Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2012 - (Page 12)
❯❯❯ C A R E E R S I N W AT E R
Trends Shaping the Future of Human Resources
BY DR. BOB NELSON
THERE ARE FIVE major trends that will increasingly impact the workforce for all organizations: 1. the growing shortage of skilled workers, 2. the rise of the Millennials, 3. the increase of contingent workers, 4. the evolving role of virtual employees, and 5. the globalization of the labor market.
With unemployment still hovering around 9-10 percent, it is hard to grasp the concept of an impending skilled labor shortage. However, this is exactly what is unfolding and will continue to unfold in the decades ahead. The evidence for this is based on the current demographic trends, which indicate a declining birth rate in industrialized countries, combined with an aging population that is heading into retirement. This will be the most signiﬁcant human resource trend over the next few decades: “Not a labor shortage, but a skilled labor shortage.” The rise of the Millennials is a signiﬁcant part of the shift in demographics. Those born between 1980 and 2000 will soon make up the largest segment of the U.S. workforce in both number and attitude, reshaping the workplace for all workers. This generation of 90 million prospective workers thinks and is motivated differently from previous generations. They expect work to be part of their lives, not to deﬁne who they are, yet they also expect meaning in their job from day 12 • First Quarter 2012 one and are not interested in “paying their dues.” This group is shifting work expectations from “career ladder to career lattice.” The recovery from the “great recession” has led to a signiﬁcant increase in contingent workers. In fact, the temporary employment segment has generated more jobs than any other segment since the recession has technically ended. Businesses have been hesitant to hire back full-time employees due to the uncertainty and volatility in the economy. Many believe this change to be permanent in nature versus just part of the economic cycle. There are currently 10 million contingent workers, greater than union membership. There are also now 22 million companies that do not have a payroll. This group’s work expectations are shifting from “lifetime employment to lifetime employability.” The evolving role of virtual employees is also noteworthy. Forty-two percent of all organizations currently provide some type of ﬂextime or option for telecommuting, job sharing or alternate work schedules,
yet we haven’t yet mastered how to make technology replace the social bonds in the workplace. Often, the more connected we are at work through technology, the more alienated we tend to be in our jobs and less connected we often feel with others. “Work is increasingly becoming a state of mind more than a place to be.” Finally, the globalization of the labor markets continues to take place. The geographical bonds between producer and consumer are gone, and work and jobs are increasingly transferable around the globe. Companies will increasingly need to decide what their core competitive advantage is and for those things other ﬁrms can do better to “move the work or move the worker.” Human resource leadership needs to better lead the charge in helping their organizations prepare for these signiﬁcant workplace trends by being proactive in making the case for action now and bringing solutions to the organization before the workplace trends become overwhelming. This is “a function shift from transactional to transitional to transformational.” For more information on Dr. Bob Nelson, visit his website at www.drbobnelson.com. Content for this article was drawn from his forthcoming book, 1501 Ways to Reward Employees (Workman Publishing), which is due to be released in March 2012. Reprinted by permission of Dr. Bob Nelson.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2012
FROM THE PRESIDENT
FIVE TRENDS SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HUMAN RESOURCES
BEING JULIA CHILD: MAKING THE MOST OF THE OPPORTUNITIES IN RURAL WATER
FROM DITCH TO DESK: THE PATH OF SUCCESS FOR A PROFESSIONAL IN OUR INDUSTRY
WATER UNIVERSITY GRADUATES
PRIVATE SECTOR ON-THE-JOB TRAINING
TAMING THE RIVER
THROWING MY LOOP
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS/ ADVERTISERS.COM
FROM THE CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2012
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