From the Editor |

This Moment of Reckoning and Why It Matters


Dan Cafaro
Editor-in-Chief of Workspan magazine. 

To swipe a phrase from poet Robert Burns, the best-laid schemes of mice and men often go awry. Try feeding that line to your CEO or boardroom director. Or better yet, don’t. You’d be run out of Dodge, wouldn’t you? But that famous line speaks volumes about the ebb and flow and the unpredictability of our vocation and our lives.

When your job is to transform your culture and deliver a bold new initiative, the naysayers may look to derail it. But change management calls for persuasive charm and the capacity to pivot quickly. The modern workplace too calls for fits and starts and stopping on a dime. It’s no place for gutless, plodding excuses disguised as reasons. As an arresting officer might say to his perp, “Tell it to the judge.”

If Workspan has changed over the years, it may be that we’ve always covered the “what” and the “how” behind the inner workings of a rewards system, but until recently, we haven’t paid much attention to the “why.” The why we do what we do. The why it has become so critical to change the old way of seeing and doing things. The why our organizations are especially poised for this moment of reckoning. And, finally, the why this — your — role in all this disruption matters.

As WorldatWork CEO Scott Cawood recently stated, “Total rewards professionals need to focus on building better people, not just better employees. And this changes as people go through various life stages. It includes everything from compensation to benefits, wellness — to anything and everything that shapes their experience. It’s essential for TR pros to be ready and willing to completely blow up their program and start over.”

The authors of this month’s cover story explain it this way: “The world of work has changed and shows no signs of going back . . . The notion of human capital sustainability is helping leaders create a better tomorrow and shining light on efforts that improve the overall well-being, engagement and productivity of talent.”

Our chief objective as an association magazine is not only to teach you how to do your job and do it better. It’s to inspire you to make the world better. When it comes to your professional success, you control only so much. But believe this: Your influence matters. The role you serve matters. And the narrative you help shape everyday matters. Now. More. Than. Ever.


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