Media journalists present us with succinct assessments of the year’s books, movies, headlines and other popular categories that we can use to quickly catch up on the best and brightest output of the year. As much as the look in the rear view mirror is fun, I like to balance it with some forward looking predictions. One of my favorite is the 10 Workplace Trends article written annually by Dan Schwabel for Forbes magazine.
Every October, Dan reviews all of the research studies he has tracked over the year to determine the most significant trends he sees facing business leaders in the upcoming year. I read Dan’s list to see the implications of these trends for my clients and colleagues. As the year end approaches and we begin to ponder strategies and tactics for 2015, I present two of Dan’s top 10 trends as ones I see most relevant for business leaders focusing on staffing and talent management in the next year.
My sincere wishes that all of you have a prosperous and fulfilling 2015!
— AliceAlice Waagen, PhD Founder, www.workforcelearning.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LOOKING AHEAD: 2015 WORKPLACE TRENDS
By Dr. Alice Waagen
When I compare the 2015 trends list with the one Schwabel compiled for 2014, I noted one significant trend on both lists: the continuous job search. As Dan describes:
Companies are going to have to deal with even more retention issues next year as job hopping picks up. Employees are undergoing a continuous job search job and are never settling. This is happening because technology has enabled people to easily find new jobs and for recruiters to steal talent in numbers. 86% of employees are already looking for work outside their current occupations and nearly one third of employers expect workers to job hop. The only thing that companies can do to increase retention rates is to create a superior work culture where employees have friends, are engaged in their work and get perks.
I love the statement: create a superior work culture. I wish that statement was blazoned in every corporate board room wall. When I ask business leaders and HR professionals what they are doing to address key talent retention, I either get a blank stare or enthusiasm about new benefits programs. Common sense and volumes of employee engagement research tell us that you can’t buy employee loyalty and retention. You have to create and maintain a positive, healthy and rewarding work climate to really glue people to your company.
I’ve written before about the key drivers of employee motivation and engagement. I’d like to add to those drivers by citing a second Workplace Trend for 2015: Honesty becomes a revered leadership trait:
Companies are going to start embracing transparency more next year as younger generations are demanding it. Leaders won’t just have to be good at inspiring and educating, they will have to be able to instill trust through honesty.
This trend aptly mirrors my experience in the business world. Leaders who are honest are trusted. Leaders who are trusted have followers who will stay with them regardless of salary and benefits. Honest leaders are transparent about the state of their business now and in the future, and their vision for success drives top performance in their employees.
The increased importance of honesty leads me to another trend that I’ve witnessed in the past year and believe will continue to impact employee retention: the continued growth of social media as a vehicle for communication which affects corporate reputation. If employees are uneasy with their current employer and are conducting a “continuous job search”, they will be using LinkedIn and Facebook and other social media websites to search for that ideal company whose leaders are honest and transparent. The data they will be reviewing may or may not match what is reported on the company’s web site. More and more leaders realize that their ability to internally control and manufacture their reputation is being superseded by the information posted online by their employees.
So as you begin to set strategy for 2015, include a thorough audit of your leadership practices for evidence of honesty and transparency. Set the goals and tactics for the new year to include open dialogue, frequent coaching and thoughtful feedback. Continuously practice these positive leadership traits that will produce the healthy and optimistic work climate that will bond your employees to you more closely than the comp and benefits plans.