting demands and higher expectations, some businesses are learning they’ll need to adapt their recruiting strategies to hire the right workers in 2022.

But while most leaders understand that a positive work culture is critical to successful recruitment and retention, too few know how to build and sustain the human-centric workplaces employees look for from employers today, says Kathleen Quinn Votaw, the author of DARE to CARE IN THE WORKPLACE: A Guide to the New Way We Work.

“The pace of change and challenge over the past few years will continue to define us in 2022, as will the fluctuations of the job market,” says Quinn Votaw, CEO of TalenTrust, a strategic recruiting and human capital consulting firm. “This shared experience of COVID-19 has taught us that what propels growth today is putting employees first and creating cultures around well-being and resilience.

“Employees will refuse to work in any culture that lacks humanity. Far from our history of top-down management practices, we’ve learned that kind, empathetic leaders attract and retain the best talent and achieve the highest levels of success. As we wade into another year of unknowns, 2022 gives us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to rethink work.”

Quinn Votaw offers these tips for leaders to consider for their recruiting and retention strategies in 2022:

Know what job candidates want and deliver. “People choose you because you’ve created a powerful candidate or employee experience,” Quinn Votaw  says. “It’s time to untie your culture from the past and focus on what people want from employers today.” She says the employer’s brand and being authentic to it will become more crucial in attracting candidates. “LinkedIn research shows that 75% of job seekers check out your brand and reputation before they apply,” she says.  “People want specifics about how you’re handling change and how flexible your policies are.” Further, the offering of remote work, she says, will show those companies are serious about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and new tech tools will help businesses leverage each stage of recruitment.

Build a sense of community in your culture. Employees today experience their companies in different ways: some onsite, some from home, and others in hybrid situations. It can be a dramatic work-life evolution, and Quinn Votaw says leaders and employees alike can find themselves confused and uncomfortable. “A successful forward path begins with being purposeful about what employees experience working for you,” she says. “Recognize that even small changes to your policies can make a big impact on employees’ day-to-day experience. View every individual holistically; work and personal lives should not be seen as ‘either-or.’ Build a community where everyone feels safe being themselves. Appreciate, celebrate and support your employees as the valuable assets they are.”

Practice hands-off management, hands-on feelings. Quinn Votaw says today’s more demanding candidate desires empathetic leadership that doesn’t micromanage and disrespect them. “Fewer employees will put up with the poor management practices of the past,” she says. “The most effective managers recognize that when they lead with humanity first, they empower others to be more authentic, kind, and attuned to feelings. Coach them rather than boss them. And in the interview process, let candidates know in detail what you’re doing to lead virtually as well as in the office. Overall, leaders need to dare to care for their people.”

“Over the past two years we’ve realized that we all fail or thrive together,” Quinn Votaw says. “In this pivotal moment, we have the opportunity to rethink our recruiting and workplaces and break the status quo that has kept us from reaching our full potential.”


Kathleen Quinn Votaw ( is the CEO of TalenTrust, a strategic recruiting and human capital consulting firm. She is the author of DARE to CARE IN THE WORKPLACE: A Guide to the New Way We Work. Regarded as a key disruptor in her industry, Quinn Votaw has helped thousands of companies across multiple industries develop purpose-based, inclusive communities that inspire employees to come to work. Her company has been recognized in the Inc. 5000. Kathleen also speaks nationally on recruitment, culture and leading with empathy in the workplace.


How to Deal with Employee Absenteeism

While on average an employee would miss 54 days of work in 2020, the logistics sector holds an unfortunate record: one of the highest annual increases in absenteeism, putting it just behind the health sector, i.e. 32% over one year. Beyond the exceptional sanitary situation, the supply chain is facing a chronic problem of workforce retention. What HR and organizational levers should be used? Here are a few ways to encourage employee commitment and well-being… and reduce absences.

In its annual survey based on data from 671 companies and more than 350,000 employees, Gras Savoye Willis Towers Waston confirms that absenteeism has increased sharply and steadily over the last five years, particularly in SMEs and ETIs. If the first containment has had an obvious impact, it is far from being the only explanatory factor. While the “transport and logistics” category now holds second place in the sectors most affected by this phenomenon, the study reminds us that the average cost of absenteeism in a company of 1,000 employees varies between 1.7 and 3.5 million USD per year. The weight of logistics activities in this loss of earnings is considerable. Faced with the growing risks of delays and shutdowns in the supply chain field due to lack of personnel, here are three steps for dealing with absenteeism.


1. Offer visibility to employees regarding the impact of their tasks on the entire operation

Just like remuneration or benefits offered by the company, the quest for meaningfulness is now well known as a major lever for commitment to the workplace. But how to motivate employees when the tasks they are entrusted with are by definition simple and repetitive? As a manager in the logistics sector, taking the time to regularly explain the stakes and the purpose of your job to each employee, and being able to give them concrete and personalized feedback on the impact of their work, is a way to give meaning to low-skilled logistics functions. Examples include employees knowing which customer profile is ultimately targeted, having details on the products handled and the marketing promise, knowing and understanding all the other technical steps upstream and downstream of his or her intervention. This type of information will help everyone understand his or her role in the supply chain, and therefore, empower teams individually and collectively.

