ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Look around, your workplace demographics are changing, and according to a recent Society for Human Resource Management survey successful employers must adapt to meet the needs of the employees of the future. Based on the responses of 450 human resource professionals, the SHRM 2002 Workplace Demographic Trends survey finds that the new workforce is aging, more ethnically diverse, increasingly composed of non-traditional families, and one in which women are entering more traditionally male-dominated jobs. Ninety-four percent predict that within the next five years employers should feel the impact. Key trends to watch for that will impact business, society and the HR profession in the next six to 12 months, include health care costs, as well as issues related to diversity and training. With regard to changes respondents are already seeing in their workplace due to an aging population, 82% saw an increase in health insurance costs, and 58% saw an increase in the need for retirement planning. More than half (57%) reported an increase in the need for training or retraining employees or in the occurrence of employee stress (54%). Fifty-four percent noted an increase in the need for awareness of different types of families and their issues, with 44% noticing a rise in absenteeism and 32% noting an increased resentment among child-free employees.

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