During 2019, several significant workplace trends emerged, including the rise of corporate advocacy on social issues impacting employees, greater focus on mental health at work, and more gender diversity initiatives. With five generations—Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z—now working side-by-side in many organizations, we expect to see an even greater focus on internal communications in 2020 as companies understand the importance of keeping their generationally-diverse workforce informed and engaged. Employers will find this even more necessary given a tight labor market and war for talent.
Organizations looking to recruit and retain top talent will need to find new ways to differentiate themselves. They will need to not only position themselves as purpose-driven organizations, but also cater to the evolving demands and expectations when it comes to adoption of technology and innovation, and greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Below are five workplace trends to watch for 2020:
1. Employees as Brand Ambassadors
With the free flow of information on social and digital channels such as Glassdoor and Twitter, organizations will need to pay more attention to how employee feedback can impact their reputation. Organizations will take more proactive steps to engage employees—and their online presence—as ambassadors for their brand.
2. Training and Development
When considering whether a company is a good place to work, employees increasingly consider opportunities for training and development. To remain competitive and be able to recruit and retain the best talent, employers will invest more time and resources to build true learning cultures, upskill their workforce for the future and offer continuous learning opportunities at all levels.
3. Building Trust in Leadership
Trustworthy leadership is among the top factors influencing employees’ decisions to join or stay with a company. Yet, many organizations are missing the mark: less than a third of U.S. employees say their leadership is trustworthy. In 2020, organizations will act more proactively to build trust between their leaders and those they lead by encouraging transparency, providing follow-through and opening channels for a two-way dialogue.
4. Internal Social Media
As more Millennials and Gen Z join the workforce, organizations will need to introduce new channels to reach and engage them. Implementing internal social media platforms can help organizations improve collaboration, innovation, and information sharing, while meeting employees’ expectations for more transparent and open communications.
As companies invest more in internal communications, there will be a greater need and focus on research and measurement. This will be essential for organizations seeking to take a data-driven approach to diagnosing the barriers to effective employee engagement and developing strategic solutions that deliver impact.