Business Monday

CEOs discuss their top workforce challenges for 2019

CEOs were asked: Heading into 2019, what do you see as the three biggest challenges for your company’s workforce?

1) Finding workers that are highly skilled and experienced is becoming an increasingly problematic endeavor in health care. We continue to search for nurses, physical therapists, and other care providers, and only see the competition becoming more intense to recruit and retain a high quality workforce; 2) The technology used in health care is becoming increasingly sophisticated, requiring robust training programs for our workforce and the need to recruit additional staff with appropriate experience with the electronic medical record and associated modules, including those related to telemedicine and apps used to care for our patients. 3) Finally, the basic nature of health care delivery is rapidly changing. Multidisciplinary and highly interactive teams are needed to provide high quality patient care. Forming and supporting high performing teams in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings is a major priority.

Dr. Edward Abraham, executive vice president for Health Affairs of the University of Miami and CEO of UHealth - the UM Health System


We have had many challenges locating a large enough facility to accommodate up to 900 employees for our Call Center, and talent is extremely difficult. Secondly, our Cybersecurity Operational Center location has been chosen but again, technology talent in Miami is missing. To this point, we are recruiting and forced to relocate necessary professionals. Lastly, due to outrageous traffic and poor public transportation, we are evaluating changing our office schedule to 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and three-day weekends.

Jim Angleton, CEO for Aegis FinServ Corp.


As a regional healthcare leader, Cleveland Clinic relies on the caliber of our workforce to deliver world-class care. The national nursing shortage is an industry-wide issue that we feel locally as well. As a teaching hospital, we embrace our role in educating the next generation of nurses. Second, the nature of healthcare delivery and the need for 24-hour access in certain settings can make work-life balance a challenge. Preventing caregiver burnout is a priority for us. Lastly, the high cost of living in South Florida coupled with low reimbursement rates for healthcare services can hamper talent recruitment for the region.

Wael Barsoum, M.D., CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic Florida


The biggest workforce challenges we face as a company in 2019 are complicated and not easily solvable. With unemployment now in the vicinity of 3.9 percent, merely competing for great talent is a monumental undertaking. Employees now have more choices than ever before and can choose occupations that offer a work-when-you-want option, higher wages, and more attractive soft benefits than ever. Retaining employees once you have attracted them is becoming increasingly more difficult as well. Combine attracting and retaining great people with the ever-changing shift of skills and only the strong will survive. We focus most of our marketing expenditures and HR efforts on making our company so fun and opportunistic that our people want to stay and grow, even though they might have a better option elsewhere.

Brett Beveridge, CEO and founder of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC)


1) We are building a new community center and our ability to scale our company and maintain the awesome culture that we have created will be a challenge; 2) We are now one of the largest black-owned and operated nonprofits in town, and with Alonzo Mourning becoming a more savvy business person, we are working hard to create a sustainable business model based on creating a national model. We must continually reinvent ourselves and realize that we must remain a Best in Class nonprofit and no longer rely on the celebrity that the Mournings have always had; 3) Creating and enforcing policies that govern sophisticated and sustainable businesses will be something with which we will continue to grapple. With this new building, we will quickly double in size. Finding, recruiting and on-boarding new employees within our structure will be a challenge for which we must prepare.

Bill Diggs, president, The Mourning Family Foundation


We’re going to have to continuously adapt to a changing competitive landscape, invest in the best recruiting, and retaining the best talent, and develop innovative ways to improve the client experience.

Jorge Gonzalez, president and CEO, City National Bank


I think the top three issues for our firm and our portfolio companies are (1) access to high technology talent, (2) convincing top performers around the world to move to South Florida, and (3) creating a culture to compete and win.

Louis Hernandez Jr., CEO of Black Dragon Capital


I see something all banks face — continuing professional development and keeping up with the ever-evolving and more sophisticated banking regulations. Bankers must not only know the rules, they increasingly need to learn about and understand our customers’ business and their banking needs and trends. “Know your customer” should be more than a banking regulation. It should be the driving force in every customer relationship.

Agostinho Alfonso Macedo, president and CEO of Ocean Bank


Our workforce, both attorney team members and support team members, will need to continue to invest substantial time and energy in implementing new technology in order to better and more efficiently serve our clients. We expect that our firm’s recently appointed Innovation Advisor will add value here. For our attorney team members, we will challenge ourselves to enhance our efficiency and productivity and make smart decisions regarding budgeting for our services and crafting alternative fee arrangements. Our Chief Legal Project Management and Pricing Officer is leading these efforts for us. And finally, we will continue to focus on the wellbeing and health of our team members at every level.

Paul Singerman, co-chair of Berger Singerman


Our employees are a microcosm of our community which is a microcosm of our country and as such, I assume most employees are concerned about higher quality education , affordable housing and security . Fortunately , our corporate offices are located in the North Dade area which rates pretty high in regard to school systems, affordable housing and security .

James “Jimmy” Tate, co-owner and president of TKA-Evolution Apparel and of Tate Capital, and co-founder of Tate Development Corp.


Heading into 2019, the three biggest challenges that the Miami Orange Bowl Host Committee workforce faces are competing for higher minimum wages that are comparable to similar cities, the current plan to upgrade the service industry into more high-end professional and secure jobs, and coping with retention rates due to the need for more affordable housing to meet the demand of an increased workforce. In order to grow the company’s workforce, future employees need to have access to adequate housing, transportation, and safe communities.

Rashad D. Thomas, vice president of business connect and community outreach for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee


1) The biggest challenge for our company’s workforce shall be the impact of U.S. trade agreements with China, as these will directly affect our construction material costs, which can increase substantially. 2) The unfortunate natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods, in Florida and surrounding states drives skilled construction workers to those devastated areas, making it more difficult and costly for labor in south Florida. 3) Technology adaptability to our construction work force, who have not necessarily utilized field technology in the construction building process. We have plans on iPads on-site, digital construction cameras, virtual team meetings, and online field productivity tracking, which was not customary five years or even two years ago, and now it is our standard for construction.

Manny Angelo Varas, president and CEO of MV Construction Group


Working with at-risk youth can be challenging, stressful and sometimes even dangerous. We must find and train dedicated and compassionate employees who are able to deal with issues that affect today’s teens, e.g., being sexually trafficked, gang affiliations, domestic violence, gun control and bullying, especially for our LGBTQ youth. Budget cuts at the local, state, and federal level threaten the very bane of our existence, as 60 percent of our agency’s budget is dependent on government funding, and private funding is so competitive in a South Florida market with 600+ local charities. Maintaining exceptional, professional staff through competitive wages in the not-for-profit world, coupled with unaffordable housing in South Florida, is a huge challenge.

Dorcas L. Wilcox, CEO of Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services


The challenges for our workforce and volunteers at Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida continue to be high cost of living, increasing transportation gridlock, and the cost of medical/health insurance. These are not new challenges, they are issues that seem to get worse year over year. We strive to find creative and new solutions to these issues, however, we feel the impacts of these challenges daily.

Chelsea Wilkerson, CEO of Girl Scouts Tropical Florida




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