The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Friday, May 21, 2010


What is the “new normal” to you? I’ve heard the term linked with the different values each generation brings to the workforce. I’ve heard the “new normal” as being anything replacing that which is old or outdated. The new normal has been used to address ongoing high unemployment, periods of continuing inflation (or recession), or an unexpected change in work schedule that extends beyond a short period of time.

Increased hiring activity within certain occupations is viewed as being the new normal, while individuals working outside of these “preferred” occupations might be considered headed for extinction. Longer (or shorter) work schedules? Those, too, fall into the catch-all category of being the new normal – the industry in which you work defining whether the new normal means more (or less) work during these boom (or bust) times.

It seems that things once viewed as being “different” or “unique” have lost their luster, being replaced by a continuous wave of sights, experiences and instances that become the “new normal” regardless of how long (or short) their existence. An individual lacking focus and direction was once thought of as being a dreamer who “tilted at windmills.” He (or she) is now considered to be “multi-tasking,” unwilling to be constrained by the traditional confines of time and space as higher goals and aspirations are pursued.

Whatever your “new normal” might be – or the term might mean to you – don’t forget to reflect upon the past, embrace the present, then seek to clearly differentiate your dreams, goals and imaginings before bringing them to fruition as you build towards a brighter tomorrow. Allow each day’s sunset to bring closure to your life – so that each and every morning might offer a new beginning - a “new normal” in which you might truly thrive.