As a resource for leaders throughout the cable industry, the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association (CTHRA) has drawn upon the knowledge and expertise of its board to identify five human resources trends expected to impact the industry this year. Examining these trends and developing appropriate initiatives can help a company be seen as an employer of choice throughout the year. Trend 1: HR Gets Down to Business Companies are more likely to achieve their goals if they consider the potential impact on employees during the decision making process and then formally align HR strategies, priorities and tactics with the goals, says Rabia de Lande Long, managing director, Chartwell Advisors, Inc. As a result, more companies are likely to involve HR pros in the strategic planning process this year. Trend 2: Workforce Diversity Continues to Drive Business Success For cable to win the loyalty of consumers, our employees need to reflect the diverse demographics of the marketplace. To successfully rise above our competition, we must make diversity a top priority, individually and collectively, not only in recruitment, but also retention, development and advancement. A comprehensive and aggressive strategy with goals and timelines is needed to attain diversity throughout cable. Trend 3: The Competition for Young Talent Heats Up As 78 million working baby boomers approach retirement, attracting, developing and retaining the next generation of talent is essential to ensure the succession of cable’s workforce. Younger employees also play a key role in creating new ideas that drive business success, a recent study by Coletta & Co, Inc says. President Carol Coletta says statistics show 25-34 year olds have the most current education and work the longest hours to build their careers. Since the birth rate has declined over several decades, competition for this talent will be intense. To successfully attract younger employees, companies are encouraged to build a recruiting and retention strategy that targets the unique attributes and expectations of Gen X and Gen Y, says Maribel Aleman, a consultant to A&E Television Networks. Trend 4: Benefits Take Center Stage As benefit costs continue to rise, especially in healthcare, it is critical that cable remain competitive in its offerings to attract and retain the best talent. It is also important that HR takes the lead in developing an aggressive strategy to balance the needs of employees with the cost impact on the company. Health care spending may represent nearly half of the gross domestic product by the middle of the 21st century, some experts say. In response, organizations are likely to encourage healthy lifestyles and educate employees on being wise healthcare consumers. Trend 5: Using Technology to Boost Productivity and Promote Work/Life Balance Working from home is on the rise, thanks to increased broadband penetration and Voice over IP, a survey and report released in December by AT&T and the Economist Intelligence Unit says.The report underscores remote working can help drive success by reducing costs and increasing employee productivity. In addition, by using technology to enable telecommuting and job share programs, employers are able to retain employees who are struggling to achieve work/life balance. Count on CTHRA Clearly, the function of HR has become an increasingly complex discipline with far-reaching influence. CTHRA can provide HR information, knowledge and best practices. Best of all, our new membership structure makes it easier for companies to leverage all CTHRA has to offer. For one corporate rate, every HR pro within a member company gains access to CTHRA’s resources. On behalf of CTHRA, I wish you a prosperous new year! Brian Koenig is CTHRA president and senior vice president of human resources, Scientific-Atlanta

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