Professional Development

Top Workplace Trends of 2016 so Far

Written by Peter Jones

It’s always important to stay on top of the most current and exciting trends in the workplace, no matter what your field. Here are the top 10 biggest trends for this year, according to the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology.

1. Big Data

This has been on top of the short list for the past few years—and was also number one last year. Companies are increasingly looking for ways to analyze the mounting piles of data they accrue and find ways to maximize what they learn from that data to improve their business. Businesses need to keep strategizing how to get the best analysis and make the best interpretations in order to make their best decisions.

2. Technology

Technology continues to evolve faster than we can keep ahead of it. And we are relying on it more and more. Businesses need to focus on figuring out how that reliance, plus the increased prevalence of automation, might affect their hiring and staffing decisions—not to mention training emphases for current and new employees.

3. Working Remotely

More and more people are getting the opportunity to manage their own schedules and work remotely. Businesses need to keep an open mind as to how to best manage teams who are not all working from the same physical location—and how to keep productivity as high as possible.

4. More Frequent Reviews

Gone are the days of performance reviews only happening once or twice a year. The evaluation process will become more like an ongoing conversation between employees, supervisors, and management. This focus on continually improving will help employees develop faster and better—and help companies help them to improve.

5. Employee Engagement

Engaged employees are better employees. So much research confirms this. They go the extra mile so much more often. Businesses should constantly be thinking how to raise employee engagement, which will help boost productivity and set a constructive and positive office culture.

6. Wellness for Employees

Businesses are under much more pressure these days to provide health and wellness incentives for employees. The healthier the workers, the better the work!

7. Flexibility

Businesses are required to be more and more agile and flexible in their business practices. The willingness to take risks and innovate is proving to pay off more and more often. This will need to be incorporated into organizational principles and missions, including flexibility with work schedules.

8. Work/Life Balance

There’s more and more focus these days on offering better work/life balance for employees. And more and more employees are demanding such a focus. Businesses will have to figure out which strategies work best, and which are less effective, in order to compete.

9. Diversity

Hiring practices will hopefully adapt to include more diversity in the workforce, and also more diversity-oriented thinkers in positions of authority. This is an important one, and is required to matching the ethos of the future.

10. Social Media

Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn will be used much more for hiring and recruitment—not just for networking. There are legal issues to keep in mind on both sides, for both workers and employers.

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About the author

Peter Jones

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