Five Workplace Trends for 2012

 -  12/15/11

As the year winds down, talent managers need to address and capitalize on workplace trends in an effort to move their organizations forward.

The recession has impacted how individuals view work and the workplace. Though it may appear little has changed as employees who’ve managed to keep their jobs hunker down, try not to get noticed and wait things out, the workplace continues to evolve as new trends emerge. Leaders must proactively address these trends to ensure their organizations evolve toward growth.

Here are a few workplace trends talent leaders can expect to see in the upcoming year:

Movement from management principles to leadership values. Employees are savvy, and although they have been relatively quiet waiting for things to return to normal from the recession, they’ve been carefully watching. Cookie-cutter, old-school or command-and-control approaches to managing people are becoming less effective; employees can determine when an organization’s walk doesn’t fit the talk, and they are getting impatient working for managers who are less self-aware than they are. Instead, individuals today must lead with values such as collaboration and shared purpose. By engaging the workforce in a compelling shared vision and engaging their hearts as well as their minds, leaders can reap the best results.

A focus on workplace culture as a means to grow the business. Some of the best organizations — including Whole Foods, Panera, SAS and Google — spend little on marketing, yet put time, energy and resources into making sure they have a sustainable culture. When a company is perceived to be one that really cares about its employees, it can prove to be a great PR or branding opportunity. Customers patronize businesses that care about their employees, and will even pay more if they believe their values are shared by the company.

Diversity makes a comeback. Today organizations have a renewed interest in diversity, and it has to do with the customer and shareholders. From a customer relations perspective, companies need people inside their organizations who are representative of the people they are trying to reach outside. Recent research from McKinsey and ION shows a correlation between having more women on corporate boards of directors and higher company earnings. And in light of recent legislation mandating greater board diversity in Europe, many American companies are looking to get ahead of the curve. Diversity may become the new “green” or “sustainable.”

Article Keywords:   talent management   trends  

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