New Year’s Resolutions for Career Success
Messenger Associates, Inc.January 12, 2000 Page 3
Seven Changes That Will Challenge Managers- And Workers
This firsthand information about the changing workplace will give you an idea of what's to come.These changes have been compiled from detailed literary research of workplace trends, supplementedby five focus group seesions and individual interviews involving over 200 work professionals. Thesetop seven trends will reshape the work environment over the next 10 years.
The Virtual Organization
We are rapidly moving toward a distributed work force that uses electronic technology to link workersand functions at scattered sites. This change is rapidly altering the nature of work from the salesrepresentatives to shipping employees. The rapid growth of the virtual organization can be attributed tothe rapid evolution of electronic technologies, the rapid spread of computer networks, and the growthof telecommuting.The virtual organization will also reshape traditional approaches to group decision making. In contrastto face to face discussions, e-mail discussions make low status individuals less hesitant to participate indiscussions and relinquish their point of view. These changes will also help employees identifyalternative career targets and let cross-functional teams obtain the best possible mix of technical skills.
The Just-in-Time Work Force
In the United States, the number of individuals employed by temporary agencies has increased 240%in the last 10 years. Along with using more just-in-time workers, organizations are also streamliningoperations and reducing costs by outsourcing support functions.Finding new ways to motivate temporary employees will become a key issue since temporary workerslack traditional motivators such as promotions, merit increases, and profit sharing programs. Just-in-time workers are asked to take a higher degree of ownership in their job by providing them with accessto information and training. In tomorrow's workplace, just-in-time workers will need to be brought upto speed more quickly.
The Ascendancy of Knowledge Workers
We are rapidly shifting from a work force that produces products to one that primarily managesinformation. The rapid growth of knowledge workers will require organizations to rethink theirtraditional approached to directing, coaching, and motivating employees.Given the shrinking half life for many technical skills, this change will place managers underadditional pressure to avoid technical obsolescence. Tomorrow's managers will also need to providetheir teams with the historical context needed to understand the workings of an organization andcontinually educate new employees on corporate culture and values.4
Computerized Coaching and Electronic Monitoring
Over the next 10 years, there will be a dramatic increase in the use of electronic systems to accelerateemployee learning, augment decision making, and monitor performance. These allow employees tolearn their jobs faster, provide workers and managers with immediate feedback, and make it easier topinpoint performance problems in large call-in centers.
The Growth of Worker Diversity
In the next 10 years, worker diversity willl become a critical issue. One reason is that, by the year2000, 85% of people entering into the US job market for the first time will be women and minorities,and just 15% wil be white males, according to US Labor Department predictions.