Future of Work Kelly

‘The United States continues to run a deficit in developing a skilled workforce that meets the needs of our growth industries’

Reflections on the big issues shaping our workforce in the coming year from our WorkingNation Advisory Board

We asked our WorkingNation Advisory Board to share their thoughts on the most important issues and challenges facing the workforce and the labor market in 2024.

Michael H. Kelly is executive director of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University which aims to strengthen organizations and society through outreach, executive education, and leadership and management training.

Here are his thoughts on The Future of Work 2024.

“As the new executive director of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University, I oversee an annual ranking of America’s largest publicly-traded companies according to Peter Drucker’s principles of effectiveness – ‘doing the right things well.’ 

This work brings together five dimensions of corporate performance – Customer Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and Development, Innovation, Social Responsibility and Financial Strength – to create a holistic perspective based on Peter Drucker’s core principles.

“The three things that stood out most for me with this year’s data – 1) technology and health care companies continue to maintain the top spots in the rankings, 2) the biggest gainers excelled in satisfying their customers and engaging and developing their employees, 3) the companies that did not, declined the most.

“Microsoft and other all-star companies who have sustained themselves at the top of the rankings look to have developed a virtuous cycle that continuously reinforces their successes in Peter Drucker’s mantra – ‘doing the right things well,’ which is what the rankings have always looked to categorize and highlight.

“This allows these companies to secure the resources and capital needed to innovate and secure talent and, in turn, allows them to achieve greater and greater successes. I have no doubt that these companies will continue to develop their workforce pipeline (recruiting, selecting, developing, engaging), while also figuring out how to recalibrate the culture of their respective organizations, as they face demographic and intergenerational value shifts and post-Covid mindsets about what people value most.

“But not everyone will or is able to work for the superstar companies in the coolest jobs. The United States continues to run a deficit in developing a skilled workforce that meets the needs of our growth industries – health care, tech, life sciences, newspace, etc. and the businesses that sustain our local communities, hospitality, local government, health care, and educational services, etc.

“Secondly, there has been an increase in regulations in two key growth industries – finance and health care, which require a number of newly-created jobs focused on managing, responding, and mitigating these regulations. A lot of these jobs don’t have the same allure of jobs in tech, finance, entertainment, etc. that are less routine and more socially interactive and have a ‘change and shape the world mindset.’

“I think that is still a big question: how to incent more people, especially young men, into the workforce, and help them learn to operate in the world of work and guide them to an upwardly mobile career path that includes lifelong learning opportunities, better wages, and quality of life.”

Read more from our WorkingNation Advisory Board members on The Future of Work 2024.