Challenges Facing International Hr

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60 HR Predictions for 2008
By Floyd Kemske

The top 10 predictions in Workplace Flexibility,
Global Business, Work and Society, Workforce
Development, Definition of Jobs, and Strategic Role of

Workplace Flexibility

Collaborative cultures will be the workplace model.
Creative employment contracts will support more time
off, flexibility in hours and work location,
technological job aids and more pay at risk with
significant upside potential.

Company intranets will become a major tool for
communication, training and benefits administration;
HR will play a leading role in developing this
important tool.

Intelligence through knowledge transfer capability
will separate the best employees from the rest.

Employees will have more and more choices about work
arrangements, allowing them to meet their individual

Work hours scheduling will become less important as
organizations focus on performance and results.

Company facilities will become "virtual" through
work-at-home, telecommuting and outsourcing.
The workweek will be less structured—employees will
still work 40-plus hours, but at varied times and
places other than the office.

Legislation will lead to greater portability of
health, welfare and retirement benefits.
Free-lance teams of generic problem solvers will
market themselves as alternatives to permanent workers
or individual temps.

Global Business

The role of corporate HR will change to that of
creator of overall values and direction, and will be
implemented by local HR departments in different

Technology, especially the Internet, will enable more
businesses to enter the global marketplace.

HR professionals will have advanced acumen in
international business practices, international labor
laws, multicultural sensitivities and multiple

HR professionals will need to be knowledgeable of
other cultures, languages and business practices to
help their companies find and enter more markets.
HR people will have to understand other cultures and
help people work with, and transfer among, various

Megaglobal business alliances will grow in number and
scope, requiring great finesse on the part of the HR

There will be an explosive growth of companies doing
business across borders, and it will be the most
significant change for the economy in modern times.

Cultural understanding and sensitivity will become
much more important for the HR professional of the
future, whereas multiple language ability isn’t going
to become a necessary competency.

The continued emergence of a world marketplace will
require development of an international workforce.
Small teams of HR professionals will focus on
providing performance improvement consulting services
to a variety of locations around the world.

Work and Society

Family and life interests will play a more prevalent
role in people’s lives and a greater factor in
people’s choices about work—there will be more of a
"work to live" than a "live to work" mentality.
Employees will demand increases in workplace
flexibility to pursue life interests.

Dual-career couples will refuse to make the sacrifices
required today in their family lives and more people
(not just women) will opt out of traditional careers.
Families will return to the center of society; work
will serve as a source of cultural connections and
peripheral friendships.

Workers will continue to struggle with their need for
work/ life balance, and it will get worse.

Integration of work with quality-of-life initiatives
will create solutions to problems formerly seen as the
responsibility of government.

Community involvement and social responsibility will
become part of an organization’s business vision.
"Cocooning" will become more popular as workers look
to their homes for refuge from the pressures of a more
competitive workplace and depersonalized society....
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