Looking at the Future: Some Predictions for 2012

This is number 801 on this blog and at the end of the year it is about next year. One of my favorite “futurists” is Joyce Gioia who writes the Herman Trend Alert. I have selected several of her prognosications to post some excerts of here today. So here is Looking at the Future: Some Preditions for 2012. My comments appear in Italics.

  1. Recruiting will intensify among smaller employers. While large companies are bracing for the rippling impact of the European debt crisis, we will see the small and medium-size companies adding staff. Many companies will continue their reluctance to add staff, until they have a sense for the outcome of the elections. …. Employers attempting to recruit experienced people will find their challenges increasing. My comment: I am starting to see some hiring of staff, but very, very slowly. I work with small businesses and they are holding onto their money as long as possible.
  2. In the US, unemployment will continue to remain relatively high. Domestically, we expect unemployment to remain over 7.5 percent for the coming year for most of the country. My comment: I think right now we will be happy to get to 7.5 percent.
  3. More communities will wake up to the critical need for workforce development. More communities will become aware that they will simply not grow economically without having an available skilled workforce—with the skill sets their prospects seek. My comment: I noted the other day on Twitter that we need to have someone step up to the plate and take some responsibility for making sure that the available workforce has the skill sets needed to work in today’s business. It has to be a concerted effort on the part of the community, businesses and individuals.
  4. Metrics, metrics, metrics. Looking for efficiencies everywhere, more employers will embrace technology to manage processes and keep track of talent. Companies providing software to employers will see their businesses grow. My comment: Yes HR it is time to take the bull by the horns and learn metrics. Study Cathy Missildine-Martin’s blog. She is the metrics queen.
  5. Companies will take greater advantage of social networks. They will not only use it in recruiting, marketing, and public relations, but also training and development, and even in succession planning. Large companies will capitalize on their own internal social networking sites to “keep it in the family”. My comment: It is about damn time. But many companies have a verrrrryyyyy long way to go yet. But get this through your head IT IS NOT A FAD SO YOU HAD BETTER JUMP ABOARD.
  6. A growing number of unemployed people will become consultants and personal coaches. The personal and professional services industries are burgeoning. More companies will “rent” the talent they need for the time they need it. Individuals will increasingly seek the services of life-and executive coaches to help them realize their full potential. My comment: I don’t like this one at all. More competition for me by people who don’t know how to do it.
  7. Re-engineering will continue. As we forecasted in our book “Lean & Meaningful: A New Culture for Corporate America”, companies, particularly the larger ones will continue to reduce staff and hire others in an ongoing attempt to optimize productivity and profit. The drop in employee engagement will not affect this drive for efficiency, until that decrease begins to affect the bottom line. Wise employers will engage their employees in finding these efficiencies. … Far too many employers worldwide will ignore the roles of engagement and retention in their bottom line profitability. Though employers will have higher employee turnover and greater difficulty in recruiting, too few will take action to meet this challenge. By necessity once again, employers will be forced to look at the real drivers of employee retention, which may not be what is reflected in their surveys. My comment: Over the next two years employers who have ignored employee engagement are going to be in for a rude awakening as their most talent employees leave. Remember folks it is not the employees who are doing poorly that leave it is the good ones and if you are not paying attention you will be left with…. well you can figure that one out.
  8. In the US, the escalating regulatory environment will cause employers to need employment lawyers more than ever. With the continuing increase in regulations affecting Human Resources, smart employers will have no choice but to collaborate with their employment lawyers early on to avoid problems after the fact. My comment: This is oh so true. But a good consultant can help keep those costs down associated with attorneys.

I want to thank The Herman Group for permission to use this material. From ‘The Herman Trend Alert,’ by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. (800) 227-3566 or http://www.hermangroup.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc.

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