This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

March 28, 2000

Work Rewards Changing

278 days until January 1, 2001

In the1980s and through most of the 1990s, workers continued their cash compensation preferences of decades past. We did see more attention given to benefits in the latter part of the 1990s. Now an important shift is underway . . . one that will substantially influence the design of work-time and life-time in the years ahead. An increasing number of present-and very importantly, future-workers are less interested in money. Instead, they want more time, flexibility, and balance between work and other aspects of their lives. They want to work to live, not live to work. recently asked over 2,000 college students and recent graduates-- "Which do you value most in your career decision?" Here are the answers: 42 percent chose balancing work and personal life. 26 percent said compensation. 23 percent indicated advancement potential. 9 percent listed location as the greatest value. Money is fast disappearing as the principal motivator in job choice. This shift will continue, as long as people continue to earn enough to maintain the standard of living they prefer. Note to employers: this trend does not mean you can cut wages and salaries, just that workers will want more than money. They will no longer be as money-driven as they were in the past.

As we watch the trends, we're also forecasting that advancement potential, particularly when expressed as growth opportunities, will soon surpass financial compensation.

What modifications should you consider in light of this trend? How do you feel about your work-life balance today? How might it be different in the future and how will that affect your life? Should you work toward more balance now? As an employer, how could you alter the way you do business to give people more balance in their lives? For example, one of our employees leaves early some days and works later on other days so she can attend her son's lacrosse games. Two others work a different schedule to be able to attend classes for their masters degrees. Another works 30 hours on a variable schedule. Different approaches... and it works!

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