Workplace/Workforce Forecasts For The Coming Year

As the economy picks up, employers may face a shortage of skilled labor. Unprecedented churning in the labor marketplace will begin by mid-year. Skilled labor shortages in the United States will move even more jobs to other countries, where workers will improve their skills to perform new tasks.

More people will become independent contractors, selling their services to employers on a project or set-term basis. This movement will expand the work of specialized staffing firms and electronic job boards.

As the economy picks up, employers who have treated employees badly during the tight economy will be in serious trouble. More workers will leave, laid-off employees won’t return, and fewer applicants will choose to work there.

Workers who are fortunate enough to have found their preferred work environment will tend to stay longer. People will seek stability, but may change jobs more frequently in their search for their personal Employer of Choice.

Corporate training and education will accelerate to accommodate new employees and the redevelopment of existing staff. The demand for vocational education will begin to grow as people realize the increasing need---and higher income available---for skilled workers.

Portable benefits will come into vogue, as employees negotiate individualized compensation arrangements with employers forced to be accommodating.

Fewer people will retire completely. Retirees will move into jobs in other fields, start their own businesses, and engage in other activities to remain active and productive.

Re-emphasis on telecommuting will inspire substantial changes in where and how companies do business. Space allocation and management styles will shift to accommodate this flexibility.

Employers will become more selective in hiring. Culture fit will be as important as skills, experience, and attitude.

Leadership development will take on new importance, as employers discover serious inadequacies. Senior executives who do not demonstrate leadership qualities will be asked to leave. Up and coming managers will be expected to learn and practice leadership skills before being moved into senior or even mid-level positions.


For additional information on any of these forecasts, call The Herman Group, Strategic Futurists, in Greensboro, North Carolina, at (336) 282-9370. These forecasts were prepared by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, Professional Members of The World Future Society and Founding Members of The Association of Professional Futurists.

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