Magazine article Talent Development

Optimism Is Catching On: With the Worst Seemingly over, Many Businesses Have a Surprisingly Optimistic Outlook on Growth in the Coming Months, One Study Shows

Magazine article Talent Development

Optimism Is Catching On: With the Worst Seemingly over, Many Businesses Have a Surprisingly Optimistic Outlook on Growth in the Coming Months, One Study Shows

Article excerpt

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A recent study finds that U.S. businesses are becoming increasingly optimistic about the state of the economy. While skeptics remain cautious, businesses have already begun reinvesting in HR budgets, according to a recent study from research and advisory firm Bersin & Associates.

The company's latest edition of the biannual "TalentWatch" surveyed 265 human resource, learning, and business leaders to gauge the current trends and provide benchmarks for investment and planning. The report found that business and HR leaders are now actively planning for growth.

In fact, 64 percent of organizations with between 10,000 and 25,000 employees, and 53 percent of organizations with more than 25,000 employees, see strong growth against their current plan. "People who have survived the downturn feel relief, and HR and learning and development organizations must focus on rebuilding engagement and confidence in their organizations," notes the report.

"Overnight, everybody goes from being deathly afraid of going out of business and laying people off to being deathly afraid that they're not going to be ready for growth," says Josh Bersin, president of Bersin & Associates. This has led to a transformation necessary for businesses to continue to grow and stay competitive.

According to the report, the two biggest areas of growth are the need to accelerate innovation and deal with rapid market changes. By addressing these areas, businesses are taking their attention away from the economic issues that have so recently plagued them and are focusing on making their companies competitive again.

"What [innovation] generally means from a business person's perspective is a desire for the organization to reinvent itself in small ways," says Bersin. "It doesn't mean coming up with the next new light bulb; it means taking the stuff that we're doing and being creative about it--figuring out ways to do it better. …

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