The growing importance of digital ecosystems and independent work are disrupting labor markets around the world while also creating new and better opportunities.
Economic indications show an optimistic view of the Indian economy - a growth projection for 2018 as 7.4 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is a significant figure against the backdrop of recent disruptions from demonetization and GST.
At the brink, this fastest-growing major economy is finding job surge in sectors such as financial services, e-commerce, and tech, KPO, power, and energy, while hiring in IT, travel and manufacturing will not increase so much. Further, a change in the genre of jobs is leading to a replacement of low-end and repetitive jobs with complex and high-skill ones.
Let’s look at the top workplace trends that will shape 2018:
1) Leaders will continue to encourage interpersonal interactions: IBM which has embraced decades of remote work recently called back thousands of employees to work ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’.
Apple says innovation and creativity are linked to close collaboration and that’s why their new facilities are designed to accelerate interpersonal relationships between their workforce.
Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer called upon this decision four years back. All three companies agree that when diverse employees bump into each other, in their immediate social environments, it sparks creativity and complements the thought capital of a company.
Forging personal connections will be encouraged by leaders as they find their employees to be more productive and committed.
2) Self-directed learning will build new skills and credentials. Huge demands of learning will be created to replace or find new skills-sets for future growth of companies.
With endless courses, credentials, and certifications offered by companies such as LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Khan Academy, Cousera, edX etc., there will be a divergent talent pool of people who are aspirational and will want expand their reach.
A Pew Research report suggests economic landscape is reshaping work and society and these changes itself are affecting the very nature of jobs by regarding social, communications and analytical skills-sets that are highly sought after. Today’s millennial and younger workforce will take the responsibility of learning in their own hands and build their skill-set for business success.
3) Technology and Artificial Intelligence will be embedded in workspaces. AI, internet of things and technology is creating a humongous buzz in the HR circles as it relates directly to how we perform our jobs. Almost every new product and service in the near future will be focused or built on smarter products, driving more efficiency and streamlining processes.
For example, the use of Chatbots, powered by AI have been tested and are expected to save companies millions of dollars in expenditures annually. The impressive list of deployed chatbots in workplaces includes, for on-demand customer support, for recovering product information, to mine data, using them as a personal assistant and not the least, to improve efficiencies.
As per the World Economic Forum "Global Shapers Study", the technology trend that will globally impact businesses is AI and it will be seen more in how businesses function.
4) Enter the Cognitive Recruiter. Talent acquisition will remain a top responsibility of not the HR, but of business leaders. Most fortune 500 companies are leaning to the open talent economy by embracing technology and developing new innovative business models.
Recruiting, in turn, is becoming a digitized experience as the candidate are mobile and savvy and demand the convenience and mobile connect with brands. They also look for several other aspects when applying for a job.
Forward-thinking recruiters hence will forge new psychological and emotional connections via applicant tracking systems, social channels connect, website SEO and will constantly try to strengthen the employment brand.
5) Diversity and inclusion are now CEO issues. Training modules and education are now passé. Newer rules by companies focus on experiential learning, data-driven tools, transparency, and accountability. This will continue to challenge CEO’s as they strive to bridge the reality gap that exists in a diversity of workforces – which is that of fairness, equity, and inclusion. More brands are creating employee resource groups to support all types of diversity, including gender, ethnicity, and age.
CEOs at various leadership levels must take ownership and drive accountability to close the gap between what is said above and its actual impact.