Explanation of handout Before Workforce 2017 and Beyond

Explanation of handout: Before Workforce 2017 and Beyond


It is important that you read the handout, Before Workforce 2017 and Beyond, and keep this information in mind as you read the chapters. In my on-ground course, we spend a lot of time researching and discussing the major changes in the workplace. Below, I provide you with some information about the 6 major changes in the workplace, and pose some questions for you to think about. If you have any questions, or would like to start a discussion, please use the Course Questions tool.

There are 6 major changes discussed in this handout, along with how organizations can meet the needs of the changing workforce:

1.CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS: Demographics simply means the make-up of a group of people, which can include their ages, gender, income level, education, etc. The biggest change in the workplace demographic is that Baby Boomers make-up the largest number of workers today. They range in age from about 50 – 65 years old. They were born during a 15 year spread (1946-1964) when soldiers came home after World War II. Just think, when you become a manager 10 years from now, many of your employees will be 55 – 70 years old. How will you manage employers older then you? Do you think they will resent you, or will you benefit from their years of experience?

The most interesting fact about Baby Boomers is that many of them are not retiring, leaving less jobs open for the generations behind them. You may be one of those generations: Generation X (1965-1979); Generation Y (1980-1999), followed by Millennials.

Why aren’t the Baby Boomers retiring? I’m sure you can guess some of the reasons. First of all, many cannot afford to retire, since their Social Security is not enough to live on (Social Security was set-up in the 1930’s, when the economy was more affordable than today). Other reasons include being healthy and living longer, and wanting to stay with a job that has defined their “identity”. Some Baby Boomers are asked to work part-time, because the company values their experience and uses them as consultants.. You may want to interview a Baby Boomer about their retirement plans.

2.WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE: Never before have we had so many women in the workplace, and in management positions. This has brought about many changes like day care centers in the workplace and alternate work days like flextime or job sharing. There are now more women in Ph.D programs and in medical schools.

Although women are climbing the corporate ladder at increasing speeds, the “glass ceiling” still exists. You may want to research the impact of the glass ceiling, but it is basically an invisible barrier that prevents women from being promoted within an organization, Although illegal, women and minorities are still discriminated against, fortunately in fewer numbers. And, women still only make about $.80 to a man’s $1.00.

Why has it taken so long for women to obtain upper management jobs? Studies have indicated that women can be as effective leaders as men, and are equally intelligent to hold high positions. But over the years, women have stayed home to raise children, while men have been putting time into their careers, which got them prepared for upper management jobs. For example, it takes about 25-30 years of experience to become a President or CEO of a company. Women didn’t put in the time, and when they did enter the workforce, they were discouraged because of the many years they would have to work to break that glass ceiling. Many of them left their jobs to start their own businesses, and today there are more businesses owned by women then by men.

Fortunately, the glass ceiling is being broken as more younger women enter the workforce, and are being more accepted as valuable employees. You may want to interview a woman business owner, or a woman who has an upper management position.

3.DIVERSITY: Decades ago, only white males made up the workforce. This has changed dramatically, and today’s managers have to work with a wide diversity of employees. This diversity “umbrella” includes factors such as experience, ethnicity, religion, age, marital status, mental and physical handicaps, and many more.

How many diversity factors existed in a place where you worked?

4.EMPOWERMENT: In Chapter 1 you will read about the “Upside Down Pyramid”, where management is no longer at the top of the pyramid, communicating down to the employees. Today, managers are referred to as “coaches” and in many cases work as part of the team. Communication goes up and down the pyramid. These coaches ask their employees for advice, and allow them to make decisions. This is also referred to as “participatory management”, allowing employees to feel like they are “in on things”, which can be very motivating.

Empowerment is also very beneficial to management, because employees work more closely with the product and with customers: therefore, providing management with valuable information regarding changes that need to be made to improve the company’s “competitive advantage” (what the company does better than its competitors).

Have you ever worked at a job where you were allowed to make decisions? Where your opinion counted? Were you more motivated to work?

5.WORK/FAMILY CONFLICT: Today, both men and women are taking care of children, while also caring for aging parents (called the Sandwich Generation).. In many families both parents are working longer hours then ever before, while sometimes also attending school in order to get better jobs. Stress is created when there is not sufficient balance between work and family.

It is important that managers recognize the causes of stress and know how to assist their employees who exhibit signs of stress (i.e. decreased work production, increased absences and tardiness, drug/alcohol abuse). The “Total Person Approach” also referred to as the TPA manager, works with the “total” person, not just someone who comes in and punches a time card (which the old-type manager used to do). A TPA manager will ask questions, and have an open-door policy which encourages open communication (the upside-down pyramid). For example, if an employee tells a manager that s/he has a sick child at home, the TPA manager will try to make arrangements so that employee can be with the child.

During President Clinton’s Administration, the Family Medical Leave Act was instituted to allow employees to take time from work to care for sick family members or for maternity leave (there is also “paternity” leave for fathers), and have their jobs available when they get back. Paid leave depends on the policies of the organization and the laws of the state. The act applies to companies that have 50 employees or more.

Have you or anyone you know taken advantage of the FMLA?

6.TRAINING: Training employees has become a challenge in today’s diverse workforce (many companies provide diversity training for its managers). With the increased speed of technology, coupled with the rising numbers of immigrants and Baby Boomers, managers have had to initiate training programs while keeping customers satisfied and keeping profit margins high. Recent trends include cross-training, on-the-job training, and in-house company training centers (especially for customer service training). For example, when training Baby Boomers on technology, they prefer a slower pace, a trainer similar in age, and smaller classes. Colleges and universities have also recognized the need to educate college students to make them marketable in today’s highly competitive job market.

What kind of training have you been given? What kind of training program do you think works well?

This what I have to do :Week 2


WEEK #2 : Before Workforce 2017 and Beyond, Appendix A, Chapter 2, Chapter 4

•Read the handout, Before Workforce 2017 and Beyond (see explanation of this handout below)

•Read Chapters 2 and 4 (review Learning Objectives for each of the chapters). See chapter outlines below.

•Discussion question – Post your response to the following discussion question by 11:59 on Wednesday, September 2.

** Review the handout, Before Workforce 2017 and Beyond. Choose one of the changes noted, and conduct research on the topic (find at least one article). You can use Capital’s library business databases (accessed by Capital’s homepage) to find articles, use the textbook, or interview a manager. Do not use Wikipedia, since it does not contain valid information.

Complete the following:

1. Report your findings noting the source(s) you used (3-4 paragraphs).

2. As a manager, discuss at least three ideas you would use to adapt to this change in the workplace. The handout has some ideas to get you started. (Be sure to label answers as 1-3). (Review the discussion rubric for grading criteria.)

•Post a full paragraph response (4-5 sentences) to one other student’s response by 11;59 on Sunday, September 6.