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Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills And Talent Hardcover – April 4, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ken Dychtwald, PhD, is founding President and CEO of Age Wave, a firm focused on the maturing workforce, and the author of twelve books. Tamara Erickson is an executive officer and member of the board of directors for The Concours Group, a management consulting, research, and education firm. Robert Morison is an executive vice president and the Director of Research of The Concours Group. The authors' Harvard Business Review article, "It's Time to Retire Retirement," won the 2004 McKinsey Award.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (April 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591395216
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591395218
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,370,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book about the impact of the upcoming retirement of the baby boomer generation. The authors go way beyond the usual clich? that the retirement of the baby boomers will cause an apocalyptic skill shortage. Although, the authors spend a lot of time analyzing this emerging skill shortage they suggest it may not be as bad as other experts think. This is for two reasons: first immigration, and second baby boomers will not abruptly retire at 65. Many will decide to remain active much longer than that.

The authors then approach a far broader and complex subject: how to retain and engage a very diverse workforce. Being concentrated on age brackets, they classify the workforce in three distinct age buckets (> 34 years old; > 34 < 55; > 55). These can be thought of as the young, middle age, and nearing retirement. They describe in detail the three completely different sets of temperament and career aspirations of these three groups. Their findings are based on a very extensive survey of over 7,000 employees.

The key for companies to resolve the emerging skill shortage is not just to cater to the retirement bound baby boomers, but create a work climate and flexible benefits catered to all three age buckets. They give many examples of corporations who have already adapted to this new working world. And, they make further recommendations for companies to promote and retain an information age skilled labor force no matter what its age.

This is an excellent book for any one engaged or interested in broad social trends, human resources, management, and consulting.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't envy the job of the Human Resource director these days. Global competition and the aging American workforce makes it really difficult to figure out where your future workers are going to come from. These questions are examined along with possible solutions in the book Workforce Crisis: How To Beat The Coming Shortage Of Skills And Talent by Ken Dychtwald, Tamara A. Erickson, and Robert Morison.

Contents:
Part 1 - The Management Challenges of Changing Workforce Demographics: The Coming Shortage of Skills and Labor; The Diverse and Demanding New Workforce
Part 2 - The Three Worker Cohorts and How to Engage Them: The Needs and Capabilities of Mature Workers; The End of Retirement; The Needs and Frustrations of Midcareer Workers; The Relaunch of Careers; The Needs and Attitudes of Young Workers; The Retention of Talent
Part 3 - The New Employment Deal and How to Shape It: Flexible Work Arrangements; Flexible Learning Opportunities; Flexible Compensation and Benefits
Part 4 - Management Practices for the New Workforce: Meaningful Work and Engaged Workers; The Manager's Agenda for Change
Readers' Discussion Guide; Notes; Acknowledgements; Index; About the Authors

The authors don't paint a very encouraging picture of the American workforce. For instance, the baby boomer generation is getting much older, and many are starting to approach retirement. You'll either lose them to retirement, or they'll want to work less than full time. There is also a shortage of younger workers who have the necessary education and skills to allow today's company to compete effectively on the world stage. A company's ability to train workers becomes ever more important.
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Format: Hardcover
In essence, the "workforce crisis" to which the title refers results from an insufficiency of talented, skilled, and principled people at a time when competition for them has never been more intense than it is now...and "the coming shortage" of them is certain to increase in months and years ahead. In the first two Parts of this volume, the authors explain how this "brain drain" threatens organizational performance, why a new workforce stategy is needed, why older workers (ages 55+) comprise "the biggest untapped resource" and how to optimize their services, why and how the "boomer bottleneck" disrupts productibity, how to rekindle employees' passion for work, why the best of the younger workers (ages 18-34) keep leaving, and how to connect with them. Then in Parts III and IV, they explain why flexible work arrangements are needed and how to make them work, why continuous education matters and how to make it pay off, why "variety will rule" and how to leverage it, how to evaluate the talent and skills of the current workforce and anticipate their needs, and finally, how to formulate and then implement strategies by which to avert a workforce crisis.

Readers will greatly appreciate the authors' no-nonsense approach to real-world issues. Their observations are based on extensive research and their recommendations are both practical and do-able. The provision of various case studies is a substantial value-added benefit. It is instructive to see how various organizations have either avoided or satisrfactorily resolved the "workforce crisis" each faced. There are two other books which should be read in combinbation with this one: Leigh Branham`s The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave: How to Recognize the Subtle Signs and Act Before It's Too Late and Bradford Smart's Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Best People (Revised and Updated Edition).
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