Why HR must prepare for the new economy

What does
the future of work hold for personnel specialists – a dream or a nightmare? Our
major report tries to answer that question. The new economy being pioneered in
Silicon Valley may look a long way off to the average personnel manager but
experts warn us that in the modern world working lives are changing not in
decades but in nanoseconds.

The new
breed of employee seems to fall into two distinct groups. On the one hand there
are those who view work as the new religion and one where the rewards are very
much in this world rather than the next. In Silicon Valley 60 new millionaires
are created every day. Americans now work 77 hours a week. Employees who thrive
in this environment may have great dedication to their work but don’t expect
them to have any loyalty to a particular employer.

The second
group of employees are those who are often described as Generation X. They are
the people who put work-life balance ahead of money or job satisfaction and who
are unimpressed with the workaholic culture of their parents’ generation.

The
challenge facing HR professionals is the same for both groups, and is usually
described as the war for talent. Among the carrots being offered to staff are
free BMWs, huge salaries, stock options, on-site dentists, office retreats in
Hawaii and all the chocolate you can eat. Personnel specialists are also
increasingly having to consider policies such as flexible and remote working to
cater for employees who want to spend more time with their families.

The new
economy offers plenty of work for specialists in HR – but only to those who can
adapt quickly enough to the changing industrial landscape. Start preparing for
that challenge now.

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