Five Workplace Predictions for 2013

What’s in store for business leaders in 2013? More of the same rapid change, for starters. Organizations that are more adept at embracing these changes and leveraging them to build stronger relationships with their talent will be better positioned for success in the long term.

When it comes to attracting and keeping top talent, companies will look at all factors that may give them an edge. Because of this, 2013 will see the rapid adoption of non-traditional approaches to communicate with and engage staff.

Here are some workplace predictions for the coming year:

Annual performance review becomes history. The antiquated yearly performance review will continue its rapid demise. More frequent employee reviews will become the norm. And more forward-thinking organizations will insist that conversations about specific, real-time performance issues occur on a much more frequent, as-needed basis. These ad hoc conversations can provide the instantaneous feedback employees crave and dramatically improve overall communication.

Money isn’t king. Cold, hard cash is nice, but it doesn’t assist with resolving the ever-present issues of work-life balance. Some employees will always place a higher value on money, but a growing number will seek other incentives. In an environment that often requires long hours, weekend work and being on-call for nearly 24 hours a day, retaining employees and keeping them motivated requires a new approach.

Incentives such as increased or unlimited vacation time, pursuit of personal interests at the office — e.g. gym memberships, continued education, management of fantasy football teams, etc., and even the ability to engage in charitable efforts — will become more prevalent. While the size of the paycheck will always be important, some talented individuals are looking for more than just money.

Social media policies mature. Social media is everywhere, and we’ve witnessed countless missteps on social media that could get a user in hot water. In 2013, expect businesses to pay more attention to crafting clear social media policies to eliminate the ambiguity that may exist, allowing some gray areas — Can I tweet this? Is this Facebook post work acceptable? Where does corporate confidentiality end and appropriate social media communication begin? — to become more clear.

Succession planning becomes a higher priority. As CEOs and other members of the C-suite continue to experience rapid turnover, which is inevitable in today’s business world, companies across industries will start becoming better prepared for these changes. Investment in succession planning is expected to rise, allowing companies to better manage and communicate change internally and externally.

Workplace versatility becomes valued. We’ve spent decades preaching the value of specialization. The more specific, the more unique an employee’s skill, the more prized it seemed to be. That’s changing. Companies will begin to reward talent able to “wear multiple hats.” In a downsized business environment, employees simply must handle an increasing number of diverse tasks. Workplace versatility is becoming an asset, not a liability.

It’s also important to keep in mind the changing face of employees. Millennials entering the workforce are actively seeking career opportunities that offer broad experiences.

Halley Bock is the president and CEO of Fierce Inc., global leadership development and training company. She can be reached at