Workforce, Leadership Development and Social Media Top Issues on Chamber Survey

It’s impossible to have any business conversation in 2019 without the workforce issue coming up. It’s no surprise that recent surveys conducted by the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce bring this issue to the forefront. In a business leaders survey in late 2018, our members cited attracting and retaining employees and a lack of qualified workers in their top five local business challenges. This parallels the top five national factors facing businesses.


Last month the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce polled our member businesses and nonprofits to help us further understand their priorities, needs and concerns. We wanted to dig deeper into these business challenges and discover what topic areas are most pressing to them and their staff in 2019. Using this data, we plan to develop valuable educational programming not only at BingBizCon on June 19 but other events and webinars throughout the year.


We received over 100 responses with 37% of the businesses at 10 employees or less; 27% between 11-50 employees; and the remainder with 51 employees or greater.


Our membership ranked topics in six key areas including: human resources, finance, marketing, non-profit management, leadership development and business development.


The top three specific issues were related to workforce development and marketing: including:
• Empowering Your Team – Leadership Development (71.74%)
• Attracting & Retaining Quality Employees – Human Resources (70.97%)
• Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy – Marketing (68.13%)


If we look at general subject areas, Leadership Development (70%) ranked the highest. Organizations that invest in leadership development perform better than those that don’t. Because of the current market trend in low unemployment levels, developing current talent is exponentially more important than ever before. Companies must invest in their employees if they want to have a fighting chance of retaining them. The top three topics under Leadership Development were: empowering your team (72%), building your team (62%) and navigating personality types in the workplace (61%).


The general topic area that ranked second in our survey was Marketing (58%). Marketing isn’t simply an important part of business success – it is the business. Everything else in the business depends upon marketing. Our businesses are interested in improving their ability to create effective social media strategies (68%), top things to do on a small advertising budget (66%), and building their brand (65%).


The third ranked overall topic was Business Development (53%). A business development plan is a road map that defines where you want to take your business and the steps you need to complete to get there. Business development can be achieved through a wide variety of approaches, like referrals, exceptional customer service, increased visibility or new products and services. Our members cited networking (54%), expanding their business beyond Broome County (51%) and sales strategies (46%) as their top three interests in this field.


Our mission is to help our members grow by providing education and resources that facilitate that. This is our inspiration for BingBizCon, an exciting new event on Wednesday, June 19 providing leadership and professional development for management and employees at all levels including breakout sessions and networking opportunities. A showcase of local and regional businesses and organizations will complete the day.


If you have the expertise on any of the topics mentioned above and are interested in presenting a breakout session at BingBizCon, please submit your ideas to Debby Evans at

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