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2008 Predictions

(December 12, 2007)  WorldatWork Highlights Key Predictions for Human Capital Management in 2008 and Beyond

WorldatWork, an association of human resource professionals from FORTUNE 500 and other leading organizations worldwide, has released eight key predictions that showcase the trends and events that will change the nature of human capital management in 2008 and beyond. The predictions are intended to compel organizations and total rewards professionals to position themselves to take advantage of the coming changes, and not be blindsided by them. Preliminary findings were announced at the WorldatWork Total Rewards Asia Pacific Conference, which took place in early November in Singapore.

"In an environment where the global scope of opportunity and technology are all-pervasive influences, an organization's interaction with a rapidly changing labor force will result in dramatic transformations in workforce management, work design, outsourcing and training," said Anne Ruddy, CCP, president of WorldatWork.

An exhaustive literature review of futurist books and articles coupled with critical analysis by WorldatWork knowledge leaders formed the basis of the effort. Several themes surfaced consistently and are captured in a white paper (available to media upon request).

These changes will require human resource practitioners to re-think their approach to managing human capital. Total rewards professionals must examine these predictions for opportunities to contribute to the business goals and actively define their role for the future.

The Future of Attraction, Motivation and Retention Literature Review white paper offers eight predictions about the future of work and the implications on the total rewards and human resource professions. The authors note that "the future" might already be here for some progressive organizations.

Following are the eight predictions on the future of work:

  1. The successful organization of the future will excel at acquiring, organizing and strategically deploying global resources.

  2. There will be increased global connectivity, integration and interdependence in the economic, social, technological, cultural and political spheres.

  3. Technology will advance at an even more rapid pace than in previous decades.

  4. There will be continuous, dramatic changes in the labor force.

  5. Human capital will become an even greater source of value.

  6. The way work is organized and performed will evolve and change continuously.

  7. Outsourcing will increase.

  8. Self-paced, self-directed individualized virtual learning will dominate business training.

"These predictions have wide-reaching implications for the professions involved in employee attraction and retention," said Ruddy. "An organization's ability to attract, motivate and retain will emerge as the primary indicator of fiscal performance and survival."

The WorldatWork white paper covers several implications for human capital strategy, including:
Labor Force – Workers will value job enrichment, flexibility and career development above job security and stability; employers will need to respond to this shift.

Work Design – Dramatic technological advances, i.e. telecommuting hubs and virtual worlds, will mean that being "at work" won't necessarily mean being at the office. Managers must learn to manage what they can't see.

Outsourcing – Organizations will look for ways to pull jobs apart to find pieces to outsource. Thought must be given to the motivation of workers assigned "pieces" of the work.

Training – Digital communities will flourish, and experts will assert themselves through these communities. Training will be available in small, readily accessible, easy-to-use modules for use at any time.

"In the past, we've resorted to treating everyone the same in our discrimination-sensitive, politically correct environments," Ruddy said. "Given the increasingly diverse workforce, organizations will need to offer more variety in rewards as they try to access the best and the brightest in a seller's market."

WorldatWork has established a forum on www.futureoftotalrewards.org for members and non-members to participate in the discussion about important trends that affect attraction, motivation and retention. The Web site will regularly feature cutting-edge ideas, findings, predictions, survey results and suggestions about how work will be done in the future.

About WorldatWork®
The Total Rewards Association
WorldatWork (www.worldatwork.org) is an association of human resource professionals from FORTUNE 500 and other leading organizations worldwide focused on attracting, motivating and retaining employees.

Founded in 1955, WorldatWork provides practitioners with training and education to effectively design and implement strategies and practices in total rewards, including compensation, benefits, work-life, recognition, and career development.

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