“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” -Benjamin Franklin
When you hear the phrase “exchange program,” what comes to mind? You may immediately think of student exchange programs – opportunities for those still in school to experience a new country while pursuing their degree. But learning in a new-to-you country doesn’t have to end once you have your diploma – traveling abroad for work is also a huge learning experience, no matter what level you may be on the corporate totem pole.
Last year, Kronos launched a Marketing Exchange Program, giving qualified Kronos marketing employees all over the world the opportunity to spend two weeks in another Kronos location. Interested Kronites nominate themselves, and one employee per quarter is chosen by their manager based on several criteria. Travel, accommodations, and meals during their two weeks away are all provided by Kronos.
In addition to being able to explore a new country, Kronites also choose three learning objectives ahead of time that they’d like to explore in their new location. They’re also assigned an on-the-ground mentor to facilitate their stay – and that same “buddy” will be who the Kronite works with on a specific project related to their career. Upon their return to their “home base,” the employee presents his or her key learnings to management.
This program has already proven to be a major win for all parties involved: the Kronite traveling abroad gets to explore another country while advancing their career; the Kronos office they visit can benefit from the additional assistance and perspective; and Kronos as a whole grows thanks to the employees’ growth and expanded knowledge, further contributing to our overall business objectives.
Does your company offer a similar program? Or are you thinking of implementing one? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
I recently had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion at the SHINE Senior Care HR Executive Summit. The panel was entitled “The Trifecta Tsunami – Minimum Wage, Overtime, Living Wage, and Paid Leave. Senior Care and the New Normal”. Yes, the title is a mouthful. And it’s an important topic for any labor dependent business.
Wage stagnation and income inequality are pervasive topics in the media. Wage initiatives at the local, state and federal levels are putting pressure on labor costs that create challenges both from a financial and administrative standpoint. And organizations can’t pass all these increases along to their clients. Recruiting and retention are impacted. Organizations are challenged to find enough workers, with adequate education and training, to fill their jobs.
In the senior living industry, talent truly is everything. From dining to clinical staff, it takes a lot of people with a strong service ethic to make these organizations successful. The jobs can be tough, and often the employees they need can often find equivalent or higher wages at jobs that are easier to perform. Seniors and their families in many cases are literally trusting these providers with their lives, and have high expectations of the service levels from providers.
The panelists I interviewed are all leaders in Senior Living organizations, and all face these challenges:
- Denise Rabidoux, President and CEO EHM Senior Solutions
- Lynne Katzmann, President and CEO Juniper Communities
- Dana Ullom-Vucelich, CHRO, Ohio Presbyterian
- Matt Broman, Director HR, ERA Living
They are all executing strategies to pay competitive – and compliant – wages while still meeting their overall financial objectives. You can listen in to our conversation by clicking on the podcast link below. The first minute or so was cut off, however the opening remarks are captured in the text above.
- What is your philosophy on raising wages significantly? Are you rising to the minimums required or getting ahead of that curve?
- What specific challenges do you face and what strategic measures are you taking when managing the “trifecta” impact of living/minimum wage increases, FSLA overtime rules changing and paid time off?
- How do considerations of talent recruitment impact your wage strategy?
- What strategies are you employing to mitigate the pressures of rising labor costs while retaining the right people?