One reason I love running a staffing and recruiting company is learning the nuances of the organizations we serve -- their needs, their cultures, their staff. As research for my company’s annual white paper found, workplaces in 2017 are far from stagnant; they’re adapting to trends daily. I believe these five trends will have the biggest effects in 2017:
More focus on culture
Expect companies to prioritize culture in 2017 to address their engagement and turnover issues -- and to become a place people love to work. That means listening to staff to learn what keeps them engaged and motivated, and building culture around that. There’s no right or wrong way to do it; it’s building on the people and traits that make the organization unique.
For many companies, that means certain “perks” (the foosball tables and kegs are fun, but they’re not culture) get scaled back in favor of an increased 401k match, a director of training on staff and opportunities for career growth. These investments in staff create an environment where people want to work -- where people feel valued, not like a means to an end. You can’t fake the type of synergy that comes from that.
More companies ditch the annual performance review
More companies are buying into the idea that it’s hard and often unfair to evaluate a year of work in one sitting. It’s almost impossible to remember everything and give an accurate assessment. Companies like GE and Accenture have already ditched annual reviews for new evaluation models. We’re going to see more constant communication, and on-the-spot coaching between employees and managers in 2017.
Improvements to the employee experience to boost employment brand
A recent study found that 83 percent of HR professionals think the employee experience is crucial to their organization’s success. The result is now a lot of companies are listening closer to what their employees want. They’re creating wellness programs, better benefits and investing in talent development. They’re showing commitment to employees by growing their skill sets and setting them up for career growth.
Generation Z joins the work world
2017 is going to be the first full calendar year where gen Z (born after 1998) are in the workforce. With studies showing that 36 percent of working millennials are in managerial positions and that the majority of millennials think generation Z is lazy, watching these two groups interact is going to be a case study in collaboration. Both generations are the foundation of the future. How they come together to solve problems will be a big focus in 2017.
More tasks will be automated
According to a recent McKinsey study, most jobs have certain activities that could be automated, which would allow more time for high-level tasks. Financial workers, for example, spend 43 percent of their workday on tasks that could be automated. If these workers could automate non-client facing tasks such as routine spreadsheet analytics, they could not only spend more time engaging clients, but also increase the number of clients they serve -- resulting in higher productivity for the employee, and more profit for the company.