Employees, Employers, and Changin’ Times…

My god… the speed and significance of current, changing trends today are staggering. To simply say, “The times, they are a-changin’” seems , well, just not enough.

Changes are coming, and better to assess the trends today then get caught off guard in the very near future. I believe we are seeing significant shifts around leadership and the employment environment, such as:

Span of control will increase. We are experiencing huge increases in span of control, and that will continue. 77 million baby-boomers are retiring from 2010 forward; less than 55 million workers exist to replace them. I’m not a math major, but I can operate a calculator. We must continue to be accustomed to having more people working directly for us, and fewer peer group leaders with which to share that workload.

Pay for performance. Will continue its current significance and trend toward more extensive use. And I don’t mean just upside dollars available; we will see more emphasis on making some of BASE performance at risk as well – we will actually start insisting that folks do ALL of their job to get ALL of their pay. The good news part of that is the decreased pressure on constant upward movement of base salaries.

Get used to dissatisfaction. The Conference Board reported earlier this year that only 45% of employees today are satisfied with their current employers – the lowest it’s been in 20+ years. This trend will necessarily continue, as the increased span of control means less personal attention time per employee, and added emphasis on pay for performance will mean more pressure to increase individual productivity; these two trends will conspire to continue the dissatisfaction we see today.

This isn’t doom and gloom. On the contrary, since we can see these trends fairly clearly, it just means we must prepare for them now, react to them appropriately, and be prepared with real leadership efforts to minimize their effect on the workforce.

But that’s just me…

Kevin Berchelmann

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