It’s a new year. Forget the day-to-day for a minute. Take your best guess at what the next two to five years will look like. The Applied Companies considers the experts at ITR Economics when making decisions. For 60 years, ITR has been offering its clients a look at the future with a 94.7 percent forecast accuracy rate – plus they provide specific, actionable strategies for capitalizing on cyclical opportunities and dodging economic danger. According to ITR, as a country, we are definitely past the recovery stage. We will have a slight dip in the economy in 2014 as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins to impact the economy, which will show signs of weakness as people will start paying the taxes as a result of pay or play. Subsequently, they suggest that we will have years of significant continuous growth until 2018 – 2020. Here are some thing to consider.
Consider the Leading Indicators
In addition to the following, identify the leading indicators in your business and your particular industry.
- Housing Starts
- Corporate Bond Prices
- Conference Board Leading Indicator
- Purchasing Managers Index
- Consumer Expectations
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index
- ITR Leading Indicator (10 major benchmarks of macro activity)
- US Total Industrial Production Forecast
- Retail Sales
- Wholesale Trade Durable Goods
- Wholesale Trade Nondurable Goods
- Business-to-Business Activity (Non-Defense Capital Goods New Orders)
How You Will Approach the Growth Years
If you are not taking care of your employees, they will be gone. We are already seeing stiff competition for A players. When the economy really gets cranking between now and 2018, bank on your key people being seduced by rich benefit plans and perks, unless you offer as attractive a package. Remember the things that were taken away from employees when the economy was bad? If they have not been reinstated, readdressed or replaced, those employees will seek it elsewhere.
What It All Means
If you have not defined and refined your company’s HR structure, culture, and corporate social responsibility efforts, or have less than stellar leadership, now is the time to fix those issues. Do it before another company that has defined themselves and their “sales pitch” to potential employees starts to woo your best. Positions that were high in demand years ago may not be now. People receiving unemployment benefits limited at 99 weeks has already started diminishing as they maxed out and start to fall off the rolls. The unemployment rate is not a true indicator of the heavy bidding for top employees now and in the next few years.
Written by Jim Annis President/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Tom Miller, and Suzanne Chennault, Applied’s division directors, contributed to this article.