For the first time, there can be as many as five generations working together in the office, and each age group comes with its own preferences and perspectives on how and where work should be done.
It’s important for employers to be in tune with what their workers want and need, as there is increasing competition among organizations to find people with the skills and abilities to succeed.
I recently spoke with Dean Aloise, global HR consulting leader at Conduent HR Services, about three workplace trends all organizations should pay attention to now.
#1: The Importance of People
Instead of viewing current and potential employees as “talent” or “human capital,” Dean encourages organizations to always remember that they are people. Workers are more than their job roles — they have hobbies, friends and families outside of the office.
Treating employees as people and acknowledging their lives outside of work can help improve productivity and happiness. Realign roles accordingly, so your Chief HR Officer becomes a Chief People Officer.
“As the workplace continues to change and organizations meet new challenges, it’s crucial to align the needs of employees and those of the business,” said Dean. “When people are appreciated and respected, engagement and productivity increases and they’re able to achieve better outcomes for themselves and the business.”
#2: The Role of the Office Environment
Dean encourages employers to not settle for a traditional office space. Redesign the layout so employees have a variety of spaces to get different types of work done, including areas where people can meet and collaborate. Or, if you’re interested in giving up your traditional office entirely, consider daily/hourly office space rentals or allowing your people to work remotely from a place of their choosing, like a home office.
In addition to how the office looks and feels, it’s important to consider how it operates. Gone are the days of the typical 9-to-5 work schedule. People now demand flexibility in the workplace, whether it’s to accommodate doctor appointments, attend a child’s sporting event or tend to personal priorities. It’s critical for organizations to offer flexible options to attract and retain top talent.
#3: Modern Benefits Versus Traditional Health and Retirement Benefits
New employees, particularly millennials and Generation Z, are looking for more than just traditional benefit offerings. They want perks that address all aspects of their lives. For example, financial well-being programs can be extremely impactful.
“When an employee is stressed about finances, their work and productivity levels suffer, impacting the business’s bottom line,” said Dean. “Employers should offer easy-to-use, technology-based financial planning resources beyond standard retirement-readiness solutions.”
When it comes to health care benefits, traditional indemnity health plans are being replaced more and more by high-deductible health plans that put employees in control of their health care choices and spending. While this shift empowers employees, it also makes them responsible for more of their health care costs.
Employers should work with their employees to arm them with the tools they need to be successful in managing their own health, like plenty of access to decision-making tools, transparent views into the costs and quality of coverage and additional optional benefits that can enhance the coverage gap created by their high deductibles.
As we look to the future, it’s important for employers to ensure they’re keeping up with the latest workplace trends. Organizations should regularly check in to see if their employee’s needs are being met, particularly as new generations with different expectations come on board.Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.