The Future of the U.S. Workplace and its Workforce in 2008!

The Future of the U.S. Workplace and its Workforce in 2008!

Carleen Mackay

We were at 80% in terms of accurately predicting workforce/workplace related events in 2007!

Q. What do you see as the top business risks for U.S. firms in 2008?
I agree with Ernst & Young's recent analysis in which they addressed this question by offering   us a comprehensive list of strategic risks for global business in 2008.  Their report highlights the five fastest-rising threats that will have an impact in 2008 and for many years to come.  Where do our aging workforces' concerns fit into their list?

E&Y's Top Five Business Risks for 2008
Regulatory and compliance risk Global financial shocks
Aging consumers and workforce
The inability to capitalize on emerging markets Industry consolidation/transition

Q. What are your workplace/workforce predictions for 2008?
2008 is a year of accelerated change in areas you may not have given much thought.  

  1. For instance, upon graduation from college/university, the tail end of Gen "X" and the emerging Generation "Y" will begin to migrate overseas due to rapidly emerging global opportunities.  As the years rush by, it is possible that these ex-pats will stay abroad for their lifetimes and they will be sending money home to their aging parents who have not saved enough for their own futures.        
  2. Evolutionary technologies and new terminologies will become a part of your daily life and vocabulary. Get ready. Read about Google's Wisdom of Clouds that is in the first stages of boosting interglobal communications.Study the start of wireless technology that will improve our thought processing. Rejoice as new medical breakthroughs begin to improve the aging process by extending the quality of your life and improving impaired brain pathways. Smile as America moves beyond implanting spare parts into humans to implanting spare parts into our household pets' aching elbows (our knees). Keep in mind that all these changes will affect you, and your career, for better or for worse.        
  3. Prepare as "tens of millions of American workers experience an element of job insecurity that has heretofore been reserved for manufacturing workers," according to the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Alan S. Blinder. He continues by adding that "the cheap and easy flow of information around the globe… will require vast and unsettling adjustments in the way Americans and residents of other developed countries work, live and educate their children."        
  4. Workers over the age of 45 will account for 40% of our workforce in 2008. To think of this in another way, Boomers will make up a third of the nation's workforce by 2008. A few short years from now (2012), the march of time will find workers over the age of 55 approaching 20% of our workforce. As one result, the word "retirement" itself is on its not-so-merry way to retirement. As a second result, organizations that have been dragging their feet in hiring older workers will change their ways HOWEVER many mature workers will only be engaged to fill project needs and job insecurity will still rule.        
  5. My second to last prediction, for purposes of this short newsletter, may be a bit premature but I want you to watch the advances in the robotic workforce with me.  Read about Japan's efforts in this area.  Future workers may collaborate with robots or be replaced by them.  It may happen sooner than you think (some effect this year) and it may affect your chosen career in a very few years.        
  6. I am adding the "big" prediction I missed last year when I forecasted phased retirement to be embraced long before the end of 2007.  Here it is again for 2008.

Learn more about the following workshops presented virtually or in live format at Mature Workforce

Current presentations for leaders of organizations, labor attorneys, professional organizations, workforce planning experts and diversity teams. Unless otherwise noted, presentations are typically 1 to 1½ hours in length.

The Mature Workforce – Your Competitive Advantage. Whether presented virtually, or live, the presentation makes the business case for engaging or hiring mature workers.

Demographics – The Driver of Change in Your Business Community. Whether presented virtually, or live, the presentation makes the business case for sourcing and hiring the various segments of your local workforce and offers new sourcing strategies.

Debunking The Myths about the Mature Workforce.  Whether presented virtually, or live, the presentation helps teams to overcome myths and biases about the mature workforce and replaces these myths with facts.

The New 3R's – Recruiting, Re-developing and Retaining the Mature Workforce.  A series of 3 – 1 hour presentations, explores the opportunities and challenges associated with the 3 areas described. A comprehensive half-day format is available when clients seek to explore strategies in all 3R's.



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