10 Workplace Trends You’ll See in 2017

Among the workplace trends you can expect this year is an emergence of HR practitioners with new skills, including people analytics, Internet marketing, branding and knowledge on new technologies like virtual reality and wearables. How will you – and your organization – be affected by these trends? Are there opportunities for New Year’s Resolutions here? 

Dan Schawbel outlines the 10 workplace trends he predicts based on conversations with HR executives and workers as well as extensive primary and secondary research sources. Read his article in Forbes.com for further detail on these trends. 

  1. Companies focus on improving their candidate and employee experiences. Expect the walls to come down between HR, marketing and customer service departments in order to develop experiences for both candidates and employees. The article reports that 60 percent of job seekers have a poor candidate experience. To enhance the employee experience, companies are investing in more training, improving work space and giving more rewards.
  2. The blended workforce is on the rise. Freelancers are the new diversity element. SHRM’s president Henry Jackson says that the rise of freelance workers is one of the top five biggest employment trends.
  3. Annual performance reviews evolve into more continuous reviews. Transforming performance reviews into something that better serves managers and employees is a priority. The desire for instant feedback is being driven by Generation Zs and Millennials. GE and Adobe have already abolished annual reviews in exchange for regular feedback – Adobe created “Check-In” and GE established “Touchpoints.”
  4. Millennials meet Generation Z in the workplace. One-third of Millennials are in management roles and 2017 will be the first full year that Generation Z is settled in the workplace. Both generations will put pressure on companies to transform the office, reward employees, embrace flexibility and alight the company’s interests with a cause.
  5. Augmented and virtual reality revolutionize recruiting and training. 2017 will be a massive year for virtual reality consumer technology. As such, the technology that employees are experiencing outside of work will naturally influence them to desire the same tech at the office. Virtual and augmented reality can help close the experience gap for job seekers and allow employee training to be more engaging, less expensive and free of distractions.
  6. The war for talent heats up as the employer and employee contract continues to evolve. The average tenure for employees, regardless of age, is a mere 4.6 years. Most millennials leave after two years. Thus, employers have recognized that there is no lifetime employment contract. An even greater emphasis on the employee experience can be expected in 2017 as companies are being forced to focus more on corporate culture and values than pay in order to retain employees.
  7. Organizations restructure to focus on team over individual performance. While individuals have their own career agenda, companies are now structured with teams because high performing teams will enable them to compete for the future. Nearly all companies rate “organizational design” as their top priority.
  8. Workplace wellness, and well-being, become critical employee benefits for attracting top talent.
    Companies are using wellness programs to lower absenteeism, attract talent and save on healthcare costs, while employees have become more health conscious in the past several years. Companies realize that workplace stress is the biggest health issue that employees face so they invest in creating a more relaxing and healthier environment for them.
  9. Companies get creative with their employee benefit packages and perks. Studies show that after compensation, the two most important employee benefits are healthcare coverage and work flexibility, a benefit that wasn’t mainstream a decade ago. After those two, others that are surfacing focus on education and student loans.
  10. Office attire and workplace culture become more casual. With the rise of younger generations and employees working remotely, there’s no doubt that the workplace is increasingly casual. 2017 will see a continuation of this trend, with more employees demanding to drop their suits and ties in exchange for jeans and shirts.
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