Workplaces and workforces have faced an array of interesting (even disruptive) changes in recent years. Add the coronavirus pandemic to the running list that already featured trends like, automation, technology, globalization and you can understand why many continue to be prudent to identify and monitor workplace trends.
With this said, the pandemic may have given us an opportunity to filter through the noise around these trends. This gives us the opportunity to focus on the workplace trends that carry more significant short-term impact compared to others. Most importantly, identifying these areas will be vital to focus on the efforts that will best guide us into the future.
Here are some insights to mitigate some of the confusion we are all facing.
Addressing Mental Health
Thankfully, addressing mental health has become less stigmatized in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of mental health in workplaces from a ‘high-upside endeavor’ to an absolute necessity. The shared trauma (granted of highly varying degrees) shared by everyone has allowed us all to employ more empathy which will accelerate our ability to be more inclusive of mental health in the workplace.
Developing and Reinforcing Soft Skills
Many thought-leaders continue to dub soft-skills as the new hard-skills. This trend began with the need for workforces to meet the demands of an increasingly fast-paced world vulnerable to disruption. Adaptability and innovation couldn’t be more important today as we work to overcome the new disruptions facing us all. Being able to train, sustain, and evolve soft-skills at scale may arguably become the biggest professional development goal companies will look to achieve during COVID-19 and beyond.
Reinvesting More in Professional Development
The realm of professional development is a rather interesting one. While this trend was originally born due to a tight job market, its relevance remains despite record unemployment. Professional development must continue to have a vital role in our workplaces. Companies staying lean will ask their workforce to take on different/expanded responsibilities. Other companies will do the same because of heightened demand during this chapter. Other companies may choose to hire younger (and typically cheaper) personnel. Regardless of the reason, we must be prepared to continue to empower our workforces to evolve and thrive with the demands of our evolving workplaces.
Inclusion, Design-Thinking, and Innovation
Inclusion, design-thinking, and innovation are all elements of a successful “all hands on deck” culture. It’s hard to argue a better scenario for a company being able to successfully evolve with the times we are in and the times that await us in the near future. Teams that can tap into the various strengths of their workforce will be uniquely equipped to adapt their processes and strategies. This will allow companies to identify and service new markets that continue to rapidly emerge.
Will Certain Workplace Trends Be Tabled for “Better Days?”
Employee activism, social justice branding, sustainability initiatives, upskilling retirees, non-traditional hiring. Could these workplace trends be sadly tabled for better days due to uncertainty? What other trends may be at risk that in need of continued advocacy to remain a priority? What tools and initiatives can we employ and deploy to help preserve ALL aspects of workplace quality and wellness? Leave us a comment on Twitter or LinkedIn and join our newsletter.