The first edition of the quarterly WorkForce magazine examines the new rules and technology that are taking workplace management in a new direction.

Editor’s Note

Piecing together the workforce puzzle

By Anne Wallace Allen

Compensation. For workers, it comes in various forms, and the most measurable is pay. Engagement, benefits, and job satisfaction also play a role in employees’ decisions to stay in place.

Pay, engagement, benefits, and the gig economy are a few of the many topics examined in Idaho Business Review’s Workforce, a special publication devoted to human resources and the workplace.

In IBR’s end-of-year issue of Workforce is a story about the first line of defense against threats to cybersecurity: employees. Security experts from big local companies like Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and St. Luke’s Health System share their tips for teaching employees what they can do to protect their employer’s information. Schweitzer has created a popular line of posters aimed at reminding workers about some common security mistakes – like using your dog’s name as a password. The posters are available for download on Schweitzer’s website and company officials welcome others to use them.

Jayce Sharrai, a bartender working at Bardenay restaurant in downtown Boise. Bardenay's owner, Kevin Settles, said most of his managers already make at least $48,000 annually, so his business won't be greatly affected by new overtime regulations that were scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1. Photo by Patrick Sweeney.

Jayce Sharrai, a bartender working at Bardenay restaurant in downtown Boise. Bardenay’s owner, Kevin Settles, said most of his managers already make at least $48,000 annually, so his business wouldn’t have been greatly affected by proposed overtime regulations that are now on hold. Photo by Patrick Sweeney.


workforce-logoWith a statewide unemployment rate of 3.8 percent in Idaho, another big issue for human resources professionals right now is finding people with the right skills and approach to fill empty jobs. Hiring managers say they do get the applicants they need, but the workers they meet seem unwilling to commit to a long-term position. Others say they have problems finding workers who can pass a drug test or perform customer service tasks successfully. For a story about the skilled workforce, writer Sharon Fisher talks to some large local employers about how they handle the challenges.

Color and culture both come into play. With diversity at the forefront of the national conversation about civility, a positive office culture is critical to retaining workers. Fisher outlines some of the ways managers can make the workplace more amenable in a story about workplace culture and hiring. And writer Beverly Corbell adds color with an illustrated piece about the role office furnishings can play.

The important thing for managers to keep in mind is that many, many elements play a role in hiring and employee retention. Increasingly, workers and hiring managers are having more in-depth conversations about flexible working hours, family leave, health insurance, compensation, and culture.

Finding the right people for your business is like putting together a puzzle. There’s one important piece in place that works in employers’ favor: Idaho is a great place to live, and workers want to be here. It’s clear from our conversations with employers and human resource experts that the other pieces are coming together too.

Anne Wallace Allen is the editor of the Idaho Business Review.

For advertising opportunities, email Cindy Suffa at csuffa@idahobusinessreview.com, call (208) 639-3517 or view 2017 WorkForce rate sheet here.