What's Ahead

This is a special advertising section on the Outlook for 2012.

Sunday, October 2, 2011
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As wounds from the recession still linger and the recovery sputters in fits and starts, both here and abroad, predicting what the near future will bring to the business community is both challenging and troubling.

Whether it's picking the right leaders to carry you through a still-wavering economy, investing in the right tools to free HR up for the strategic leadership you'll need, getting the most out of workforce analytics or making sure your top performers are engaged enough to stick with you through the long haul ... clearly, planning and preparing will be keys to success.

We asked top leaders at vendor and consulting companies what they believed the main business challenge for 2012 would be and what HR leaders should be doing to address it.

What came back were sound suggestions we invite you to read in the following pages. In addition to the recommendations mentioned above, these CEOs, founders and top executives -- all experts in HR -- stressed the importance of understanding the difference between employee engagement and job satisfaction, and ensuring the former prevails at your organization; taking the right steps to keep succession management effectively working; and making sure voluntary benefits are included in your offerings to help lighten employees' burdens and keep them committed and productive.

We hope this section offers some ideas and solutions you can use in your own organizations as you head into 2012:

Achievers. formerly I Love Rewards: Going for Engagement, Not Just Satisfaction

Aflac: Worker Health, Not Rising Costs, Should be the Focus

Buck Consultants: Start Collaborating, Stop Commanding

Cartus: Accomplishing More -- With Less

Ceridian: Bringing Value to the Table

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Hogan Assessments: Picking True Leaders for Future Success

Kelly OCG: Capture the Free Agents

MedCom Care Advocacy: More HR Reach and Employee Focus

Profiles International: Maximizing Productivity by Fostering a Culture of Engagement

Purchasing Power: The Value of Voluntary Benefits

Right Management: Where Will Your Future Leaders Come From?

SHL: Turning People Intelligence into Competitive Power

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