It's a very interesting time for HR professionals across the United States and the rest of the world. The reason is there are multiple factors which are changing the workplace. Not only are these factors already having an impact, but they are what will continue to drive the modern workplace for the foreseeable future.
Since the best thing HR professionals can do is get an early start on addressing these changes within their own organizations, we want to take a look at the four factors we believe will have the biggest impact:
Over the course of the next two decades, the Baby Boomer generation will fully phase out of the workforce. While the changing of generations is nothing new, what is notable for HR professionals is the combination of globalization and a truly young workforce. As the International Labour Organization has found, half of the population in areas like North Africa and the Middle East is under 25.
Since organizations are looking for ways to both expand into emerging markets and harness the best talent from across the globe, HR professionals need to prepare for the different types of employees who are going to be entering the workforce. This means looking at ways to offer more flexible work programs in order to secure the best talent that's out there.
While there's long been talk about how "robots" are going to put people out of work, this topic has become a real issue. Although automation may not come in the form of the types of robots that are depicted in science fiction movies, the rapid pace at which technology is advancing means that many tasks formerly performed by mid-skilled workers can now be done by different types of automated systems.
Since technological adoption within organizations will continue to increase in the coming years, HR professionals should already be looking at ways to put career development and other job enrichment programs at the forefront. By not waiting until the landscape has already undergone a dramatic shift, HR professionals can help create a culture of embracing technology instead of fearing it.
Both of these factors tie into what we've already been looking at. Since it's still very hard for most companies to find new hires that have the right mix of technical and soft skills, this is an area that's ripe for HR professionals to positively impact. And because remote work is a concept that will only continue to gain traction, HR needs to take the lead in order to avoid missing out on talented employees.
By really taking these issues to heart and looking for the most effective ways to address them, HR professionals can play a major role in the continued success and growth of their organizations.
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