More and more women are joining the workforce and employers must constantly meet the challenges of providing them equality of employment, promotion and pay as well as having to create family -friendly policies to accommodate the needs of working parents. Employers are finding that such policies attract good workers, and make them happy and loyal to the company. Although the educational qualifications of the workforce have risen sharply in recent years, conversely, at the other end, studies have shown that a large proportion of our workers are functionally illiterate . This indicates that there are insufficient numbers of qualified individuals in the labor pool. There is a widening gap between those who do and those who do not have a basic education. The Department of Education published a study showing that more than half of high school seniors could not handle basic mathematical operations, such as percentages, decimals and simple algebra. Employers should aim to manage diversity, so that organizations are very aware of the common characteristics amongst employees but at the same time manage them as individuals . Employers must not merely accommodate for the differences in employees but also support, nurture and use each employee for the overall benefit of the organization. Financial gain is no longer the only determinant of success for employees, with many aiming for a balanced life combining work with personal fulfillment. Many people now view success in life as mixing family, work and personal goals, rather than pure financial attainment. Although more companies are introducing family friendly policies, there are costs involved and the risk that such policies can alienate singles . Such policies can alienate singles or those who do not qualify, such as older workers. About 60% of the US workforce do not have children under the age of 18. So, these policies may alienate the majority of the labor pool, but it does make those who do qualify much happier in their jobs. Alternatively, other perks can be offered to these employees instead. In order to remain competitive in today's market, many firms have set up virtual teams who are linked through sophisticated telecommunications and computer networks across the world. Virtual teams provide new avenues for cooperation and access to expertise that was previously not available, once barriers such as language and culture are overcome. Flexible work schedules such as compressed workweek, flextime , job sharing and telecommuting are becoming increasingly popular as employees want to fit their jobs around their lifestyles. In a compressed workweek, the number of hours worked each day is lengthened to shorten the workweek. Flextime means working the total number of normal hours of the job, but at times convenient to the employee.
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