What Do the Pros Say?
Every year Forbes comes out with the “Top Ten Trends for 2018”. This year, Platinum, an accounting and payroll firm, released an article entitled, “Hot Workplace Trends You Will See In 2018.” I thought it would be fun to see what the experts are telling us to expect this year. We already are braced for some seismic changes so what else is in store?Cultural Diversity is the Watchword
Both firms cite diversity in the workplace as the most compelling challenge facing employers. Here are some of their findings:
- The subject of diversity has become a tipping point where companies are investing money in improving the composition of their workforce.
- 56% of executives agree that diversity is the prime driver of innovation in companies that are valued at $10+ billion.
- By 2020, 1 to 2.5 million jobs in tech will lie vacant due to a talent shortage.
- Recruitment gaps can be filled by reaching out to minorities and women.
Upskilling and Retraining Workers
Both authors agree that internal upward career mobility for employees is essential for reducing turnover rates and job hopping. In addition, the growing skills gap within the workforce is the primary reason that over half of current job openings go unfilled. Here are some concerning facts:
- There are currently 2 million job openings in America that are unfilled, which is up from 5.6 million during the same time in 2016.
- Companies can't find the right workers with the right skills at the right time, which has slowed growth in the economy.
- The National Federation of Independent Business reports that 45% of small businesses were unable to find qualified candidates to fill job openings, and 60% of all employers have job openings that stay vacant for twelve weeks or longer.
- In our current economy, change is happening faster than ever before and the half-life of a learned skill is a mere five years.
Artificial Intelligence Rules
Forbes and Platinum concur that the topic with the biggest buzz in HR circles is Artifical Intelligence (AI). The evidence shows there is both excitement and fear around the topic as it relates to how people do their jobs. Mainstream consumers are enthralled by augmented and virtual reality's stimulation of the imagination and the complete immersion of the user experience. Hence, employees wish to work with the same technology they experience outside of work. Some startling statistics include:
- Almost every new IT device and service will contain AI in the next few years.
- There are now over one thousand AI vendors supporting all types of companies and people.
- One fourth of generation Z and millennials advocate for companies to adopt Virtual Reality (VR) consumer technology.
- Chatbots, which are programs that facilitate text conversations, are fueled by AI and will continue to permeate the workplace in 2018.
- Nearly 20% of companies have already deployed chatbots in the workplace, with an anticipated 57% by 2021.
Click here to read more about upcoming changes in the workplace that will have a big impact on HR professionals.
Brace Yourself HR
Whether we like it or not, AI and VR are going to infiltrate the workplace in 2018. Add to that the growing diversity of workers and the pressure to close the skill gap, and HR is truly entering a brave new world. As our reliance on technology grows, creating organizational cultures that value personal praise and recognition will become an even greater challenge. Don’t go it alone.