2019 and 2020 Workplace Trends

July 8th, 2019
Employee Benefits, Human Resources

By By Laurey West, SHRM-CP, Director of Operations

As a Human Resources Professional an important part of my job is to stay on top of all state and federal law changes in order to communicate this information to our clients and help them remain compliant. I also think it is important to keep our clients informed of current and future workplace trends and offer strategic solutions to help them stay competitive. According to SHRM, there are 10 top trends in 2019 that HR departments should pay attention to. They are as follows:

  1. Flexible Work Schedules – More companies are offering flexible work schedules to allow employees a better work life balance.
  2. Gender Diversity – Businesses are doing a better job of balancing the number of men and women that hold executive positions.
  3. Technology – More and more companies use robots or some type of robotics in their daily business. Human Resources and Information Technology professionals are partnering together more in order to collaborate and manage the experience between their employees and robots.
  4. Social Issues – In order to attract talent, many businesses are choosing to make a positive difference by taking a stand on certain social issues.
  5. Mental Health Awareness – Mental Illness impacts most everyone in some way or another. Companies are bringing more light on mental illness awareness and offering employee assistance programs to assist when an employee need help whether it be for the employee or counseling on how to deal a situation involving a person with mental illness.
  6. Remote Workers – More companies are offering remote positions for certain roles. Companies are investing more in group activities and team building events to help their employees stay connected and less lonely and isolated.
  7. Soft skills are becoming more important in the recruiting process according to SHRM. A few examples of soft skills are an employee who has a positive attitude, great organizational skills, or who is able to delegate workload as needed. Job descriptions are being updated to include important soft skills that help an employee be a success in their position.
  8. Burnout – Companies are investing more time and money into reducing employee turnover due to burnout. HR professionals are tasked with creating programs that will help reduce employees from feeling overloaded and stressed out.
  9. Generation Diversity – Companies are spending more time and money to help all generations in the workplace work together more effectively and reduce anxiety and stress related to differences in work styles.
  10. With the unemployment rate being so low, companies are finding it harder to find skilled employees. Companies are becoming less focused on age, gender and other factors and more concerned with an employee’s ability to get the job done. Companies are starting to hire older workers with experience, workers with disabilities, workers who may have been incarcerated, and veterans.

Trends that are expected to dominate the workplace in 2020 include some of the following:

  1. Employee Experiences – Companies will spend more time creating compelling employee experiences that may include flexible hours, rooms for resting or to decompress, and modern, state-of-the-art work décor and spaces. Companies are also creating social intranets and intranet-based interaction systems to increase employee engagement.
  2. Artificial Intelligence – Companies are spending more money on technology by adding chatbots, intelligent assistants and robots to help with more mundane tasks.
  3. Continual Learning Opportunities – Companies will offer more on-going training to help employees develop soft skills and offer mentorship programs to help new employees learn from seasoned employees or from employees that are getting ready to retire. They will also offer more flexibility in how training programs are set up and where they take place and less one-size-fits-all training. Gamification will become more prevalent as well as cloud-based learning management systems.
  4. Highly Collaborative Working Environments and New Organizational Structures – Companies will be more focused on developing teams within their organization who can network together to get projects completed more efficiently and effectively. Some companies will drive a new organizational structure where employees are less focused on titles and having their own offices and more focused on working together to achieve company goals.
  5. People Analytics – HR Technology with advanced analytics capabilities are going to be important to businesses. Companies will use this technology to predict retention of employees, boost engagement, recruiting, measuring performance of employees and identifying skill gaps and create training programs to help close any gaps identified.
  6. Employee Engagement – Companies will be spending more time and money trying to keep employees engaged by focusing on driving meaning, purpose and passion among their workforces and reduce costly turnover.

I hope in sharing this information, it will help your business adapt and thrive by staying up to date and making the necessary changes as the business landscape changes and evolves.

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