I’ve been noticing a few trends among my writing clients lately.
1. The hottest topics I can pitch in human resources management right now are “having trouble finding people with the skills you need? Consider training the ones you have!” and “is employee turnover costing you a fortune? Consider training, promoting, and paying better wages to your current employees!”
2. The prevailing attitude toward stagnant or declining real wages and neverending temp or “at-will” employment seems to be “well, what are you going to do? That’s economics.” Yet in several countries – including small-government Australia – employers offer wage and benefits packages of three or four times the value of those offered in the U.S. by the same companies.
These two facts seem to me to be obviously related. They also seem to be the far end of an economic pendulum swing that has been thirty years in the making. I suspect the U.S. is already developing the political will to make changes (or HR publications wouldn’t be so receptive to advice on how to make changes, for one thing), but I worry that real change will take another thirty years. That’s thirty years our current workforce doesn’t have.