Today, integrated HR tools and advanced warehouse management solutions offer a comprehensive view of current operations and can provide data and visibility to managers.

To learn more about technology that can help you optimize your workers’ performance and increase motivation, read our WMS – Decision Making Guide

2. Invest in technology and robotics to reduce drudgery

Implementing voice command devices for operators or equipping them with exoskeletons is a way to limit strenuous movements and loads carried, thus reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Some companies are even starting to equip themselves with ‘cobots’, these robotic collaborative assistants that help employees prepare orders and reduce their movements.

Used wisely, these tools have the dual benefit of reducing the risk of sick leave and work-related accidents while optimizing overall warehouse performance.

3. Incentivize employees through game-based management

Sometimes alone at their workstations, with no real opportunity to communicate with their colleagues for long hours, supply chain operators can legitimately feel isolated. Keeping them motivated is a daily challenge for managers and HR. Gamification is one way to encourage commitment, pride of belonging and team concentration. For example, it is a matter of organizing interactive performance contests, between peers or between teams, aiming at collecting a maximum of points to obtain symbolic or material rewards. Or measuring the quantity of plastic recycled by each person, with rewards at stake. These challenges can also encourage employees to follow professional training courses or to respond to co-optation campaigns. These initiatives contribute indirectly to the fight against dropping out of the workforce and absenteeism.

Generix Group North America helps distribution & manufacturing companies achieve operational excellence with their WMS & MES Supply chain solutions. We invite you to contact us to learn more.

This article originally appeared here. Republished with permission.

purpose cash

Paycheck Or Purpose? How Businesses Retain Workers by Giving Them Both.

At a time when global talent shortages are reported at a 15-year high, one key to keeping the best employees happy and onboard may lie in how well companies not only state their purpose and their values, but also prioritize carrying them out.

“When purpose and values are backed by meaningful action, you have the extraordinary opportunity to sharpen your company’s legacy – and have a better chance of retaining employees who otherwise might seek opportunities elsewhere,” says Maggie Z. Miller, the ForbesBooks co-author with Hannah Nokes of Magnify Your Impact: Powering Profit with Purpose (

That’s especially critical these days when 69% of companies worldwide have reported talent shortages, and many employers are working to build more flexibility into jobs, something workers are demanding, according to a recent ManPowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

Miller points out that studies show firms that do a better job of practicing corporate responsibility can reduce average turnover over time by 25 to 50 percent. Employees want more than just a paycheck, although that’s important, too, she says. They want to feel that there’s some greater legacy to what they do each day and as a result they are drawn to companies that practice purpose alongside their profit.

Assisting businesses in finding and embracing purpose is what Miller and Nokes do. They are co-founders of Magnify Impact, a company that helps business leaders not only be prepared to react swiftly in times of crisis, but build a proactive strategy for effective social impact.

“Part of enriching your corporate growth journey is to move beyond purely transactional business operations,” Nokes says. “Purpose and values are the rock on which your business stands.”

And an essential element of that involves developing engaged employees.

Workers Desire Fulfillment

“Strong organizational values help cultivate fulfillment, where employees become active participants in, and ambassadors of, a company’s purpose,” Miller says.

People’s desire for fulfillment at work is strong, according to a PwC/CERC survey, which found that 70% of those surveyed said they would leave their current job for a more fulfilling opportunity, and one in three would consider lower pay to find more on-the-job fulfillment.

Meanwhile, Glassdoor’s Mission and Culture Survey 2019 found that 79% of adults would consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying for a job.

But one additional hurdle companies face in keeping employees engaged these days is that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on work and culture, Nokes says.

“Many companies will never go back to a full-time, in-person workforce,” she says. “Figuring out how to manage this new style of part physical and part virtual workplace is at the forefront.

“The pandemic and its reverberating effects raise new challenges for putting a company’s purpose into practice in day-to-day situations. How do you keep your people tethered to the culture in times of stress? How do you keep employees invested in and passionate about your brand when they’re not physically together?”

Miller and Nokes say it’s important to get employees involved in helping develop the solutions to those nagging questions.

Keeping It Simple – And Ambitious

While a company’s purpose and values can and should be ambitious, they don’t need to sound grandiose, peppered with flowery language or impenetrable prose, Nokes says. Some of the most successful companies state their purpose and values in simple and straightforward language.

For example, Patagonia’s purpose is “to save our home planet” and its values are “build the best product; cause no unnecessary harm; use business to protect nature; not bound by convention.”

Definitely ambitious. Also, easy to understand.

But purpose and values can’t just be feel-good ideas. They must be acted upon, or else employees will soon see that the company doesn’t really mean what it says, and they will go in search of a place to work where the purpose truly means something, Miller says.

“It doesn’t matter if you are in a beautiful corporate headquarters with your company’s values painted artistically on the wall,” she says. “Business leaders should ask themselves and their employees, ‘Do we make decisions based on these values? How often do we talk about them in leadership meetings?’ If the answers are ‘no’ and ‘never,’ it’s leadership’s job to get those words off the wall and into the hands of their people to use them.”


