With falling job tenures, rising levels of contractual staffing, and the gig economy, employers will focus more attention on making their employees feel a sense of belonging and shared commitment to business goals. Talent must be able to come together seamlessly and work on common goals with an equal sense of accountability and excitement for companies to maintain an edge and navigate disruption and changing economic conditions.
Everyone’s a technologist
Every job role and employees of all ages and career stages need to embrace learning and adapting to new technologies – constantly. Tech is no longer the realm of one part of the business or particular job roles. Every business function must be comfortable with mastering new digital tools, apps, and software, whether they are in HR, sales, procurement, finance, legal at entry-level, or a leadership role.
Upskilling the new normal
The shelf life of skills will continue to fall in an environment of constant change and disruption for most professions and industry sectors. With the need to upskill staff constantly, self-directed learning is the preferred method for most cost-conscious companies. For candidates, taking the initiative and demonstrating a willingness to invest in their skill development outside what employers provide will help them stand out from the pack in 2020.
AI & augmented reality for hiring and promoting talent
Once only used by high tech companies, AI is being harnessed by a broader cross-section of employers to perform a greater range of tasks. This includes hiring and managing new employees across the recruitment process to onboarding, training, and tracking the employee’s progress and mobility. Although in its nascent stage, virtual spaces through augmented reality will completely reshape the way we work. Even simply layering augmented reality and objects over the real world—will empower you to do your job faster and more efficiently.
More employers and recruiters will include social as an important part of their recruitment strategy in 2020. This will be especially relevant for reaching talent, not actively looking for a new role. Using LinkedIn is nothing new, but more companies are turning to additional social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram. Employers that can nail the shareable job ad or shout out will lead the pack in 2020. Also, there will be more effort to align the internal message to employees with the external employer brand building on social.
Diversity continues to rule
Workplaces that better mirror cultural and social change will gain extra credibility with top talent, mainly Gen Z and Millennials. Candidates know that companies with greater diversity are often more profitable and able to navigate change and weather challenging conditions. Employers that invest in ensuring people leaders at all levels know how to hire and manage a diverse range of employees in 2020.
Smarter, greener, healthier workplaces
Also on the rise are purpose-built or revamped office spaces that support ‘activity-based work’ and a healthier work environment. Instead of employees being assigned a desk, companies using activity-based work, choose from a range of workspaces tailored to different tasks. From standing desks for individual working and creative spaces for collaboration, smart buildings also feature energy-saving devices, greenery for better air quality, and better ways to recycle and reuse items once thrown away after a single-use.
Critical thinking and EQ
Data is vital to pretty much every role, and business decision and the amount of available data and information keeps growing. The stand out employee in 2020 has the critical thinking capabilities to discern quality data from a sea of information sources and then translate it into beneficial action. They also have the EQ to develop and leverage human relationships and connections to layer their data smarts with people smarts to deliver more to the organization.
While technology has already integrated itself into the workplace, more employers are telling us that they are placing a higher value on traditional qualities such as soft skills, reliability, punctuality, active listening skills, attention to detail, being proactive and personal presentation. The biggest challenge that we have ahead of us is how we integrate both in the workplace.