Source | Dan Schawbel , Contributor | http://www.forbes.com/
Every year I give my top 10 workplace trend predictions for the upcoming year. You can read my predictions from 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 if you missed them. These trends are based on hundreds of conversations with human resource executives and workers, a series of national and global online surveys and secondary research from more than 160 different primary and secondary research sources, including think tanks, consulting companies, non-profits, the government and trade associations.
Between 2016 and 2017, the job market will continue to improve causing both job seekers and employees to have more leverage, which will cause salaries to increase and employers to invest more job advertising, staffing firms and employee benefits. Depending on who becomes the next president of the United States, hiring may freeze, slow or continue its current trajectory. The demand for a more flexible work environment will continue and you will see an emergence of HR practitioners with new skills, including people analytics, Internet marketing, branding and knowledge on new technologies like virtual reality and wearables.
The major economic and business themes over the past year have been focused on the war for talent, creating an employment experience for job seekers and candidates, overtime and compensation, the end of the annual performance review, the continued skills and leadership gap, the rise of Generation Z and the shift to the on-demand workforce. These trends have all impacted how companies recruit, retain, train and structure their workforce for the future.
The top workplace trends for 2017 include:
1. Companies focus on improving their candidate and employee experiences.
Companies have always created marketing experiences for customers, and prospects, in order to delight them, increase loyalty and grow their revenues. Next year, you will see the walls come down between your HR, marketing and customer service departments in order to develop experiences for both candidates and employees. In a recent study, we found that nearly 60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience and 72% of them have shared their experience on an online employer review site such as Glassdoor.com. When employers don’t notify candidates of their application status, they are discouraged to every apply for another job at that company again, which limits their future talent pool. Furthermore, a bad candidate experience can turn away customers who may be your candidates, thus resulting in a loss of potential revenue. Virgin, for instance, created a new candidate experience for the thousands of people they are unable to hire out of the 150,000 applications they receive annually, and have created a new seven million dollar revenue stream by creating a better experience for them. Aside from candidates, employee retention and engagement have become some of HR’s top issues as top talent has numerous employment options and productivity is key to growth. In another study we did, we found that 83% of HR said that “employee experience” is either important or very important to their organizations success, and in order to enhance the experience, they are investing more in training (56%), improving their work space (51%) and giving more rewards (47%). IBM has used people analytics to predict retention risk for employees in key job roles, and notifies managers so they can prevent them from quitting, which has saved the company over $130 million dollars.
2. The blended workforce is on the rise.
In the past five years, the gig economy has become a major trend impacting the global workforce, and has created a new kind of diversity, with full-time permanent employees working side-by-side with freelancers. In a study exploring the gig economy, we found that 93% of companies already identify the blended workforce as they’re seeing freelance workers teaming up with employees to work on projects together. In addition, the top reason why outperforming employers are benefitting from the blended workforce is “more flexible teaming”. At the SHRM 2016 Annual Conference in Washington DC, Henry Jackson, the President of SHRM, noted that the “rise of freelance workers” was one of the top five biggest employment trends. Multiple studies from Intuit to The Freelancer’s Union predict that at least 40% of the workforce will be freelancers in the next few years. As more companies hire on-demand to solve key problems and cut costs by removing healthcare coverage, and other employee benefits, more freelancers and full-time workers will need to work together. With many freelancers working at remote offices, the ability to manage without borders is going to become a critical skills globally.
3. Annual performance reviews evolve into more continuous reviews.
One of the biggest discussions in HR circles is performance reviews, how to transform them and implement something new that serves both managers and employees. Professionals today desire instant feedback, a behavior they’ve adopted from the instant gratification they receive on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Younger generations are especially impatient and are unwilling to wait a whole year to learn about their strengths and areas of improvement. A whole one forth of employees feel that annual performance reviews don’t help improve their performance. We found that the annual performance review is coming to an end on a global scale as Generation Z’s and millennials are currently receiving feedback either daily (19%), weekly (24%) or regularly (23%). In the United States, 28% of gen Z and 17% of millennials receive feedback regularly. Two of the largest companies in the world, including GE and Adobe, have already abolished their annual review process in exchange for regularly feedback. Adobe, the first major company to step away from annual performance reviews, created a “Check-In” system, where expectations are set annually but feedback is given regularly, resulting in a 2% decrease in voluntary attrition. GE followed suit by created “ Touchpoints,” where there is a daily development focusing on results and changing business demands, which has resulting in a five times increase in productivity in the past year.