Maggie Z. Miller and Hannah Nokes are ForbesBooks co-authors of Magnify Your Impact: Powering Profit with Purpose ( They also are co-founders of Magnify Impact, a company that helps business leaders create effective social impact strategies. Miller has developed social impact solutions with hundreds of company leaders globally. Previously, she founded an international nonprofit organization to provide microcredit loans for thousands of women in Peru. Nokes has led corporate social responsibility for global corporations and founded an impact collaborative of companies in Austin, Texas.


It’s an Employee’s Market, Here’s How to Keep Them

Have employees ever had this much leverage?

Employers are struggling to fill jobs in the wake of “The Great Resignation.” There were a record number of U.S. job openings in June – over 10 million – as nearly four million Americans quit in that month alone, reflecting confidence they can find better positions and places to work.

Many employers are having to compete for workers by offering attractive signing bonuses, higher pay, better benefits, and remote work flexibility. But company leaders, whether they are trying to recruit top talent or retain it, must be cognizant that doing either successfully depends on much more than an attractive compensation package and big raises, says Kathleen Quinn Votaw, the author of DARE to CARE IN THE WORKPLACE: A Guide to the New Way We Work.

“The role of leaders in recruitment and retention has been changing,” says Quinn Votaw, CEO of TalenTrust, a strategic recruiting and human capital consulting firm. “People want different things from you now. A paycheck is not enough on any level.

“It comes down to work culture, and leaders set the tone for that. Leaders who hold onto outdated management styles like top-down control or distrust of anyone working from home will lose some of their best employees. Today, you can count on the fact that top talent is evaluating your values, leadership style, and your level of commitment to putting people first. These are the things that determine whether people stay with you or go.”

The global pandemic, Quinn Votaw says, has increased the importance employees place on work-life balance, more flexibility, and stronger connection with leadership. Deloitte’s 2021 Human Capital Trends report shows that many executives believe workers will gain greater independence and influence relative to their employers in the future.

“In this type of market, workers have a lot of leverage,” says Deloitte CEO Joe Ucuzoglu.

Quinn Votaw offers three ways for leaders to create a culture where workers want to stay and one that new talent wants to join.

-Emphasize communication and recognition. “When people feel underappreciated for their contributions, it’s impossible to have a positive employee experience,” Quinn Votaw says. Increasing recognition, along with prioritizing open and transparent communication, she says, “build the strong connections and trusting relationships that employees want most.”

-Nurture a healthy work-life balance. Putting a higher priority on productivity than the well-being of employees leads to disengagement, burnout, and turnover. Research by Robert Half finds that 70 percent of employees say they’ve been working on weekends and working more hours than they did before the pandemic, yet 51 percent of them worry that their manager doubts their productivity when working from home. “Who can blame them for looking for new opportunities in happier, healthier, more trusting work environments?” Quinn Votaw says. “Give employees manageable workloads and the flexibility to get the job done in a way that fits their life holistically.”

-Listen and take meaningful action. Quinn Votaw says turnover prevention boils down to understanding what your people need. “Employees have complained for decades that leaders are terrible at making needed changes in response to their feedback,” she says. “Today’s employees won’t put up with lip service. Act on their feedback quickly so they know you are listening and understand that they are valued.”

“People want leaders who listen to them, trust them, show patience and humility, and support and empower them,” Quinn Votaw says. “Retaining your talent means creating an amazing, positive, inclusive culture where everyone is paid fairly, appreciated, and able to grow.”


Kathleen Quinn Votaw ( is the CEO of TalenTrust, a strategic recruiting and human capital consulting firm. She is the author of DARE to CARE IN THE WORKPLACE: A Guide to the New Way We Work. Regarded as a key disruptor in her industry, Quinn Votaw has helped thousands of companies across multiple industries develop purpose-based, inclusive communities that inspire employees to come to work. Her company has been recognized in the Inc. 5000.

upskilling and reskilling

Fight the Labor Shortage with Upskilling and Reskilling

Warehouse and logistics employees were getting harder to find pre-pandemic, and the COVID-19 outbreak has increased that level of difficulty. Companies across all industries are having a difficult time finding, recruiting and retaining workers in an industry known for requiring long hours on your feet, some heavy lifting and high overall employee turnover.

“Competition for warehouse workers was already stiff before the pandemic. Stores were adding jobs at their warehouses and logistics networks as more customers ordered online,” CNN reports. When the global pandemic drove up ecommerce sales, it added more pressure on retailers to staff up at warehouses.

“Now, retailers are scrambling to add extra warehouse staff as they ramp up for the peak holiday season amid a record number of unfilled jobs,” CNN adds. Citing Korn Ferry statistics, the news outlet says 52% of retailers are facing “significant challenges” hiring warehouse employees right now, and that 33% of the companies surveyed are having an equally hard time staffing their stores.

Of course, at the opposite end of any major disruption lies new opportunities. In this case, companies have a chance to reverse the tide of the labor shortage through upskilling and reskilling. Are you up to the challenge? Read on to find out.

What are Upskilling and Reskilling?

The speed at which jobs are changing—sometimes due to automation and other times due to new business models—means that employees must constantly learn new skills in order to stay relevant and satisfied with their jobs. In many cases, traditional career paths or educational models aren’t enough to satisfy the rapidly evolving demands of the modern workplace. This is where upskilling and reskilling come in.

