Memoirs from the OK Society of HR Management Conference held in Tulsa May 7-9 2014.
Session “Workplace Trends – Survival Secrets for the Next Decade.” Margaret Morford of The HR Edge.
This session was heavy on information and provided 6 areas of focus for the next decade.
1.Changes in family structure. The number of single head of household employees is rising which means when a child is sick or an emergency comes up, they can’t get to work. With the delay in marriage and family, many employees are also caught in the sandwich of eldercare responsibilities while also having children under 18 at home. This mean flexible hours, work sharing and jobs that allow “school hours” work are advancing. Companies that can offer concierge type services (think pre-made dinners, dry-cleaning pickup and even haircuts) are meeting these new needs. Companies may also need to consider having an inside temp pool or contractors to fill the gaps.
2.Shift in workplace composition. The Boomers are retiring. Companies need to start succession planning NOW. Can you provide them incentives to stay such as fewer responsibilities or take away the parts of the job (personnel management) they don’t want? Many are job shifting to reduce their stress so figure out what that kind of job, still in your company, could look like. Generation Y will be 75% of the workforce by 2025. They’re tech savvy, they look at your social media campaign, they need a different motivation to stay. 40% of workforce growth has come from immigrants so you need to provide diversity education related specifically to the LOCAL ethnic makeup.
3.Skill set shortages. 30-50% of employers have trouble filling positions. You may need to provide your own on-site training and apprentice programs. Question: “So, what if we train them and then they just leave?” Answer: “What if you don’t train them and they stay?” Build leaders from within. The norm is to promote good workers to management and many fail once they determine they really don’t want to be managers. A leadership program will let them determine that ahead of time.
4.Work-Life Balance. 31% of men, 42% of women, 38% of Gen X, 50% of Gen Y and 27% of Boomers say flexible work hours are critical to their decision to accept a job. With the average Gen Y employment at about 1.5 years, offer a short sabbatical at 2 or 2.5 years. Provide flexible schedules, telecommuting and compressed work weeks. Employees can be about 13% MORE productive when working from home (think less commute, fewer distractions, more focus).
5.Need for new management styles. Again, new managers are not trained properly. 72% may leave if they’re not recognized or coached and 53% of main-line workers say their managers are so-so or worse. Job swapping is a new technique – have managers switch the departments they manage in 6 month or yearly rotations – they’ll need to work with current managers to successfully take over. Gen Y needs feedback and goals setting. They want to know you care.
6.Focus on spirituality, emotionality and social responsibility. 70% of Gen Y say they’re spiritual but not religious. Decision making is about 70% emotional and 30% rational. Think green, provide a true mission statement, create a calling and purpose to projects, provide paid time off for community service.