Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2006

As 2005 starts to slowly fade in our rear view mirror, I get excited about thinking what we will see ahead of us in the areas of workplace trends. After reading numerous articles, attending conferences and analyzing research reports, here’s what my crystal ball says are the top 10 trends we’ll be seeing in the workplace in 2006: trendyworld

As businesses struggle to attract and retain the best and the brightest people in a hot market, as our population continues to gray, and the global economy gains more momentum, employers will have to start managing and engaging their work force. All the automation, tools and processes will go in vein if there aren’t good people to create, invent and manage the business. bjak

William Bridges noted it first. Technology, information and communications have come together to radically and permanently change the structure of work. This trend is not about losing jobs; rather, it is about redefining our understanding of work and learning how to develop ourselves within this understanding. People in workplaces will need to learn how to continually embrace change and re-configure their career portfolios. treecuttingbranchoutservices

Top research from around the world, such as that drawn from Goldman and Pink has earmarked the movement away from the Information Age and toward the dawning of the Conceptual Age. The abilities that will matter and fast become most valued in the workplace include empathy, counseling, seeing the big picture and creativity. Whole-brained thinking will take front seat to the traditional left-brain thinking which only rewards the more critical, strategic and analytical thinker.

There is a shift from people separating their work and life, toward recognition that we have one life, in which work takes up a huge chunk. People want to feel good about themselves and express who they are whether in their work, at the gym or at home. A healthy lifestyle is becoming a priority for many people in today’s workplace. Organizations who want to attract top talent will start to enhance their culture and processes to support the lifestyler at work.

Flexibility has become almost a mantra for today’s employee. Flexibility in this context is not about the ability to adapt to change and handle surprises (which itself is key in being successful in today’s world). Rather it’s about the desire to have flexible work arrangements. For example, telecommute, attend a child’s concert, take care of an aging parent, workout in the middle of the day, work part time without being penalized … those things that will allow an individual to find some way of gaining control of their life. People want a workplace that will support them in managing their supersonic treadmill of life.

Employers will soon find out, if they haven’t already, that taking care of their employee’s mental health and well-being is their top priority. Without healthy minds, it will be impossible for them to realize the productivity gains and increase their capacity for growth. On the other hand, as clearly stated in Watson Wyatt’s 2005 Staying@Work survey, employers are “increasingly concerned about mental health claims, but don’t know how to address the issues or meet their goals of increasing productivity”. 2006 will become the year that employers finally get it and will start to tackle the health issues head-on.

There is no room for the computer illiterate. Computers have found their way into every part of corporate Canada. They are on our desks, in our production lines, in our homes, in our cars and in our hands. Developing and nurturing computer know-how will be essential to everyone in the work place.

There is no longer a clear skill set that every person can count on to be successful in whatever career they are in. No more clear-cut career paths that articulate the road to success or to the corner office. The workplace will no longer guarantee people a job, increased learning or a step up a ladder. Everyone must take responsibility and get ready for their own future.

The media has done an excellent job highlighting the fact that more top talent is opting out of the corporate scene. One of the key reasons that is cited repeatedly is the value misalignment between the organization’s values and their own. People are tuning into what life coaches call “core values”. They are finding that the road to personal success and gratification isn’t so much about position or personal wealth. Rather it is about tuning into what really matters to them and setting up personal boundaries to honour their top values. Organizations will need to step things up a notch. More important than a list of values framed and posted in the foyer and hallways, will be the sense of how people are treated, communicated with and valued.

Similar to road rage, inter-personal conflict is on the rise at many workplaces. As people are feeling overwhelmed with expectations, impatient, underappreciated and faced with numerous demands on their mental space and energy, work rage is on the upswing. People in organizations are going to have to get creative in enhancing egalitarian relationships, tempering generational differences and facilitating healthy interpersonal conflict awareness and management. The aerobic lifestyle is not going to disappear. But how we cope and manage life demands and deal with conflict will be of crucial importance. For more info please visit these sites:- 


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