50% of Midwest Business Executives Surveyed Plan to Increase Staff Levels in 2014

Outlook Is Optimistic, According to MRA & Employer Associations of America’s 2014 National Business Trends Survey

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Susan Fronk, Chair, EAA Board of Directors

Susan Fronk, President & CEO, MRA, and Chair, EAA Board of Directors

All of MRA’s leadership, management, and business training programs are designed to address the key competencies required for success throughout an organization, from human resource professionals to managers and senior executives.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (PRWEB) January 02, 2014

The Midwest regional summary of the 2014 National Business Trends Survey, compiled by the Employer Associations of America (EAA), indicates a degree of “optimism” on the part of many Midwest business executives for 2014.

A total of 1,000 Midwest organizations participated in the 2014 National Business Trends Survey. When asked about their overall outlook for the 2014 economy, 89% of the Midwest executives surveyed expect the overall economic outlook to be about the same or better compared to 2013. This optimism continues as 72% (up from 63% for 2013) of Midwest business executives expect increases in their own sales/revenue in 2014.

The regional summary indicates that 50% of the Midwest executives surveyed plan to increase staff in 2014 (mostly during the first half of the year), while 36% of the respondents plan to maintain 2013 staffing levels during 2014. Executives noted both short- and long-term challenges for their businesses that include: ability to pay for benefits, competition in general, cost of regulatory compliance, skilled labor shortage, and professional/technical labor shortage.

With regards to overcoming challenges in the areas of staff recruitment and retention, strategies Midwest executives are using include:

  • Providing existing staff with additional training/development (according to 58% of respondents)
  • Filling jobs with existing staff that lack the job skills but have the potential (according to 48% of respondents)
  • Focusing on existing staff retention for jobs where recruitment is difficult (according to 39% of respondents)

A growing number of Midwest executives (38%, up from 22% reported in 2013) are planning to continue or implement increased training budgets in 2014.

“To assist our members with their goals for advancing staff development and retention, MRA provides a variety of professional, HR, and CEO-focused roundtable events, as well as 1,300 other learning events each year,” explains Susan Fronk, President and CEO, MRA, and Chair, EAA Board of Directors. “All of MRA’s leadership, management, and business training programs are designed to address the key competencies required for success throughout an organization, from human resource professionals to managers and senior executives.”

Other notables from the regional summary include 76% of Midwest executives plan to award wage/salary increases in 2014, while only 9% plan to freeze or reduce wages/salaries in 2014 (15% in reported in 2013). When these executives were asked what they believe the greatest barrier is to business growth in their industry, 44% said economic considerations. This is followed by 17% who indicate government regulations are the greatest barrier.

Survey Information
The 2014 National Business Trends Survey reflects the responses 1,740 organizations, covering all 50 United States. The Midwest regional report summary reflects responses of 1,000 organizations throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Of the responding organizations, 84% are for profit and 77% are privately held. Additionally, 75% of survey participants operate in the Midwest with fewer than 250 employees.

About MRA – The Management Association
Founded in 1901, MRA is a not-for-profit employer association headquartered in Waukesha, Wis., that serves more than 4,000 employers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota covering 800,000 employees throughout the world. MRA, one of the largest employer associations in the nation, helps its member organizations thrive by creating powerful teams and safe, successful workplaces. MRA conducts 1,300 learning events each year. MRA members receive access to expert guidance, best practices, professionally facilitated roundtables, essential tools, and dozens of business services in the areas of human resources and training. In October 2012, Trusight joined the MRA family when MRA became the parent company to the Minnesota-based employer association. To learn more and to become a member of MRA, visit http://www.mranet.org. MRA’s offices are located in Waukesha, Wis.; Palatine, Ill.; Moline, Ill.; and Plymouth, Minn.


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