Today’s workforce is comprised of multiple generations, and each of them has a different experience with technology, varying expectations about social norms, and differing goals depending on where they are in their careers. Baby Boomers are preparing for retirement, Gen Xers are stepping into leadership roles, millennials have their eyes on future leadership positions, and Gen Zers are just getting started and may quickly rise as high potential employees.
Recognizing the differences and commonalities of the people in cross-generational teams, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, is critical for organizational success. As you prepare for the next decade, consider how these workplace trends will impact your business and how you can benefit from them.
1. Collaborative teams, in and out of the office
Modern technology enables a different type of work environment, one that doesn’t require people to be in the same physical location. Even locally based companies are faced with requests for the ability to work remotely, either part-time or full-time. Younger generations don’t necessarily feel the need to be present in an office when they can cut out the commute and accomplish the same tasks at home. Businesses also benefit from having a remote working policy because it can reduce overhead and improve employee satisfaction.
In order to work remotely, individuals need the tools and training to work collaboratively. In addition to the technological resources required for video chats, working on shared documents, and creating a remote office culture, people also need certain competencies to be successful in this type of environment, including time management, productivity, collaboration, and more.
2. Digging into data and analytics
Today’s technology enables a new level of data collection and analytics, and HR teams are using these resources to enhance their work. Making hiring decisions, gauging employee engagement, assessing leadership skills, and providing ongoing training reinforcement are just a few of the ways companies can leverage data and analytics.
Whether you perform employee surveys, analyze weaknesses in your hiring process, or use quizzes to identify skills gaps, this trend is a valuable one to adopt for your organization. Having valuable information at their fingertips can help HR teams reduce employee turnover, find better candidates, and get the right people into the right roles.
3. More robust development strategies
Employees in today’s workforce, especially the younger generations, have high expectations for continuous learning and development in the workplace. The companies that recognize this and respond to it will be able to attract and retain better candidates who will help them succeed.
Rather than just training during onboarding, employees are seeking ongoing education opportunities that will help them grow both in the organization and in their careers. They also seek customized solutions that address their individual needs. To stay on top of this trend, develop a comprehensive learning and development strategy that meets people where they are and evolves with them, but that also meets the needs of your organization currently and in the future.
4. People centric productivity solutions
Productivity is a priority for many companies, but stress-inducing approaches are becoming a thing of the past. Rather than putting productivity at the forefront, an increasing number of organizations are prioritizing people. In a work environment that enables people to flourish, productivity soars.
Identify the barriers to a productive work environment—inbox overflow, interruptions, insufficient time for training, and so on—and find people centric solutions. These might include setting up an internal messaging system to alleviate the onrush of emails, allowing for flexible work schedules, or providing additional communication training to those who need it. The solutions will depend on the specific challenges, but the primary objective is to approach each issue from the employee’s perspective.
The need for learning and development has not changed
Although technology is a key factor of the workplace trends that will influence organizations in 2020, it is far from the only one. The common theme is putting people at the forefront and leveraging technology to come up with creative solutions. Remember that each generation in the current workforce has its own set of unique needs and adds another layer of challenges. Creating a comprehensive development plan and tailoring solutions for each group will keep your organization competitive as we enter the next decade. To learn more about how you can stay competitive in today’s constantly evolving professional environment, read our guide, Competency Development: Training a Modern Workforce.