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How Business Expectations are Changing, and Why HR Needs to Get on Board to Keep the Talent

By December 20, 2018 No Comments

Jim Steinlage, President & CEO of Choice Solutions,

This time last year, Forbes gave its predictions of the 10 workplace trends we’d see in 2018. How well did the publication gauge where things are headed, particularly where it applies to talent?

Whether it’s the work/life balance employees demand, AI becoming embedded in the workplace, or dealing with the aging workforce, the author gets it right that business expectations are changing. And talent is more than prepared to head elsewhere to get what they want.

Businesses Face an Onslaught of Change

By 2025, millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce, causing significant shifts in expectations—and demands—in the workplace. If they haven’t already, businesses that want to compete will need to change their mindset on what the workplace should look like. If they don’t? They can expect to see fewer top-tier talent applying for positions and will likely suffer great attrition than companies that have embraced flexible talent strategies.

The War for Talent

So, what do these demanding employees want? Nothing particularly unreasonable, just different from what has for decades been the norm. The top 3 benefits most likely to attract and keep a digitally plugged-in employee are:

  • Technology, technology, technology. As it becomes more ubiquitous across every industry, organizations must develop effective strategies to leverage all things tech. As the shift towards a less centralized workplace continues, taking advantage of the latest innovations is no longer a luxury but a necessity. From increasing collaboration to virtually connecting teams, improving training documentation, and gamification, tech can facilitate a range of improvements that will build a company culture that attracts and retains top talent.
  • A work/life balance. One of the downsides to always being connect? The 60 to 70 hours a week that some employees have been working for decades. Today’s workers want to strike a better balance between work and leisure. Flexible work structures, more personal time, and personal well-being initiatives will make for happier, more productive employees and can save businesses money.
  • Room to grow. It’s a myth that the new employee is only interested in perks and hip work environments. In truth, most generations now want the same things: stability, a decent wage, and the ability to advance their careers. Some may argue that training younger workers isn’t worth it because they’ll leave anyway. The truth is that if you don’t invest in growth opportunities, they’ll look elsewhere. Don’t buy into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Solution: Increase Employee Engagement

Every organization wants employees who are inspired by, involved in, and enthusiastic about their work. One of the best ways to achieve that is by fostering a high-trust culture that is invested in helping people become the best they can be at what they love to do. Open communication, regular feedback, and an approach that favors recognition and praise over blame and displeasure can ensure a workforce that not only shows up but is happy to be there.