Upskilling is learning additional skills or enhancing existing abilities, often with the goal of advancement. A retail store clerk or office manager would upskill when transitioning to a management or corporate role, for example. Reskilling, on the other hand, is learning a new set of skills or training for a new role, often with the goal of transitioning to a new job or different industry. A truck driver who wants to become a computer programmer would need to reskill.

Updated Knowledge and Skillsets

Highlighting the value that upskilling and reskilling provide companies and their associates, Ohio News Time says more companies are investing in both because they help employees “perform better with the updated knowledge about their field and the latest developments in their industries.”

“Upskilling creates a positive impact on both organization and staff that can be witnessed through better performance and an increasing number of goals being achieved,” the publication points out. Upskilling and reskilling also help companies promote productivity and bring out the best in their associates; build more self-reliant, confident workforces; and help workers navigate through uncertainty.

“Uncertainty is a crucial reason for companies to invest in upskilling their employees,” Ohio News Time points out. “This includes all the technological advancements, new projects, and reorganizations.”

How Technology Supports Upskilling and Reskilling

With technology transforming every field and advancing the functionalities within those fields,  employees are learning how to leverage new advancements at work. The warehouse or distribution center (DC) is a perfect backdrop for seeing the value of upskilling and reskilling in action. Highly automated warehouses are much more attractive and require a more advanced skillset from the new generation of warehouse/supply chain employees.

For example, Cameron’s Coffee is a coffee roasting, packaging, and distribution company that receives its coffee beans from South America, stores them in Minnesota and ships them to hundreds of stores across the country. The company originally had a paper-only warehouse where individuals had to manually check and encode items.

Ready for a change, Cameron’s Coffee decided to update its warehouse and use a combination of the SOLOCHAIN WMS and MES that directly tied into its ERP. With the addition of the software coupled with iPads and handheld devices, the warehouse’s efficiency skyrocketed, sales increased by 50%, ecommerce grew by 200%, and the company was able to expand the size of its warehouse by 25%.

Equipped with their new software and iPads, the company’s employees were not only more efficient, but they were also happier in their jobs. The new technology increased their independence and reduced the amount of time required to complete tasks.

Time to Replace those Aging Systems

When you replace aging, manual warehouse systems with a modern WMS, you’ll not only get efficiency and productivity gains, but you’ll also experience an overall boost in employee morale. This is because the more you reduce the mental and physical strain on your employees the happier they will be.

Utilizing technologies that younger staff is comfortable with (e.g., iPads and touchscreen devices) helps them be more productive and safe at work. Implementing voice command technology in the DC, for instance, helps reduce mental strain and drives an increase in productivity.

5 Ways to Kick Off Your Upskilling Program

Over the next few years, upskilling and reskilling may become more important than ever before. According to the World Economic Forum’s most recent The Future of Jobs report, about 40% of employees’ core skills will change within the next five years. This means that 50% of all employees will have to upskill or reskill.

To companies that want to start their own in-house programs, AG5 suggests these five starting points:

1. Establish training programs for your current workforce.

2. Set up a mentorship scheme in which experienced veterans transfer still-needed skills to the younger generation.

3. Focus on creating versatile and multidisciplinary staff. Job rotation is a prime example of how to achieve this.

4. Add new tasks to existing job profiles so that staff have to learn new skills.

5. Hire specialists to fill gaps for which your current workforce has yet to be retrained.

With no end in sight to the current labor shortage, and with ecommerce once again expected to grow in the double digits in 2021, the time to start assessing your workforce and implementing upskilling/reskilling programs is now. Rather than waiting for your competitors to get a leg up on you, why not make some moves in this direction today?

Solutions exist today that can ensure any warehouse or distribution center operates at peak efficiency, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Transportation Management Systems (TMS) to Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and more, software platforms can deliver a wide range of benefits that ultimately flow to the warehouse operator’s bottom line.

Generix Group North America provides a series of solutions within our Supply Chain Hub product suite to create efficiencies across an entire supply chain. Our solutions are in use around the world and our experience is second-to-none. We invite you to contact us to learn more.

This article originally appeared here. Republished with permission. 


Cities With the Biggest Increase in Construction Jobs

While the potential for trillions of dollars of new infrastructure spending looms on the horizon, America’s construction industry is struggling to even keep pace with current demand for new homes, businesses, roads, and bridges. A shortage of supplies and employees has created ongoing challenges for construction firms and their customers.

“The home building industry faces a major shortage of skilled workers. This persistent challenge endangers the affordability and availability of housing and hinders a robust economic recovery,” said Ed Brady, president and CEO of the Home Builders Institute (HBI), which recently released a report detailing the extent of the worker shortage. At the start of 2021, 60% of builders were experiencing a labor shortage, and the industry was in need of more than 300,000 additional workers, according to HBI. Even more recently, the trade association Associated Builders and Contractors estimated 430,000 additional workers would need to be hired in 2021.

While the construction labor shortage has been exacerbated by recent economic conditions, it is a trend that predates the COVID-19 pandemic. The longer-term issue stems from a decades-long decline in trade education and a lack of interest among younger workers, many of whom perceive employment in the construction industry as a last resort.

The construction labor shortage is most severe for framing crews and carpenters, where about 25% of firms reported a serious shortage and nearly another 50% reported moderate labor shortages, the HBI report noted. Other trades facing significant labor shortages included bricklayers, masons, concrete workers, painters, and plumbers.

