David Jarrard, Chairman of Jarrard, Inc.: Keeping The Human Touch In The Age of Digital Communications

As almost any employer can tell you, today’s workers have high expectations for compensation, the quality of their work experience, and the level of work-life balance. Today’s WorkforceRx guest, David Jarrard, would add one key item to that list: they also expect to have a voice when organizations make important decisions. That means leaders have to engage with workers, not just communicate to them, and that requires creating opportunities for dialogue. “There’s ways for ideas to be shared back and forth so that even if the ideas that are shared aren’t the ones that are adopted, there was a sense of being heard, a sense of being listened to. We have found it to be extremely valuable to retention,” he tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. One of the best approaches is for leaders to rely less on the ever-expanding array of digital communications tools and take the old school approach of walking the halls. “To build trust you’ve got to look somebody in the eye. You’ve got to shake their hand. You’ve got to have that moment of pause where you can actually listen and be in the presence of another person. It’s a fundamentally important investment right now.” Tune in for a wide array of other insights from a seasoned pro that more than 1,000 healthcare organizations across forty-five states have turned to for guidance on how to communicate with internal and external audiences about restructurings, workforce challenges and other high stakes issues.

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Sheila Ireland, President & CEO of Philadelphia OIC: Empathy, Not Sympathy, In Workforce Development

“It is not enough to suggest that people who are unemployed simply need to get a job. For us, it’s about connecting to your understanding of what is your vision for yourself and your families? How do you add value, because you are valuable and we need your contribution,” says Sheila Ireland, president and CEO of Philadelphia OIC, a venerable force in the city’s workforce training landscape. Workforce development as a tool for economic empowerment and social justice is in the DNA of OIC, and it’s a philosophy Ireland, who has 30 years of leadership experience in human resources and workforce training, is building on as she tackles persistently high rates of poverty and unemployment in what is ranked as the poorest big city in America. As she tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, she believes the formula for success has to include high expectations of clients and private sector partners who can move trainees beyond the first rung of the career ladder. Tune in for a candid and super insightful discussion of best practices in workforce training and stay tuned to hear about positive signs in Philadelphia of growing job opportunities in the tech sector and higher ed institutions being more responsive to the needs of lower-income students.

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