10 January 2020 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated has released its annual predictions of the top trends that will affect the global workforce in the coming year.
These include a greater emphasis on worker wellbeing and paid time off work.
The institute says employee wellness is set to take "centre stage as total rewards strategies drive recruitment and retention in a tight economy".
Competition to attract and retain top talent - both for office and frontline workers - will further compel employers to expand and innovate total rewards packages that support employees in and outside the workplace.
There would be more of a spotlight on mental health, financial wellness, childcare, shifts that work for all, and an individual's sense of meaning at work as Generation Z floods the workforce.
Ever-increasing natural disasters and crises will challenge employers to prepare and respond with efficiency and compassion. As employees continue to expect more from their employers, organisations that take an active, equitable and inclusive approach to supporting the entire individual will reap gains in productivity, engagement and loyalty, says the report.
Another tipped trend is the increase of regulating paid time off, family leave, and income stability with governments and employers alike facing increased pressure to provide a multigenerational workforce with schedule flexibility, paid leave, and stable living wages.
The institute also foresees that employers must determine how they will manage controversial and potentially divisive dynamics in the workplace as "employee activism and looming political elections worldwide will challenge even the strongest corporate cultures".
It also says organisations must learn to broaden traditional talent pools to attract workers, including recruiting veterans, persons with disabilities, retirees, gig or contract workers, second-chance workers, and candidates with tangentially relevant skills.
Practical AI uses and access to data will narrow the chasm between the HR 'haves' and 'have-nots" too, says the institute. 'The haves' - who tend to be larger, sophisticated organisations - are experimenting with emerging technologies in advanced ways as many 'have-nots' drown in manual work, unable to consider the future of work automation. In 2020, this chasm can narrow for organisations that choose to modernise their workforce solutions and processes with a strong change management strategy.