FREDERICK COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
It’s no secret that today we are living and working longer than ever before, thanks to advances in science, medicine, and technology. What’s less well known, however, is the impact of an aging population on the workplace—specifically, the increasing number of working caregivers, many of whom are juggling full-time jobs along with the challenges of raising children, while also caring for elderly parents.
The cost of caregiving to businesses is currently estimated at a whopping $33.6 billion dollars a year. While many businesses don’t often think of caregiving as having an impact on the daily activity and productivity of their employees, the reality is that almost half of the current workforce expects to be proving eldercare in the next five years.
The number of older adults age 60+ in Frederick County is estimated at 47,708, according to the Maryland Department of Planning, Maryland Data Center, and is growing at a rate of three times that of the overall population.
The impact to businesses is already dramatic. For example:
Employers are increasingly likely to face challenges like work distractions, absenteeism, time away from primary responsibilities and requests to reduce work hours as the need for caregiving increases.
Frederick County has many resources already in place to help businesses and employees navigate their way through this shifting work climate. For businesses or individuals interested in learning more about the challenges and resources available, the below video is a great place to start.
As many of us run our businesses, we tend to think like CFOs, focused on financial measures and statistics as the only details of business that matter. But time and time again, the business world shows us that marketing-first organizations truly win. Here’s why.
1. Marketers Think Customer First, Not Finance First.
It almost seems cliché, but within the sphere of organizations that we talk with, so many of them have not made the mental shift into being a marketing-first organization. They are stuck in financial-only paradigms of decision making.
Now, don’t get me wrong – you can’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Making sure your decisions are financially safe is really important.
But decisions are nearly always more valuable in the long run if they’re focused on the customer first, rather than around an organization’s own interests.
You can really see this in an organization in how they respond to the idea of the customer experience, or how they make decisions around marketing, or even employee engagement. But the truth is, an organization’s entire approach to a customer is evident in just about every aspect of business. From sales to the break room, understanding that the market comes first is a strategic choice, not a statistical exercise.
It takes work and money, and this is why many companies don’t bother with it. To truly step back and take a new perspective on your customer experience (or how your product or service is delivered) gives most leaders a cold shiver. They know from experience that making these changes is difficult, time-consuming, and maybe costly. But in many cases, the true urgency of the situation and the opportunity are left frozen in the state of denial.
So how do you identify if you are one of these organizations? Here are a few signs:
Governor Larry Hogan stopped by the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce office on September 18, 2018 to visit with our Board, Trustees, Ambassadors, partners and staff. A crowd of over 50 guests got to mingle, pose for some pictures and network at the event.
The Chamber considers it a high priority to create opportunities for our Board, Partners in Trust and members to interact with our local, state and federal elected leaders.
“We’re deeply appreciative that Governor Hogan spent time talking to our guests about their business goals and challenges”, Chamber President & CEO Rick Weldon said. “We thanked him for the State’s support of our return to downtown Frederick, and talked about importance of collaboration with our economic development partners. He thought the idea was great, and suggested it should be replicated in other jurisdictions.”
Most organizations spend considerable time and money identifying and selecting talent, but some fall short once the person starts with the organization. Think about your own orientation and onboarding strategies. What is the candidate experience once the offer is accepted and a start date is determined?
An effective orientation creates a positive experience that lessens anxiety, encourages enthusiasm and helps socialization of the new hire. These factors contribute to higher productivity and staff retention.
Ideally, you want a new hire’s first day to be the very best experience that it can be. Although there are always some transactional activities of completing I-9 forms and other administrative documents, an orientation program provides an opportunity for you to showcase your organization and lay the foundation for why you are an employer of choice. You want the new hire to affirm his/her decision to join your staff.
A project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.” That definition covers the design, development, and deployment of everything from aircraft carriers to ziplines, satellites to
submarines, and from smartphones to the infrastructure making it all work! It applies to the gamut of technologies and market spaces and has an economic impact on virtually all industries. The breadth of the definition helps to explain the fact that of the approximately 24 million managers in the U.S., about 8 million are project managers. Chances are fairly solid that you, or someone working for you, is managing at least one project.
I’ve been with the Frederick Chamber for years now. When we started our company 16 years ago, joining the Chamber was one of the first things we did. I thought I was joining for the networking. Turns out I was only half right.
It’s the people who offer the real value to me and my company: the members, the community leaders the Chamber brings together, and the Chamber staff themselves. These are all sources of great information that I can use to grow my business.
There’s just one small problem… many of these people don’t know they’re experts. It’s like the dead people in The Sixth Sense, they don’t know they’re dead (sorry for the spoiler but it’s been years people!)
You’re Good Enough, Smart Enough…
I want you to look into a mirror right now and repeat after me… “I can help people.”
You know things that others do not. You’re an expert! Don’t believe me? How many questions did you answer about your business or services today? Whether it’s a client or a coworker, you have knowledge they want.
This is where content marketing comes in. Imagine if you could extend that knowledge out to a larger pool of people? What if you could solve their problems simply by sharing what you know? What happens when you give someone a gift and expect nothing in return?
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