Work and Workers Are Changing

data point tuesday_500

I’m a big fan of the SHRM Foundation. The resources they put in the hands of HR professionals all over the world are impressive. They do this by funding academic research in areas of interest to HR and business leaders, they provide scholarships for HR professionals to further their professional development and credentials, and they partner with organizations like The Economist Intelligence Unit to provide deep dives into the most pressing people issues of the day. I like that. A lot.

While attending the SHRM Foundation’s most recent Thought Leader Retreat in the fall, I picked up this nifty piece of thought leadership from 2014: What’s Next: Future global Trends Affecting Your Organization; Evolution of Work and the Worker. Published in partnership with The Economist Intelligence Unit, this report discusses the outcomes of “a rigorous process of surveys, expert-panel discussions and analysis” to identify key themes that look at What’s Next in the evolution of work and the worker.

The executive summary lists nine key findings – some are just what you’d expect in considering how work is changing and how the role of workers is changing. Some, however, might be surprising to you:

  • Demographic shifts post conflicting challenges

  • Young populations neither in education nor employment will elevate concerns of a lost generation and the potential for social and political unrest in the near future

  • Burgeoning workplace diversity requires sophisticated managerial response

  • Disconnect between educational standards and organizational demand

  • Services sector on the rise globally at the expense of agriculture and industry

  • Technology transforms workforce composition and culture

  • Wage expectations conflict with increased focus on shareholder value

  • Inequality on the rise as technology decimates the mid-skilled tier

  • Companies balance pros and cons of investment in new regions of development

The discussions in this 48 page report are fascinating and cover a lot of ground. Each topic has graphs from a multitude of sources – if you just read the graphs you’d start to develop a new awareness of the global challenges we face in providing sustainable people strategies for our organizations. This one tells a pretty interesting story:

EIU SHRM Foundation 1

Another one that takes an interesting look at global competitiveness – and perhaps an outcome of the chart above – is here:

Eiu SHRM Foundation 2

I encourage you to pull down this report. It’s a little more than a year old, but it highlights the global issues with which organizations are grappling. HR professionals need to have meta data like this top of mind. Whether you’re leading HR in a one-location organization, or an HR team member in a large, global organization – work is changing. And workers are really changing. And some of the reasons they are changing have to do with what’s happening in other places in the world. It’s not enough any more to only know what the trend data are for your pocket of the world. We – especially HR professionals – need to understand all the levers that are pushing on our people, our industry and our work. This report could assist in developing a broader understanding of why this is important.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Economist Intelligence Unit, Effective Practice Guidelines, Employment Data, Global Human Capital, HR Data, Human Resources, SHRM Foundation, Uncategorized

One response to “Work and Workers Are Changing

  1. Today, the US ranks 5th in tertiary attainment according to OECD “Education at a Glance” 2014 report. However, when baby boomers are removed, the US drops to 12th globally. There are 2.5 billion millennials globally and the US represents only 80 million or 3% of this global generation. You are right! The issue for the last 20 years is essentially that “we cannot see our competition anymore.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s