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Worrying about how to keep the best and brightest workers might sound counter-intuitive when worldwide economic growth indicators remain uncertain. Yet despite less than stellar forecasts from the likes of Oxford Economics and the World Bank, 2015 looms as a ‘do or die’ year for organizations that depend on quality, qualified people to leap ahead of the competition. Here are the top seven must-haves to attract top talent based on findings from the Oxford Economics report entitled, “Workforce 2020.”

1.      Get leadership in order

Just 44 percent of employees say that leadership at their company can lead the organization to success. I’ve written earlier about the leadership cliff which threatens the viability of many organizations as the world of work changes. Executives see a lack of adequate leadership as the number two impediment to achieve goals of building a workforce that meets future business objectives.

2.      Commit to break down the barriers

Only about 40 percent say their company makes it easy for them to collaborate, and even fewer say their company is committed to diversity (37 percent). Yet ongoing globalization is only expanding the ages and nationalities of the workforce. Global has to be factored into everything HR does as cross-functional, real-time social collaboration explodes globally. HR consultant Paul Belliveau sees geographical boundaries blurring as companies must identify and engage available talent worldwide wherever workers happen to be.

“Companies have to figure out how to incorporate the various sub-cultures into a corporate culture or even a world culture," he said.

3.      Nurture employees with development and training

Company are not focusing as much on development and training as most employees want. This report found roughly one-third of employees expect more feedback on their performance than they currently receive. It doesn’t have to be this way. Employees that receive the training they need not only gain skills to propel the company forward, but also increase loyalty and commitment to the organization. There’s no stronger pool of future leaders.

4.      Invest in the right technology and training

Less than half of employees say their company provides ample training on the technology they need, and less than one-third say their company makes the latest technology available to them. This is a huge problem because the need for skills like analytics, cloud and programming/development will grow sizably over the next three years. However, fewer than 50 percent of employees expect to be proficient during that time frame.

5.      Develop and foster a learning culture

Leaders at most companies do not sufficiently encourage learning. Only 41 percent of employees say their company offers them opportunities to expand their skill sets, and just over one-fifth of employees say self-directed learning is important to their employers.

6.      Incent employees to stay well-educated

Although executives cite a high level of education or institutional training as the most important employee attribute, only 23 percent of those surveyed say they offer education as a benefit. What’s more, incentives for pursuing educational opportunities remain uncommon. With more incentives to pursue education and participate in supplemental training programs, employees would grow their skill sets, and likely inspire peers to do the same.

7.      Pay people what they are worth in the market at-large

Compensation is increasingly important to employees of all ages, making monetary rewards another must-have to keep top talent. This report found that only 30 percent of executives say their company offers competitive compensation. But surveyed employees rank competitive compensation and bonuses/merit-based rewards highest in importance of benefits offered.

Perhaps the biggest harbinger of changing times is how experts view people as a company-wide concern beyond the purview of HR. When I recently spoke with Greta Roberts, CEO at Talent Analytics Corp about this year’s forecast, she advocated renaming HR trends to employee trends.

“People spend such a small amount of time with HR during recruitment and on boarding. People belong to the business unit not HR.'

I have to agree, and it’s likely the best and brightest workers would as well