(Editor’s Note: This year’s predictions are brought to you by Kronos, the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. The Boston Globe named Kronos a Top Place to Work based on employee ratings for company leadership, workplace flexibility and total rewards. Congrats to them! Enjoy the post.)
I haven’t written predictions for a couple of years and frankly, I missed it. So when my friends at Kronos asked me to draft my predictions for 2014, I jumped at the chance. It’s a very exciting time for human resources and the world of work. We’re on the edge of so many cutting-edge technology advancements. Here’s my list of what to watch next year:
- Companies toy with gamification tools. Ha! I couldn’t resist the play on words. Seriously, marketing departments have embraced gamification strategies for the consumer side of the business and, as a result, so will the rest of the company. Human resources departments will bring gamification not only into training activities but to the recruiting process as well.
- Go mobile or go home. This is a no-brainer. Forbes cited earlier this year two surveys that confirmed over half of adult Americans have a smartphone. There are just too many smartphones to ignore mobile. eCommerce is big business. Using mobile technology for human resources related activities such as recruiting, training, and workforce scheduling only makes sense. Businesses will use mobile to keep employees selling and making customers happy versus filling out forms and filing reports.
- Professional development is turned on its head. For the past few years, companies have been sending signals that employees need to own their professional development. As MOOCs and online communities grow, companies will encourage employees to use these options as a place for education and corporate learning. This professional development trend will combine with mobile (see #2) to provide employees with job aids and just-in-time resources.
- The impact of the skills gap becomes known – to both companies and candidates. As we see more movement in the workplace the real impact of skills will come front and center. Expect more conversation regarding the skills that are in short supply as well as those that are in abundance. Candidates and companies will turn to education to fill the gaps – see #3.
- Companies will start adopting enterprise social collaboration solutions. Businesses have come to recognize the value of informal and social learning. Couple this with the opportunities to engage with employees using internal networks. Social collaboration tools are the logical next step in organizational communication.
- Organizations experiment with wearable tech. Fitness bands are helping people with their wellness goals. The introduction of devices like smart watches and Google Glass are changing the game. It’s only a matter of time before companies figure out how to use these devices to enhance the workplace.
The Buzzword for 2014: Analytics. Even though it shouldn’t be a buzzword; it’s a business imperative. Some words get the buzzword moniker because they’re different (aka “selfie”), others become buzzwords because they are used so frequently. We’re talking about the latter. During KronosWorks 2013, I heard business pros consistently, without hesitation, say the number one goal is data and analytics. Companies realize data equals profits and no one can afford to leave money on the table.
On the business travel front, people will start seeing “holistic” conferences. I’m defining these as events that include programming for the mind, body and spirit. We’re not talking new age. Think of it as conference agendas that include fitness, education and inspiration. Where the fitness and inspiration components aren’t speakers – they are hands-on activities. These are conferences that recognize individuals learn in many different ways.
Lastly, my fun food trend for 2014 is “brown bagging” gets redefined. No more PB&J sandwiches with carrot sticks. With rising food costs and a focus on health, employees will start ditching eating out for something tasty they made at home. Maybe the Bento Box will make a comeback…
You probably noticed this year’s predictions have a lot of technology in them. But I really don’t think it’s about the tech. It is about what companies do with technology. Instead of looking at these trends independently, start connecting the dots. A workplace with mobile and social technology using games and data to grow the business. That’s pretty amazing.
What do you think? Share your predictions about business, travel, food, or anything else in the comments.0