5 workplace predictions for 2014

Successful organizations are expected to posses a full range of qualities required to inspire, attract and motivate talented people from a range of environments and demographics. Given the declining pool of talent, money alone will not be the critical factor in attracting and retaining talented people. Talent must feel that the organization has a deep interest in their career development. Organizations must ensure that personal and professional beliefs as well as corporate values are interwoven with positions and performance feedback systems. Organizations have now reached a point whereby the realization that talent will not be retainable if they do not enjoy what they are doing and that company managers fail to communicate effectively on a regular basis.

So with that in mind, here are some predictions that organizations might consider when moving in the 2014 year.

The demise of the dreaded annual performance review. The once a significant and essential part of sound management practices, the annual performance review will become antiquated, if it isn’t already. Much more frequent and timely performance reviews are now expected by employees and organizations will be required to make this part of their standard operating procedure. Forward-thinking organizations will employ managers that insist that conversations about specific, real-life, real-drama performance events and challenges occur on monthly or bi monthly basis. Performance based conversations will provide the instantaneous feedback employees require and expect, resulting in a more constructive and overall positive form of communication.

Money isn’t king but, it is still very close. Cold, hard cash is nice and will still play a major role in employee satisfaction, but it doesn’t assist with resolving work – life balance challenges. Employees are now looking at the “net – net” effect of cash. Once income taxes are paid and time away from the family is taken into consideration the ever-present issues of work-life balance becomes important. Some employees will always place a higher value on money, but a growing number will seek other incentives. In an environment that often requires long hours, weekend work and being on-call for nearly 24 hours a day, retaining employees and keeping them engaged will require a new approach.

Corporate due diligence is a must. With the changing face of the workforce, comes the changing face of corporate challenges. Today companies face employee challenges that they never encountered in the past. Harassment, violence and bullying in the workplace is taking place at a unprecedented rate and some company officials are flabbergasted at the extent and some are out right “lost” as to how to deal with these incidents. Companies must be much more proactive in terms of educating employees, developing and enforcing policies and procedures when dealing with such incidents. More emphasis will be placed on companies to deal with challenges swiftly and directly. 

Versatile and educated people. The most important ingredient for organizational success is an educated workforce. Upgrading the knowledge base of the workforce will mean continuously keeping employees on the learning curve by targeting skills that increase job performance. Focusing on continuous improvement will drive the need for the workforce to become educated in the strategic thinking and innovative problem solving. Companies will begin to reward talent that is able to “wear multiple hats.” In an excessively downsized business environment, employees must handle an increasing number of diverse tasks. Workplace versatility is becoming an asset especially when we see Millennials (born 1981 – 1995) who value broad based experiences entering the workforce.

Less MBA’s running the show. As experienced managers and corporate leaders retire organizations are going to be looking for leaders who have done something, who have achieved results and who have dealt with failure and success. Many of our retiring leaders do not have degrees, some didn’t finish high school and others have college diplomas or under graduate degrees but, they all have one thing in common – they have produced positive results. Over the past ten years, MBA’s have not been as successful in producing the results their predecessors have. As companies continue to experience rapid change and turnover, which is inevitable in today’s business world, companies across industrial sectors will start becoming better prepared for these changes by investing in successful future leaders in order to better manage the present and navigate the future.

About The Author.

Nicholas Pollice is President of The Pollice Management Consulting Group located in Southern Ontario, Canada. An international presenter and consultant, he is known as a leader in operations management.  Nicholas conducts programs in human behaviour, conflict resolution, negotiation, leadership and management and has been a consultant since 1989. Author of several management and leadership publications, his presentations have been consistently ranked in the top10 %.  See Nicholas’ bio and services on the PMCG. Website at www.pollicemanagement.com