Despite short- and long-term labor shortages at the national level, states where population growth has been hottest are also where construction hiring has boomed in recent years. From 2015 to 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded about 35% growth in construction employment in Idaho and Nevada, as well as about 30% growth in Florida, Arizona, Oregon, and North Carolina. In contrast, states in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions have seen construction jobs stagnate or even decline over the past five years.

To find which metropolitan areas have added the most construction jobs over the same time period, researchers at Construction Coverage analyzed BLS data between 2015 and 2020, calculated the percentage change in construction employment, and ranked all metros of 100,000 residents or more based on that growth.

Here are the large metropolitan areas that added the most construction jobs over the past five years.

Metro Rank   Percentage change in construction employment (2015–2020) Percentage change in total employment (2015–2020) Total change in construction employment (2015–2020) Total construction employment (2020) Median annual wage for construction workers (2020)


Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA    1     48.8% 10.7% 17,510 53,370 $55,250
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC    2     37.9% 8.7% 15,270 55,580 $41,270
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV    3     34.1% No significant change 13,320 52,340 $49,140
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ    4     33.3% 12.4% 25,900 103,640 $47,030
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL    5     32.2% 7.2% 14,570 59,860 $38,870
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN    6     31.3% 9.3% 8,210 34,470 $41,810
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA    7     30.9% 4.9% 13,360 56,580 $59,390
Jacksonville, FL    8     29.8% 9.8% 7,800 33,970 $38,450
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA    9     29.6% 13.7% 19,100 83,650 $52,580
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL    10     28.5% 3.0% 23,080 103,950 $41,440
Salt Lake City, UT    11     27.2% 10.4% 8,370 39,130 $48,060
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL    12     25.5% 6.6% 11,850 58,230 $39,670
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI    13     24.2% No significant change 3,770 19,320 $46,190
Raleigh, NC    14     22.1% 10.1% 5,100 28,180 $43,340
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN    15     20.1% 2.7% 6,950 41,580 $48,360
United States    –     8.4% 0.9% 460,010 5,937,830 $48,610


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Construction Coverage’s website:

labor shortage

The Labor Shortage is the Next Major Issue Facing the Supply Chain

The labor shortage is fast becoming the next significant problem for the supply chain. Many frontline warehouse employees fall into the category of shift workers who have yet to return to the workforce, even as the economy bounces back, and the demand for workers still continues to climb. While these critical jobs remain difficult to fill, employers are focusing on optimizing the labor force they have and introducing incentives and employee recognition programs to keep the team they do have engaged and happy. 

A particularly painful category of workers that’s in short-supply and high demand is supply-chain planners. Now, in addition to having to manage the current logistics issues and shortages, employers are having to figure out how to fill the position that would have traditionally helped alleviate some of these bottlenecks or re-allocate duties to current employees who are likely already overworked. With job openings close to a 20-year high, supply chains are struggling to keep up with a new boom in consumer demand.1  

The labor shortage within the supply chain will ultimately end up costing manufacturers and the end customer more money as distribution teams continue to be backlogged and understaffed. While manufacturers and suppliers work to hire and train as quickly as possible, many are utilizing supply chain visibility tools to alleviate the strain of labor shortages within operations. With much of the strain falling on frontline employees, real-time warehouse visibility is more important than ever.

Industries Where Labor Shortages are Having the Greatest Impact 

Several companies, from fast food chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. to chicken producer Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., and MGM Resorts International say they can’t find or even attract enough workers.2 In addition to the hospitality and warehousing industry suffering labor shortages, the automotive industry is also experiencing their own shortages due to reduced demand due to the chip crisis.3 Short-term shutdowns to sanitize facilities combined with difficulties hiring workers continues to cause strain and slow down growth for manufacturing.4 Because of this, many companies are now turning to labor management visibility for a better understanding of how to utilize their existing workforce more efficiently.  

Labor Management Solutions Producing Measured Success 

When short-staffed, it’s imperative to make smart decisions about the different tasks and activities being allocated to each employee inside the warehouseIncorporating a warehouse visibility tool focused on labor management allows employers to see how the workforce is performing at the company, region, warehouse, shift or any other level defined in real-timeHaving the ability to drill-down into the metrics and pinpoint measured versus unmeasured work issues helps identify the next steps needed to optimize labor utilization and productivity.  

Having a labor management visibility solution in place also provides real-time insight into those employees that are going above and beyond their assigned job functions. Employee recognition, pay for performance, and high-performance incentives for employees is more important than ever before to keep the existing workforce satisfied as well as engaged with their work. 

In a recent Rebus by Longbow customer case study, it was reported that the implementation of a labor management visibility solution enabled labor sharing across multiple sites, which reduced the need for two full-time equivalent employees per site as well as most of the overtime hours. This ultimately equated to 9% in labor savings equating to $1.3 million.5 

Intelligent Labor is the New Normal  

In the era of the “New Normal”, many of the former workforce remains unable to return to work due to health fears or the inability to find child or elder care. Because of this, it’s more important more than ever to utilize warehouse visibility and labor management tools to optimize productivity. The important thing to remember is to find an appropriate labor management system that is built for measuring tasks on the floor, not just reporting on them.  

