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New Year, New Workplace!

Liberty Munson, SIOP Visibility Committee, Media Subcommittee Chair

SIOP Announces the Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2014

SIOP’s Visibility Committee is proud to present the first annual edition of our Top 10 Workplace Trends list!

To compile this list, the Media Subcommittee of the SIOP Visibility Committee asked SIOP members for their predictions on the top workplace trends that organizations can expect to see in 2014. We solicited responses in late 2013 through the SIOP website, newsletter, and social media. Here’s what we had to say:

#10. Alternatives to Full-time. SIOP members predict that organizations will continue to see more people working part-time or as consultants, temporary workers, and contractors. Beyond 2014, we may even see that the majority of workers are “contingent labor” rather than full-time employees. How will this impact the working experience and change an organization’s culture? What are the implications for hiring, promotion, training, talent management, etc. within organizations?

#9. Telework. More and more, work is becoming the “thing” you do and not a place you go – more people are working remotely from their homes or other satellite locations. How do organizations help their employees manage themselves and their work in an increasingly dynamic, virtual workforce? How do organizations ensure high levels of productivity and employee engagement in these situations? How do organizations embrace this new working style to ensure that they remain productive and competitive, not only in their industry but as they compete for talent?

#8. Social Media. Organizations will increasingly use social networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, to screen employees and make other employment related decisions. This is an intriguing area for I-O psychologists as the legal ramifications for using social networking sites in this way are still largely unknown.

#7. Work-Life Balance. The lines between personal and professional lives will continue to blur. Because of social media, smartphones, and telework, the traditionally separate facets of personal and professional life are becoming less distinct. For example, what someone posts on their social media profile can affect their job, and employees often stay connected to work even when they leave their office. Work-life integration issues, including the debate between offering flex work options and having face-time, are becoming increasingly important for organizations to understand. How do organizations maximize performance in a world with fewer boundaries between work and life without creating a dysfunctional working environment?

#6. Integration of Technology in the Workplace. From scanning social media in selection to performance tracking and monitoring software, the use of technology in the management of human resources will continue to grow. The question is, how do we integrate technology without taking the “human” out of human resources?

#5. Gamification. Gamification of more HR processes and workplace experiences, such as selection, employee development, and training, will continue to grow as organizations think about ways to engage their employees and create innovative ways to assess skills and attract talent. In addition, utilizing point systems, badges, leaderboards, and other internally competitive tactics in order to encourage desirable behaviors, such as employee health and wellness, training and development, and performance, is likely to increase. Can gamification of workspaces and the work itself be far behind?

#4. New Ways to Test. Testing on small-screen devices, such as smartphones and tablets, will become more common. Notions like “assessment on-the-go” and “mobile assessment” will become part of the daily conversation as organizations explore how to leverage technology trends when assessing prospective and current employees’ skills. I-O psychologists will need to design assessments that are valid and reliable measures of these skills regardless of how, where, and when they are delivered.

#3. The Talent Question. How do find rare or unique talent? In many occupations, specialized skills are becoming increasingly important for organizational success, yet, by definition, fewer and fewer people possess those skills. Once the needed talent is found, how do you attract them to and keep them at your organization? Does the talent exist within or outside your organization? How/can it be developed? What developmental experiences are needed to grow such talent?

#2. Increasing Efficiency.  “Working faster and better with less” has become the mantra of many organizations. What can organizations do to enable employees to deliver great results when they have fewer resources available? At what point, do these resource limitations start having a negative impact on the quality, performance, and the organization’s bottom line? How can this be measured?

And the # 1 trend…

#1. Big Data. Big data will continue to make its presence felt, but more emphasis will be placed on finding practical, meaningful results. Too much time has been wasted mining large data sets and finding significant but impractical results. I-O psychologists can help organizations understand the value of their big data and apply the appropriate interpretations to drive meaningful business decisions.

SIOP will release this list to the media and public in the following weeks. We hope to make this an annual list, so keep your eye out for trends and other interesting workplace topics that might be new or continuing in 2015! We look forward to hearing your predictions and how they will shape the direction of I-O psychology in years to come.

To learn more about what SIOP’s Visibility Committee and Media Subcommittee are doing to drive awareness about I-O psychology, please contact Carl Persing (cpersing@metrus.com), Visibility Committee Chair, or Liberty Munson(libertymunson@live.com), Media Subcommittee Chair.


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