Men's Articles

The Changing Face Of The Worker

When it comes to keeping up with the trends and preparing for the future, the focus tends to be on technological shifts. Yet, interestingly, it is the sociological and demographical changes that have more profound implications on the future. For example, the paperless office is possible technologically, but people still like to hold a report, handle a manual or open a book.

Telecommuting and virtual offices have been touted as the new way of work, but this. can never replace the timeless social need to meet and interact with others. For managers, four big shifts have radically redefined the workforce and its recruitment, retention and training strategies. They are: Tbe ageing population, the transitioning generations, the increasing options for workers and changing tenure.

Aging Populations

Most developed nations, is seeing a rapidly ageing population. Planning now to deal with this ageing workforce is a key role of managers. Now is the time to begin succession planning in businesses.

Transitioning Generations

In a growing economy, there is a need to both fill current labor demands as well as replace retiring stall. At the strategic level, the knowledge and leadership of older manager, must be effectively transferred to their younger successors. The workforce is made up of different generations, and it is up to managers to get the most out of this diversity. Traditionally, older people tended to be in senior managerial positions, while the younger people were at the front desk, on the factory floor or out in the field.

But now, teams of diverse ages work on a project, older leaders manage across several generations, and, increasingly, voting graduates manage older workers. Without an effective understanding of the different values and perspectives that each generation brings, this is a breeding ground for conflict. Indeed, of all of the diversity in the modern workplace, it is the generation gaps that are causing most of the angst.

Redefined Life

Life now is rarely linear and sequential. Traditionally, a person would complete his education, start working and, perhaps after a career change or two, head into retirement. Today's multi-career generation may retrain several times, with these careers taking them to other states and countries. Therefore, workers today look to have multiple needs met at work: Besides achieving goals and receiving financial rewards, it is also about fun, personal development, greater fulfillment and even environmental sustainability.

Increasing Options

It has never been harder to attract, recruit and retain staff. There is also an increased number of options available today. For young people, there arc more post-school education options, opportunities to travel, work overseas or retrain for another career. Gone are the days when one stayed in a job for life.

The constant changing of jobs, or even careers, is a response to changed times. Today, there is little job security, the environment is competitive and there are no employment guarantees. By understanding this, managers can respond to the situation and overcome the massive expense of this high turnover.


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