With this enhanced real-time visibility, warehouse operators will be able to see where they can reallocate their labor force on the spot to maximize daily supply shipments in order to fulfill more orders each day.  


Alex Wakefield is the CEO of Longbow Advantage with over 20 years of experience in supply chain technology and implementations including leadership roles at IBM and Blue Yonder (formerly JDA/Red Prairie). His focus is on enabling distribution teams to better manage, leverage and action their data across the supply chain through the use of Rebus, the only real-time warehouse visibility and labor platform purpose-built for the supply chain. 


4: economy/article/21156586/manufacturing-in-february-rapid-growth-checked-by-supply-hurdles  

remote work

4 Ways Continued Remote Work Could Torpedo Business and Career Success

The rise of remote work has changed the face of business, and in some cases brightened the outlook for employees weary of battling traffic during morning and late afternoon commutes.

Many of those employees hope their companies will stick with this new work-from-home reality even after the pandemic is nothing more than an unhappy memory.

But despite the benefits, continuing remote work beyond what is necessary could result in serious consequences, says Clint Padgett (, president and CEO of Project Success Inc. and the ForbesBooks author of How Teams Triumph: Managing By Commitment.

“Working from home limits the interaction between employees and their managers and co-workers,” Padgett says. “That might be fine for a short time, but over the long haul it means you aren’t developing relationships or communicating in ways necessary to create a cohesive team.”

So far, most people choose to focus on the upsides. More than half – 54 percent – of remote workers say that if given a choice they would want to keep working from home even after the pandemic, according to the Pew Research Center.

Padgett says employees and their employers may both come to regret that view. He says potential downsides of permanent work from home could include:

Employee burnout. When someone leaves an office at the end of the day, they put both actual distance and emotional distance between themselves and work. With remote work, Padgett says, that barrier between home and work is removed, which could lead to greater instances of burnout. As a result, people are more likely to produce poor quality work or leave their current jobs in search of something they hope will be better, he says.

The end of “serendipitous” meetings. In an office setting, not every exchange of ideas happens in scheduled meetings or formal brainstorming sessions. People see each other in hallways or the breakroom and start to chat. “Those organic conversations often result in creative thinking and problem solving,” Padgett says. “That’s a missing ingredient in the creative process with remote work.”

An increase of “silo-itis.” Even in an office, human nature leads people to seek out like-minded individuals, which means people within departments often stick together unless steps are taken to make sure they interact with others. “With the lack of physical interaction that remote work gives us, we will be even more isolated, working only within the team structure,” Padgett says. “That’s problematic because you get better results when people come out of their silos.”

The potential for lower pay. One of the perks of remote work is that people can live where they please and no longer need to be in the same general area as company headquarters. That means they can abandon high-cost areas in favor of communities where housing is cheaper. But Padgett points out that there are already news reportsthat some employers are considering paying people less as a result.

Right now remote work is the reality for many people, so to get the most out of it, managers should be proactive about making sure remote workers are actively included in Zoom meetings, Padgett says.

“And while I know nobody wants more Zoom meetings,” he says, “people may need to schedule one-on-one time with coworkers or to gather virtually in small groups just to chat and discuss non-work-related topics.

“That can help restore some of those serendipitous moments and reduce the problems associated with a return to silos.”


Clint Padgett (, the ForbesBooks author of How Teams Triumph: Managing By Commitment, is the president and CEO of Project Success Inc., a project management company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.


Key Considerations in the New World of Work

Employers around the world are all familiar with how COVID-19 has changed—and continues to change—the face of work. With so many employees working in a full-time capacity from home, the jury is still out on the extent to which this trend will continue once the crisis has been brought under control.

What we do know is that increasing numbers of employees who are in the position to take advantage of greater flexibility about where to work are weighing their options.

There are different terms to describe that flexibility – “work from anywhere” (WFA), or “work from home” (WFH) are the two most common. Another, related trend is also on the rise: “delocation,” or the movement out of high-cost, urban centers into less crowded or less expensive suburbs. Whatever we call it, however, it continues to present multiple challenges that HR and global mobility professionals must grapple with.

Cross-border remote work was taking hold long before the pandemic. Estonia launched an e-residency program to entice location-independent workers as far back as 2014. Since then, several other countries have introduced their own versions of visa programs that essentially permit stays of varying lengths, as long as individuals are employed by foreign entities and meet certain criteria, such as minimum income levels and proof of insurance.

What is new since COVID-19 is the sheer volume of remote workers in locations other than that of their employing entity. In addition, some employees may be seeking to work remotely in global destinations that are not yet offering remote worker visas, with geographic considerations, lifestyle choices and travel restrictions perhaps more top of mind than what the immigration requirements are that they must meet.

While every company will have a unique approach to addressing a changing remote work landscape, there are some essential things that both employers and employees need to consider.


Whether companies adjust employees’ compensation by location will depend on multiple factors. Glassdoor provided an interesting discussion on the impact on pay when employees opt to move to a new location on their own volition. “A highly debated issue facing employers today is whether pay should be adjusted for their fully remote workers choosing to move to new cites. Opinion on this topic runs the gamut, from those who advocate for fully adjusting pay based on local cost of living to those who argue for a flat pay structure for remote workers—essentially arguing that geography is no longer an influential or determinative factor in setting pay in our newly remote-friendly world.” However, the article goes on to say, “The reality of how pay will adjust as millions of workers go remote is complex. Every worker is different, and it’s not possible to predict a single or uniform base pay adjustment that will be appropriate for all workers across varying situations and locales.”

