This post about the workforce of 2024 was written in 2014. I pulled it up with the idea of updating and rewriting it and then thought, what the heck, it’s kind of fun looking back. So, where do you think I nailed it and where do you think I missed the mark?
Over the next ten years, the world will change in unforeseen ways. Ten years ago, in 2004, most business leaders had little idea the extent which, social media, mobile applications, and web development would affect their industries. It may be impossible to foresee the many innovations that will impact business over the next ten years, but it is possible to recognize trends. Extrapolating current trends into the future may inform companies as to areas to improve competencies, update policies, and invest in employees.
Will You Be Ready for the Workforce of 2024?
What Will Employees Look Like in Ten Years?
The non-Hispanic white population will reach its peak in the United States at nearly 200 million in 2024. So, after peaking it will recede, eventually becoming a minority somewhere after 2050. (US Census Workforce Forecast) However, even ten years from now the workplace will be more diversified. So, helping employees feel part of the team by accepting cultural differences, offering company publications in multiple languages, and avoiding pigeonholing workers by race, age, or sex will become critical.
In ten years, as millennials move into middle management and higher, the younger generation will be conducting the majority of recruiting. Their life-work balance (not work-life) will show in their hiring tendencies.
What Will Employees Want in Ten Years?
- Flexibility – Workers will expect flexibility. People will not only be attracted to organizations that offer flexibility they’ll consider it an entitlement. Detached workers will seek flextime, flexplace, and network telecommunicating. ROWE (Results Only Work Environment), job-sharing, and maxi-flex scheduling may not be the norm by 2024 but the workplaces offering a high level of flexibility will have a distinct advantage in the recruiting and retention arena.
- Gradual Retirement – In ten years nearly 25% of the workforce will be 55 years of age or older. Many Boomers aren’t interested in the retirement of their parents; one that ended with a retirement dinner, gold watch, and complete separation from the workplace after 40 years. Some Boomers want to continue to be productive, but they also want free time. Phased retirement with part-time, on-call, or consultant positions will fulfill the desires of pre-retirees and add value to the workplace.
- More perks – Benefits are no longer limited to medical insurance and a 401K and in ten years workers will expect more. Programs such as comprehensive family leave may be up to our government, but many initiatives will be left to businesses. Wellness programs with in-house medical staff, exercise equipment and trainers, as well as dietary consultants will not be unusual. Small businesses will pool together to offer expanded benefits.
- Continued Training – Employees will embrace lifelong learning. More universities will offer tuition-free online studies. Workers will seek organizations that embrace learning, and offer in-house and outsourced training as well as rewards for successful study completion.
- Giving back – People will add community responsibility to their job search requirements. Companies who support charitable actions and not only give employees time to give back but pay them, will have an upper hand in recruiting.
What Can You Do?
- Begin preparing for the future today by taking a long hard look at the companies culture.
- Is the company prepared to offer flexible scheduling?
- Does the organization embrace other cultures and minorities in your workplace?
- Is there an exit strategy for retiring teammates that will fit their needs and benefit the organization?
- Does the company offer more than basic medical insurance and a 401 K? If not, what’s next?
- What are the businesses plans for continuous employee training?
Are You Ready for 2024?
Remember how fast the last ten years flew by? Do you think the next ten will be any slower? It’s time to begin preparation for the workforce of 2024. The good news is you have time to get ready. The bad news is it will be here soon. What have you done to fit the needs of the ever-changing workforce?
How I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
So, does your business have a management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.
If you enjoyed this post you might also like How Flexible Should Your Companies Work Schedule Be?