Topic Category: Labor

To gain a competitive edge, companies in the United States and around the world are increasingly specializing in their core competencies and outsourcing non-core functions. To succeed, this requires more knowledgeable workers with deeper skill sets and the means to manipulate sophisticated new technologies.

Topic: Labor
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A thorny aspect of business ethics emerges when we examine the outsourcing of work by American companies. Earlier in January 2012, an in-depth piece in The New York Times examined the subject especially as it applies to electronics manufacturing. Apple was the centerpiece of the well-researched and balanced story.

Topic: Labor
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In today’s volatile post-recession era, emerging trends are forcing companies to redesign business models and enhance value propositions. At the same time, access to talent, which is in short supply, is becoming just as critical as access to capital.

Topic: Labor
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For at least the past three years, general managers of China-based manufacturing operations have been sharply aware of tightening labor supply and rapidly increasing labor costs. Indeed, qualified labor availability and sharply increasing wage levels have risen to the top of the list of operating challenges across a wide range of industries and sectors.

Topic: Labor
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Barely a month into his presidency, Barak Obama signed an executive order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. “I want to be clear that issues like equal pay... are not just women’s issues,” affirmed the President in remarks. “Our progress in these areas is an important measure of whether we are truly fulfilling the promise of our democracy for all our people.”

Topic: Labor
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Manufacturing employment has fallen by one-third over the past decade. Some Members of Congress contend that foreign trade has allowed American employers to offshore these jobs. In fact, technology has driven down manufacturing employment and computers have made manufacturers more productive by automating many routine tasks.

American manufacturers now employ fewer workers to produce more goods. This means less expensive goods, more manufacturing jobs for highly skilled workers, and the elimination of millions of low-skill assembly line positions. These same forces have reduced manufacturing employment around the world. Increased productivity led Chinese employers to eliminate millions of manufacturing jobs in the late 1990s.

Topic: Labor
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For both domestic and foreign companies, hiring and retaining good employees in China is difficult. In fact, this may be the biggest hurdle facing most operations there. Adding to the challenge is the entry into the workforce of China’s “Generation Y” or “80 hou,” those born in the 1980s and raised in an era of relative affluence.

With the economy once again booming and labor market conditions relatively tight, 20-somethings with just a few years of work experience are in strong demand. What is the best way to attract and hire this new breed of Chinese employee?

Topic: Labor
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Many American business people are experiencing the most challenging economic conditions they have ever incurred. In turn, every effort is focused on getting the business moving again, returning to profitability, being creative and working longer hours. So why bother with human resource development at this crucial time? Because your workforce is the differentiator between you and your competition, and it’s an essential key to renewed business success.

Topic: Labor
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For decades, America’s unmatched economic achievements have depended primarily on U.S. creativity, innovativeness and entrepreneurialism. With 231,588 American utility patent applications filed just in 2008, representing 51 percent of world patents filed that year, these vital characteristics appear to be alive and well.

This, no doubt, will result in fantastic new technologically-advanced products and services, giving U.S. companies a continued competitive advantage. Plus, as American firms shed non-core functions and focus increasingly on sophisticated core competencies, they will require higher-level skills from employees. But will America’s workforce be able to supply the necessary skill sets?

Topic: Labor
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When business is good, positive feelings can be felt inside just about any organization. And why not? Sales are coming in and money is available to incentivize all performers, not just those at the top. However, during recessionary periods like this one, the tone inside most companies—perhaps even yours—is probably quite different.

What Not To Do

As sales slow, people become nervous and edgy. And although everyone may boost efforts, pressure mounts. The result: finger pointing begins and silos between departments or teams rise. And worst of all, a company culture built upon mutual trust begins to fade.

Topic: Labor
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