As was pointed out in Module One, working organizations do not exist in a static state divorced from the larger environment. As changes occur in society, they impact the people dimension of organization activity. The impact of the economy will always be a variable. Currently, the economy is not generating the revenue necessary for government growth; however, this situation can always change. In the interim, government managers will need to look at a variety of creative ways to accomplish work, including public private partnerships (PPPs) which seem to be growing in interest.
There are a number of demographic factors that will challenge managers. The workforce in general is getting older, and this will have an impact in terms of replacement and succession planning. Older workers seem to be staying in the workplace much longer than in the past. Given changes in retirement benefits, this trend may continue as the only way to deal with the absence of adequate retirement savings. For those government workers still eligible for full retirement plans, there is an issue of whether the huge unfunded liabilities can be managed in the future or whether other changes may be necessary.
A final area to watch going forward is the challenge of finding employees with appropriate skills to be successful in the work setting. Part of the challenge is addressing growing complaints that job candidates lack appropriate writing and math skills. New technologies are opening doors to new approaches for learning acquisition. These technologies have the potential to help both educators and employers regarding skill acquisition.
In the chapter reading this week, Pynes describes a number of challenges related to the people dimension of organization activity as we go forward. What are your thoughts? What do you think are some of the key challenges that managers must prepare for in the near term and what recommendations would you make to prepare for these challenges?
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