A key point of the article is that pay, for a very basic reason, will almost certainly adjust for many workers who go fully remote and locate to new cities: In labor markets, compensation varies by geography for complex reasons related to supply, demand and productivity — not just the cost of living.

Other critical elements come into play, too, such as local labor laws and whether compensation adjustments would even be permissible for foreign nationals, depending on their immigration status.

But are employees willing to accept pay cuts? A Fast survey of 600 U.S. adults found 66% willing to take a pay cut for the flexibility of working remotely. To what degree they would accept a reduction varied, however:

-14% would accept a one-to-four percent cut

-29% would take a five-to-14 % cut

-17% would take a 15%-to-24% reduction, and

-7% would take a 25% or more cut.

That said, one-third (34%) would not accept less pay for flexible remote work.


With a growing number of employees working from home, employer policies have been shifting with regards to the type of home-office expenses the company might cover. While most companies traditionally reimburse fully or partially the usual “hard” costs (e.g., a laptop), some employers have expanded their policy to cover the “softer” costs of equipment that make the workspace more comfortable and productive.

Mercer survey on the topic of COVID policies found that employers reimburse or provide the following remote support: laptop (56.3%), mobile phone (37%), ergonomic office equipment (23.1%), printer (21.3%), internet (17.5%), nonergonomic office equipment (16.1%), and utilities (5.2%). However, 29.5% of respondents provide no such support.

And then there is the question of travel to office locations, both in the short and longer-term. How often might employees be required to be onsite? If they have voluntarily opted to move within a close enough distance to commute in a few days a week, will there be any reimbursement incentives up to certain distances? What if the remote policy is revised once the virus risk is brought under control – but employees have opted to move to locations that are deemed to be beyond the standard definition of a reasonable commute? For those who voluntarily requested and were approved for a WFA arrangement, what will the guidelines be around cross-border business travel and potentially required testing expenses?

The Mercer research also looked at whether participants have reviewed benefit plans for risks or limitation in coverage and such employer obligations as occupational health. Respondents stated:

-Yes, we have already reviewed and made adjustments (12.5%)

-Yes, the review is in progress (29.4%)

-No, but we will review in the near term (25.7%)

-No, we do not intend to review (23.4%)

Events of the last year have turned a spotlight on just how critical it is to offer a comprehensive global medical plan to traveling employees and those on a global assignment. Verifying the policy covers an employee who elects to change locations is important to ensure continuing coverage.


When it comes to both organizational and individual tax considerations, every situation is unique, and should be informed by the guidance of qualified professionals. But generally speaking, we know that cross-border remote work can cause both employers and employees additional tax headaches, whether those borders are global or regional.

Craig Anderson, CPA, SCRP, SGMS, Vice President of AECC Mobility and current Chair of the Worldwide ERC Tax Forum, has written extensively on the U.S. perspective. “Generally speaking, taxpayers pay income tax to the state in which they work, which is defined as their ‘tax home.’ Although they will owe tax on the earnings to their work state, the home (residence) state will also require filing a tax return and they may possibly pay state taxes there as well.

In the U.S., employers generally need to withhold state taxes for the state in which the employee works. Some states have reciprocal agreements with neighboring states which allow the withholding of taxes based on the employee’s home state tax schedule. Doing so relieves the employer and employee of withholding obligations and remitting income tax on wages earned in the nonresident work state.

Unless you live in one of the nine U.S. states with no income tax, you will always file a resident return that claims all the income you earned, regardless of where you earned it, unless reciprocity exists. This can result in situations in which the employee is subject to tax obligations in both resident and non-resident states. Most often these situations are remediated by a credit on their resident state tax return for the work state’s withholding paid. Unfortunately, such credits are not consistent from state to state and may not provide complete relief from double taxation.”

What does this mean? In the U.S., more Americans may find themselves in the position of filing two tax returns or even paying additional taxes, because the pandemic has them working across state lines. Complicating things, even more, are those workers who leave the home in a neighboring state and go isolate with parents or relatives in yet a different, third state. With each new state comes greater complexity.

Anderson also shares that “this increase in tax liability may also apply to business travelers. If you live in one state, but your employer sends you to assignments in ten other states during the course of the year, you may owe income tax in several of those states. It will all depend upon the threshold rules in each of the states that you travel to for work.”

A corporate entity is subject to the corporate tax regime in a country in which it is legally established. Complications arise when employees are either unaware of or make false assumptions about their eligibility to work in certain locations without fully understanding the nuances of those requirements. Some may have unexpectedly or unavoidably worked abroad for more than 183 days (the threshold used by most countries to determine if someone should be considered a resident for tax purposes) because of travel restrictions, while other expatriate assignees may have opted to return to their home location.

Many countries reacted to the unique circumstances brought on by the pandemic by relaxing or amending current rules, though as the disruption caused by COVID-19 continued, many did not or will not extend the relief. In certain cases, the employer may face potential double taxation, penalties, and interest.

