“How prepared are you, your company and your talent to drive performance in the face of impending change?”
-Aon Hewitt, “2014 Trends in Global Employee Engagement

A number of forward-thinking organizations are researching that very question. What upcoming workplace trends can we expect, and how will they affect talent management, HR’s role, and the workplace of the future?

Trends Driving the Workplace of the Future:

“next” practices

Executive Development firm Future Workplace launched the 2020 Workplace Network, a group of 45 companies that meets twice a year to discuss, debate and share “next” practices on preparing for the 2020 workplace.
Jeanne Meister is a founding partner – follow her Forbes blog here. You might also consider checking the network’s 2020 Workplace blog which includes thought-provoking posts about attracting, developing, and retaining talent in a disruptive world.

Impact of millennials

As the Aon report notes, Millennial workers’ cohort size makes them highly influential regarding “non-negotiable expectations in a work environment” such as flexibility, rapid career movement, professional development, and transparency. Each of these factors affect the way companies must engage workers.

not so different

Not all employee engagement methods are in constant flux. Workforce 2020 surveys workers and executives, and then posts reports on its site. For example, they recently reported on workplace trends:

“…among them, that HR issues are not as top of mind as they should be; that there is a lack of understanding between what motivates and engages employees and what their companies deliver; and that by some key measures, Millennials and non-Millennials may not be as different from each other as most think they are.”

For better or worse, some workplace trends remain predictable.

marketplace trends

Michael Rendell, leader of HR services for PriceWaterhouseCoopers highlights several market trends HR must adapt to:

“… the rising profile of people issues on the business agenda–the talent crisis, an aging workforce in the western world, the increase in global worker mobility, and the organizational and cultural issues emerging from the dramatic pace of business change in the past decade.” 

Attention to HR is key to long-term success argues Rendell in is report, “Managing tomorrow’s people: The future of work to 2020“.

Rise of new business models

The PriceWaterhouseCoopers report also identifies three potential business models that could result from these factors by 2020.  According to the report, all three are likely to exist and overlap:

  • Large corporations turning into mini-states and taking on a prominent role in society
  • Specialization leading to the rise of collaborative networks
  • The environmental agenda forcing fundamental changes to business strategy

new employee engagement environment

As these new business models take hold, the relationships between companies and their employees will evolve. It’s predicted that:

  • The boundary between work and home life will disappear as companies assume greater responsibility for the social welfare of their employees
  • Firms will implement stringent people-measurement techniques to control and monitor productivity and performance
  • Social capital and relationships will become important drivers of business success

Changing hr role in Talent Management

In the face of the aforementioned trends, the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report predicts HR departments’ roles will shift in one of three directions:

  1. With a proactive mindset and focused on business strategy, HR will become the heart of the organization, taking on a new, wider people remit incorporating and influencing many other aspects of the business
  2. The function will become the driver of the corporate social responsibility agenda within the organization
  3. HR will be seen as transactional and almost entirely outsourced. In this scenario, HR will exist in a new form outside the organization and in-house HR will focus predominantly on people sourcing

They go on to predict that all three scenarios are likely to co-exist and vary by company, industry or possibly even geographically.
How prepared is your organization for the future?  Is HR in your company headed in any of the directions PWC identifies?  If so, how will that affect the future of your business? Food for thought indeed.
To keep up with the changing world of work, download our free eBook, “The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should Be Reading” and start following these HR thought-leaders today!

Download FREE Guide to "Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should Be Reading"

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