WORKSPAN
From the Editor |

Changing Times

I enjoy words (probably a good thing, given my profession). I like learning about their etymology and thinking about which ones capture just the right meaning or emotion.

At the same time, words can be intimidating. They can be used and stretched in new or unexpected ways. Heck, last year Merriam-Webster added a new definition for “ghost.” Now you know what to call it when your house is haunted and when someone abruptly cuts off all contact.

We all face changes in our work that can be exciting … or make us cringe and want to hide under the covers. These days, total rewards professionals have a gamut of horrifying prospects that all seem to circle one point: You’ve got a changing workforce on your hands that wants something different from traditional organization cultures and value propositions.

That’s one sentence composed of 19 words, but it conveys a monolith of thinking, strategy, design and implementation work. It requires a new way of thinking and approaching issues of the day. It’s reminiscent of the transition from a “personnel” department to a “human resources” department, if that transition were something that could be delineated by one key moment in time.

Sexual harassment is at the top of the queue in terms of issues rewards professionals should be considering — if only because it’s at the top of the headlines and top of mind for employees. Anna Mittag’s article addresses how employers need to start thinking differently about the way they approach sexual harassment awareness and training in the workplace. And an employer that turns a blind eye to harassment surely has some cultural issues to work through. I had the pleasure of exercising my writing hand this month, sharing with readers a piece on Baird’s no-asshole rule and the type of culture that supports it. It was enlightening and a solid learning about what I, as an employee, expect from my current and future employers.

John Bremen and Amy DeVylder Levanat also look to the future, delivering a solid case for how work and the workforce are changing, along with the key areas where you’ll deliver value. Lewis Garrad and Jamie Barrette take an insightful (and potentially Big Brother-ish) look at how employers can use everyday work tools like instant messaging and emails to track employee engagement (with a well-placed mention that you’ll want to work with your CIO and legal to ensure you’re mining and using information appropriately).

The world is moving fast, and it requires change. Remember: It’s a quick shift from evolution to revolution. You have a choice to either drive the change your organization needs, or be left behind as the rest of the world moves past you.

Happy Reading,

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