Two of the most dynamic forces confronting management in the next decade are productivity and the private sector's approach to social issues, according to an international group of managers.
The world's largest human resources management consulting corporation, The Hay Group, recently concluded its 28th annual international managers meeting at the Mayflower Hotel. The tempo, at least for Hay, was upbeat.
"One thing that comes in loud and clear," said David J. Wimer, a Hay partner and general manager of Hay's Washington office, "is the issue of productivity. It becomes more critical each year. The world's tools for measuring productivity must be improved, and we have to structure even better reward systems to affect that productivity.
"The other important point," Wimer continued, "concerns the private sector. There is going to be change in how we the United States approach social issues, and the private sector will have to look at how it affects that.
"There are resources within the private sector to take up the slack as government reduces its involvement, but the development of those resources will be a major challenge facing management in the future."
Developing these resources is the goal of The Hay Group. Founded in Philadelphia during World War II, the consulting firm has grown to more than 80 offices in about 25 countries. Managing partner Milton Rock, who joined Hay in 1949, is generally recognized as the person most responsible for Hay's success over the past three decades.
"Our business basically comes to us," said Rock, who counts among Hay's 5,000 clients corporate giants such as IBM, Coca-Cola, AT&T and Amerada Hess. "It takes 40 years to build up the kind of reputation we have."
The way Hay operates, according to Rock, is to help corporations "create an environment that allows employe development to the fullest in a meaningful, purposeful way." Accomplishing that task requires two primary elements: expertise and detachment. It usually involves money or compensation.
The fields of job evaluation and salary practices are where Hay has made its mark. Hay says most of its clients are successful companies that recognize the need for outside professionals equipped to evaluate various jobs at all corporate levels and devise programs that will encourage both productivity and retention. Hay has, according to Rock, conducted "literally millions of comparative job evaluations" here and around the world, providing a data base from which it plans and presents tailor-made proposals to solve its clients' human-resource worries.