It is no secret that the workers' compensation workforce is aging. As many knowledgeable long-term comp professionals retire, the industry is experiencing a “brain drain” that threatens its ability to meet the needs of the people it serves. It is critical that we attract young, dedicated talent and start developing the workers' compensation industry leaders of tomorrow. That is what the IAIABC NextGen program is all about.
The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions is currently accepting nominations of “talented young professionals who are making a difference and having a strong, positive impact on their organizations and the workers' compensation industry.” The program is designed to recognize these individuals for their contributions to the industry, and to help identify the leaders of the future. If you know or work with a capable comp professional who is under the age of 40, you should nominate them today.
The graying of workers' comp is a serious issue. If you look around your office or workspace, you may notice that everyone is grayer, heavier and a little grumpier than they were 72 years ago when we all started (Not you, of course, you still look marvelous). Many sectors of the industry have not really aligned with the needs and desires of younger generations entering the workforce, and that makes attracting raw young talent to workers' comp difficult. Those starting out in their careers today are looking for flexible work times and space, and are much more tech savvy than those who came before them. Most notably, many of them want to make a difference in the world; not just earn a paycheck.
Workers' comp could be brilliantly positioned to meet that objective, but sadly it is not. We should be an industry known for restoring broken lives and protecting families from misfortune. Unfortunately, our cubicle centered, checklist driven world doesn't yet fully embrace that philosophy.
But in an ironic case of “Catch 22,” if we can attract enough strong talent, we will start making that change.
IAIABC NextGen recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:
Recipient is making a substantial and positive impact on their organization and/or the workers' compensation industry through their work. Nominators are asked to provide both objective measures and subjective rationale for their nomination.
Recipient has been highly engaged in workers' compensation policy, innovation, project or program development, and/or administration. Nominators are asked to provide specific examples/descriptions of their project work, programs supported and/or implemented, etc.
Employed in the workers' compensation industry (organization does not have to be a member of the IAIABC).
Age 39 or younger as of December 31, 2019.
Has not already been an IAIABC NextGen recipient.
Recipients will be invited to attend the IAIABC 105th Convention, October 21-24, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Programs like NextGen are essential for developing new leaders. Nominations close on May 10th, so don't delay. You may submit those here. Help define our industry's future by nominating someone today.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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Bob is an accomplished speaker for the workers' compensation industry. He is available for conferences, corporate events, children's birthday parties and Bar Mitzvahs. You may access his Speakers Brief here.