A new workplace of the future is taking shape. The post-recession workplace is beginning to look very different from what we have seen before and its make-up will pose tremendous challenges for managers. How managers address them will determine their success or failure in this new emerging economy.
As employers spring from this painful recession, they will be faced with significant workforce tests including the need to keep labor costs low, pressures to increase productivity further, a battered and disengaged employee population, and government agencies scrutinizing employers who seek cost savings at the expense of workers. Employers must prepare now for this new emerging workforce.
As we have seen in past recessions, the temporary employment industry is a leading indicator of the current economic conditions and a reliable predictor of future employment trends. Cautious employers hire temps first, hedging their bets on the recovery, realizing that if a downturn occurs it is easier to lay off these workers. This year will be no different. Temporary staffing agencies report that business is strong as employers once again turn to “temps” before hiring full-time workers. However, don’t expect a rush to convert temps to permanent employees. In this new economy, employers will begin to embrace a new “just-in-time” labor force made up of temps, independent contractors and “per diems.” Employers want a flexible workforce and many believe a core workforce of regular workers with a contingent of as needed temps provides them flexibility while saving on payroll and benefits costs.
In the coming months, I will be writing more about this and providing you strategies so that you can deal with this new paradigm.