If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.
Like quality of life itself, the state of the American workplace has been trending upwards for some time. Even the most traditional employers now recognize they can improve worker productivity by enhancing employee engagement and well-being.
The status quo is nowhere to be found in our 2016 workplace predictions, as today’s employers – and particularly their HR departments – must overcome increasingly-discerning talent pools, constant technological innovation and stagnant budgets in order to field a productive workforce. The needs to strive for employee betterment and to achieve more with less are ever-present.
Prognostication is trendy this time of year, and we’re inclined to partake. Here’s what we believe the next 12 months holds for employees, HR professionals and the workplace in general:
1. Long Hours Offset by Greater Flexibility
For many modern-day employees, the 40-hour work week is as extinct as the dodo bird. One recent study found that adults employed full time in the U.S. work an average of 47 hours per week – almost a full workday longer than the traditional standard.
Yet the news isn’t all bad for members of the workforce. Overworked employees are being compensated with increased flexibility. Expect the coming year to feature even more employers offering flexible scheduling, enabling employees to work on their own terms in order to accommodate school and family needs. More employees will capitalize on working remotely, and the public outcry for better maternity and paternity leave arrangements will intensify.
2. Millennial Impact Expands in Ever-Changing Talent Pool
The 80+ million young people born between 1980 and 2000 already wield a fair amount of influence, having recently surpassed Generation X to represent the largest share of the American workforce. In 2016, the Millennial Generation’s oldest members will be eligible to run for president while its youngest members will reach driving age. Meanwhile, the oldest Baby Boomers will turn 70 next year. As more Baby Boomers retire and more Millennials assume leadership roles, look for 2016 to represent a true generational passing of the torch.
3. Technology Dominates HR Recruitment Process
That technological innovation makes a modern-day prediction list comes as no surprise. From a human resources standpoint, additional emphasis will be placed on utilizing state-of-the-art HR management software to oversee administration, payroll and benefits. When it comes to recruitment, HR professionals will rely more heavily on mobile platforms for job postings and candidate research via social media in 2016. Equally important, though, will be the increasing dependence on data metrics to evaluate prospective employees. Background checks and instincts alone are no longer sufficient to assess candidates.
4. Employee Perks Programs on the Rise
In the never-ending quest to retain top talent and optimize productivity, more companies will opt to implement an employee benefits program once the calendar has turned. Perk programs such as those offered by viperks furnish employees with exclusive access to tremendous deals on major brands, enabling employers to demonstrate employee appreciation in innovative new ways. Never has the correlation between employee happiness, engagement and productivity been more clear than as we enter 2016.
5. Content Marketing Dictates HR Thought Leadership
The time is now for HR departments to capitalize on our increasingly content-driven society. Roughly 27 million pieces of content are shared online every day, and Americans conduct an average of 12 billion searches per month on the Web. In 2016, content is king for HR professionals. Create and disseminate content that’s engaging and relevant to the HR industry and you will stand out as a thought leader.
6. Increased Emphasis on Effective HR-Led Employee Onboarding
Long gone are the days when rookie employees are thrust into their new work environment ill-prepared. Emphasis on effective new-hire onboarding will increase in 2016, as employers continue to recognize its value. A proper onboarding program to guide a new employee’s first days and weeks can mean the difference between short-term turnover and long-term productivity, particularly for the Millennial workforce. Look for companies to allocate a greater share of budget to onboarding and to devote more HR professionals to overseeing this process next year.
7. Less is More When it Comes to Office Space
As we enter 2016, many companies are balancing talent recruitment with budget limitations. The solution? Create a workplace environment that capitalizes on collaborative technologies and changing employee preferences. By reducing your square footage, creating a more open office space and allowing employees to work remotely when necessary, you can cut costs while positioning your company as an attractive option for emerging professionals. Having an office environment that maximizes both employee productivity and work-life balance will prove key to ensuring bottom-line success in 2016.
At viperks, we predict your employees will love receiving exclusive access to tremendous deals on major brands. Our employee benefits programs offer your employees real savings on items they want and need.
Want to learn more about how you can help your employees be happier and more productive? We’re here to talk.