When an employee performs services abroad, even for a short period, local employment laws such as working time rules, overtime and leave entitlements, or termination rights may apply. Employers risk failing to withhold the correct income tax and social charges, and although Totalization Agreements between countries can mitigate this risk, they are not universal. If the employee works in a jurisdiction where she or he does not have the right to work, both the employee and/or the employer may face penalties, fines or expulsion from the country due to violating local immigration rules and regulations.

From an immigration perspective, it’s also important to note that individuals who are on work visas for a particular destination may have restrictions that require them to perform the work at addresses specified to the issuing government and may not be able to work remotely in their host location without approval.

Practical Steps

The way we work is clearly changing, and employers are looking at a variety of ways to attract and retain the best talent while optimizing employee satisfaction and engagement. The reality is, however, for many of the reasons outlined, WFA or broad-based remote work policies won’t work for every organization, individual, or location. The company culture, for example, might favor having the majority of employees in close physical proximity, particularly if the enterprise is small. Leadership might also prefer to implement consistent approaches to work; having employees scattered in different locations might be counter to that philosophy. In addition, specific industry restrictions and regulations, plus the nature of the majority of the many of the roles within the organization may make remote work impossible.

Even if it is feasible, employers must carefully consider to what extent they want to fully implement a flexible strategy. They need to fully understand what it will mean for compensation, tax, immigration, payroll and benefit tracking and administration, and exactly what is required to remain compliant while implementing consistent standards and rules. Further, if compensation and benefits are to be adjusted, where possible, the changes must be fair—as well as transparent through open communication. Another consideration is employee morale: What will the impact be on the entire organization if the workforce is not happy with compensation adjustments or the blend of onsite and remote arrangements?

To make the best decision, sufficient research must be done upfront. In addition to working closely with tax and legal teams, companies could consider asking for employee feedback, surveying other company policies, or reviewing existing policies to identify what changes might be necessary. Management should have the opportunity to review the data, the rationale, and the proposals. Full compliance, management buy-in and open, transparent communication will be crucial to a delocation or WFA talent strategy’s success.


Kristin White is Sterling Lexicon’s Senior Manager, Content and Campaign Strategy, where she brings more than 25 years of experience in global workforce mobility, marketing, editorial planning and communications to her role. Before joining Sterling Lexicon, she worked for many years at Worldwide ERC® in collaboration with cross-departmental teams and industry stakeholders to develop in-person and virtual event program, website article and print publication content, including Mobility magazine.


How to Be a Leader, Not Just a Manager, Even Working from Home.

Nothing in the business is as valuable as the people, and nobody can help you more than an empowered team of like-minded people. Over the past twenty years, we had a few turning points for our company when we had to make significant changes to catch up with the world around us. Every time, our team helped us, supported us, and collaborated with us to make these changes happen. I could not even imagine doing all that on my own.

This is how I learned that leaders lead by inspiring others, while managers focus on what needs to get done on a daily basis. Both are needed, but only one will truly inspire your team to move through even the hardest times.

In the beginning, a lot of our team had to work nights and long weekends, just like any other start-up. Our management team always stayed with the teams even if we could not help them professionally. I always made sure that the team had something to eat (as simple as getting them a take-out or ordering a pizza) or could get home if buses were no longer going (driving them myself or getting them a cab). We lead by example, not just by telling our team what to do.

As a result, in 2008, our CTO and a few trusted employees opened our first US-based office. These people left the comfort of their established lives at home, they encountered a profoundly changing environment around them, and they practically had to travel halfway around the globe. However, they did it for us and with us. Some of our employees practically became part of the family.

How did this all happen? Through connectedness. When it comes to connectedness, it is essential that people feel that they are still working together even when no one is around.

Here are 5 tips to lead your team to a place that feels truly connected:

1. Make sure that everyone understands the common goal. Think of that as providing your employees with a North Star to guide them. It is the only way to align their efforts and your company’s vision and goals.

2. Make sure that they have enough means to communicate effectively. During COVID-19, we introduced multiple tools for our employees: forums, corporate discord servers, group chats on Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, etc. There are hundreds of products available on the market right now, so choose what works best for your business.

3. Ensure that your teams have at least one daily meeting where they share what they did yesterday to make you all closer to the goal; what is their commitment for today, and are there any obstacles on their way right now?

4. Visualize! Visualization is one of the most effective tools to keep everyone connected—Burndown charts, shared documents with progress, kanban boards, etc. There are plenty of instruments for visualization that allows everyone to keep track of what is going on. And that helps them to feel connected to the company and each other.

5. Make sure that information is being spread around. When people are working from home, you lose osmotic communication. So find ways to connect them. We introduced things like a monthly newsletter and town hall meetings. We share all the news and everything we think is essential in a newsletter. And then we assemble everyone at a general meeting, where anyone can ask management anything. Or share their information with everyone if they want to. That helps a lot.

Above all, ask questions and listen to your team. As leaders, you’re there to motivate, so listen hard and often.


Gehtsoft USA LLC is a software development and agile consulting company from Raleigh, NC. For more than 20 years, we help businesses to develop and support their products, resolve their IT problems, and do the Agile transformation of their business processes. Our technical experts, certified technical trainers, professional scrum masters, and product owners have a unique skill set and experience.