Employers offer staff a better work-life balance

much has the world of work changed since 11 September? The terrorist attack
certainly cast a long shadow over last week’s annual CIPD conference as
speakers talked in almost apocalyptic terms about a profound shift in employee
attitudes. Keynote speaker Professor Robert Kaplan told delegates that the
tragedy had made staff aware of the fragility of their lives and people were
now looking for more meaning in their jobs.

view was echoed by others, and it is worth noting that it was leaders from the
knowledge based economy who had reached this conclusion, from companies such as
Microsoft or Citigroup.

are responding to this new mood by offering staff a better work-life balance
and examining how well they are communicating company values. However, the real
test will be how companies respond if the economy goes into recession and
whether they revert to the slash and burn approaches of the last downturn.

CIPD leader Geoff Armstrong says in an exclusive interview with Personnel
Today, before wielding the axe companies need to reflect on the skills needs of
the future and consider carefully the risk of any damage to the employer brand
and the psychological contract.

for HR professionals, the present climate offers an opportunity to promote
progressive HR approaches and to play a key role at the heart of company
restructuring.  The next decade will be
the one that talented people want to work in.

Noel O’Reilly

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