The American workforce is becoming increasingly diverse and more dynamic. With continual fluctuations in the global market, and newer technological innovations coming forth, employers have to keep abreast of changes and adapt to them. So, what are the latest workplace concerns?
Advocating a Diverse Work Environment
Research continues to connect diversity to competitive recruiting. Companies that embrace diversity, demonstrate a commitment to gender sensitivity, open discussions, cultural backgrounds, as well as global forums. Statistics show that:
- 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.
Example: Etsy is one company that demonstrates what it means to be proactive about the hiring process. While other tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are still struggling to overcome a paucity of workplace diversity, the online marketplace company marked gender diversity as its top priority. Etsy's tech team is 31% female, while the overall company gender ratio is 51% females to 49% males.
Workplace Culture Becomes More Casual
With increasing numbers of younger employees and remote workers, workplace culture is adopting a more casual attitude. More companies are dropping suits and ties in exchange for jeans and shirts. In fact, 50% of managers state that employees wear less formal clothing compared to five years ago. Around one-third prefer to be part of a company with a business casual dress code.
Example: One of Google's ten principle philosophies states, "You can be serious without a suit." The tech giant was the first to embrace the laid-back corporate theme. Not only is the dress code casual, employees enjoy office amenities designed to bring about a relaxed atmosphere. That includes ping pong, video games, haircuts, and massage chairs.
Taking Augmented and Virtual Reality On Board
The global augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) gear market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 37.45% during the period 2017 - 2021. 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 work. In fact, one-fourth of generation Z and millennials advocate for companies to adopt VR consumer technology. This can make employee training more engaging, less expensive and far efficient.
Example: General Electric (GE) plans to engage its employees by creating a catalog of content using VR. Workers at the research center don an Oculus Rift headset and sit in a vibrating chair. The 3D underwater experience imitates GE's subsea oil technology, which is used to locate and collect gas and oil deposits on the ocean floor.
Offering Internal Career Mobility Opportunities for Employees
Employers are increasingly encouraging employees to take on new roles and climb the career ladder. As a result, employees can now experience career growth and skill development within the same company. By offering internal mobility programs, company management not only trains workers for the future workplace, it also drastically reduces turnover rate and job hopping. According to a survey of 2,147 HR leaders and managers,
- 49% believe that career mobility programs will increase employee engagement.
- 39% agree such programs will boost employee productivity and teamwork.
- 76% conclude that career mobility leads to positive outcomes in their organization.
Example: Cisco's Talent Cloud helps its employees create individualized timelines for their Cisco careers. By leveraging data from personal profiles, employees and managers are able to match skills and strengths to potential projects. The dual philosophy of "One Size Fits One" and "One Company, Many Careers", forms the core behind providing transparency on employee skills, as well giving employees the tools with which to create their own work experiences.
Introducing Unique Recognition Programs
Employee loyalty can make or break a company's reputation. Workplace recognition creates a holistic, positive and healthy workplace for employees. Appreciating workers boosts site productivity, project enthusiasm, and team creativity. Today there is a $46 billion market for employee recognition, with companies spending between 1- 2% of payroll on pins, awards, plaques, travel rewards and other incentives. As company management seeks to attract and retain talent, employers are investing in programs to create the optimal environment for employees.
Example: After completing five years at Epic Systems Corporation, staff are eligible for a four- week sabbatical. If employees choose to spend their sabbatical in a country they have never visited before, Epic funds the entire trip for the eligible staff member as well as one additional guest. Epic employees have to date, traveled to more than 100 countries including Peru, Japan, Israel and Tanzania.
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