8 work trends to watch in 2019

As 2018 draws to a close, and we all look ahead to 2019, Randstad has released their annual list of work trends to watch for in the new year.

According to a media release, Randstad executives and other leaders from the human resources services industry shared key insights into the challenges and changes ahead, “from employees’ changing work preferences to the pressure to stay digitally relevant in a technology-saturated landscape.”

“HR strategies won’t be effective if they don’t evolve,” Jim Link, chief human resources officer, Randstad North America, is quoted as saying in a media release. “Ensuring your company attracts the best talent and is poised to innovate in the future means taking a holistic approach to every decision HR makes. Anticipating digital disruption and developing a meaningful diversity and inclusion strategy will be paramount.”

Here are the eight biggest trends impacting the workplace in 2019 and beyond, according to Randstad’s report.

Constant digital disruption will become the norm

Employees today expect a high level of digital sophistication, says the report, and so employers must remain digitally relevant and not fall behind. This means staying up to date with current tools and technologies, digital orientation to help employees manage their use of and expectations around always-on technologies, and digital leadership to help the company adopt and adapt to emerging technologies.

A continued shift in how, when, where and why work gets done

In order to stay competitive and attract top talent, companies are already offering employees flexible work options. This is leading to more “work-life fluidity,” says Randstad, and it’s becoming more common for employees to perform “life” tasks during work hours and take work home during “off” hours. “Employers are also realizing that employees feel strongly about being invested in their companies’ missions, so companies that can connect the efforts of their employees to bigger-picture goals will have a competitive advantage.”

Training — anytime and anywhere — will become an expectation

Randstad talks about “training” but is really referring to learning and advancement opportunities. “When companies don’t offer meaningful opportunities for learning and progression, employees move on,” says the media release. “Relevant, timely and on-demand training opportunities will be an important retention strategy for 2019 and beyond.” Career coaching is also expected to become more popular.

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) will take centre stage

Randstad advises businesses to focus on D&I in order to attract a broader talent pool, noting that bringing together people with wide-ranging perspectives is a key component of innovation and can help drive better business decision-making.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will become an employment category

According to Randstad, “agile workers” and AI are fast growing as actual workforce segments. “However, far from replacing humans in the workforce, technology is helping them deliver even greater value.”

Employers will need to hire for potential and reward retention

When positions stay open for too long, employers are forced to spend more time and money on recruitment, while existing teams become overburdened and less effective, says Randstad. They suggest that employers think differently about what makes a quality candidate, and focus more on “must-have” than “nice-to-have” attributes. The report also predicts that employers will have to get creative to improve and incentivize long-term retention.

Company culture will influence the quality of job applicants

Workplace culture is an important factor for candidates evaluating different job opportunities, which is why, Randstad states “it’s so important for companies to share external messaging that accurately and authentically captures their work environment. While communicating the positive things that current employees have to say about working for your company can be a huge draw for potential candidates, the key is to do it in a way that feels authentic.”

Employee performance measurements will evolve

Internal employee review processes will become more fluid, shifting to a continuous feedback model. This will impact the promotion process, and Randstad predicts that organizations will see more gradual advancement structures, in which managers constantly feed employees with new challenges and corresponding salary raises on an ongoing basis, as opposed to having fewer promotions along more rigidly structured timelines.

To view the entire report, check out the eight work trends to watch in 2019.

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