This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

September 16, 1998

. . . to Work Movement

In our tight labor market, employers and governments are eager to get more people to work. Companies need people—even if they’re not yet fully qualified to do the work required. Governments are anxious to move people from the welfare rolls to the tax rolls.

A wide range of creative strategies will be employed as employers seek workers. A number of companies and communities are already involved with aggressive programs. We’ll see much more in the near future.

School-to-Work programs are getting a lot of publicity. The challenge here will be fostering more productive relationships between business and education, but it will happen.

Welfare-to-Work is working well, fueled by the movement to tighten criteria used to award social program support to the disadvantaged. Expect this effort to intensify as our full employment economy removes the excuses about no work being available . . . at the same time the federal government is finally putting limits on welfare programs. We predict that partial support systems will be strengthened that will make the transition easier.

Retirement-to-Work efforts will intensify as employers seek experienced, mature workers who can be depended upon to show up, work hard, and be loyal. Many retirees are receptive to invitations to return to the workforce, but may not want to work full-time. Employers must be flexible in scheduling to attract and hold them.

Discouraged-to-Work describes the challenge of recovering workers who have been unemployed so long they have given up. They’re still valuable—if they can be brought back into the workforce. Retraining and psychological support may be necessary, but the result will be more productive workers.

Disadvantaged-to-Work initiatives encourage employers to hire workers with various kinds of handicaps or capacity limitations. People with a wide variety of challenges, including an increasing proportion of mentally retarded, are fulfilling their employment dreams while helping companies manage their staffing problems. Many employers are surprised how effective—and intensely loyal—these workers can be.

As labor shortages intensify, look for employer desperation to be expressed in a wide range of recruiting efforts to attract non-traditional employees.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3547 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

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