Key Workplace Trends for 2015

workplace trendsThe beginning the year is always a good time to reflect upon – and sometimes reset – our goals. For organizations, this means incorporating due diligence, performance feedback, and ongoing assessment relevant trends. With regard to the workplace, the following are some of the trends we can expect to see this year:

Job hopping, career changing: According to a recent survey by Right Management, 86 percent of workers in North America say they plan to actively look for a new job in 2015. To increase retention, employers must create a work environment that offers flexibility, engagement, proper compensation, and perks. People are also exploring new careers. According to Indeed Hiring Lab, which analyzed the job hunting activity of more than 430,000 people in Indeed.com’s database, about 60 percent are looking outside their current occupation.

New roles, war for professional talent; According to the latest Professional Hiring Index1 (“the Index”) from the recruiting firm Robert Half UK, 47 percent of HR directors plan to expand hiring, with their companies set to add new positions within the first six months of 2015. The research found that 80 percent of HR executives are concerned about losing top performers to other job opportunities over the next year, which will pressure on employers to increase salary and benefits packages to retain them.

Flexible working arrangements: This is a key component in attracting and retaining top talent, especially with the technology we have at our disposal. Cindy Goodman of the Miami Herald puts flexible working arrangements on the top of her 2015 predictions. “While many companies are setting policies on flexible work arrangements, their workers are quietly working from outside the office whenever possible,” she says. “Working where you want or when you want and is a perk employees will put a premium on in 2015.” A January Harvard Business Review article echoes this idea: “Companies now need to work harder to attract and train workers, and to help mitigate erosion in the growth of the labor pool by providing a more flexible working environment for women and older workers, and training and mentorship for young people.”

Millennials in management: A CareerBuilder study found that 38 percent of the workforce is already managed by Millennials. This has caused some friction with Baby Boomers, as there tends to be favoritism towards other Millennials. Also of concern are the Millennials who’ve been pushed into management – without proper training – as the Boomers retire.

Generation Z: According to a recent Forbes article, Gen Z (born within the past 20 years) will become a major target for companies looking to recruit interns next year, and more companies will be recruiting high school students for their internship programs.

Workplace bullying: Even with laws in place designed to prohibit this toxic behavior, it still happens. Employers must construct policies to effectively deal with bullying before it runs rampant and their company has earned a reputation. According to a CareerBuilder poll, 28 percent of workers feel as if they have been bullied at work, and 19 percent of those people left because of it. Managers must also be properly trained and monitored to ensure they are not part of the problem.

Determining accurate compensation: This is a tricky one. As mentioned, workplace flexibility is great for both organizations and their employees. However, one trend emerging from this scenario is the question of accurate pay, especially from non-exempt consultants who are on the clock and are most likely mobile. Both employers and employees must be vigilant in this area; the latter need to carefully log their hours and make sure company-owned devices are only used for work.

The work/life balance: It’s a constant battle, even more so now as we’re constantly connected to our smartphones and can technically be on call 24/7. Agreements must be made on when employees are required to remain connected and when it’s OK to power off and separate work from real life. It will make for happier, more productive employees.

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Nick Roylemsi