Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ten Workplace Trends that Will Impact Our Work in 2011

As part of our annual goal setting process for our human resources team, we brainstorm trends and observations that may impact our work. This year we came up with a particular interesting mind map. I’ll summarize what we discussed.



  1. Candidate Selection & Facilitated Learning -- Many sources are reporting that there will be fewer workers with the necessary skills and education for today’s jobs. We’ve seen an increase in candidates misrepresenting their qualifications which we catch during background investigations. We’re using more employment tests during our interview process and looking into doing anonymous reference checks. During tough economic times, spending on training and development always seems to wane. We predict a shift back to facilitating employee learning to fill in gaps in necessary skills and to help people keep their skills current in quickly evolving marketplace. 
  2. Caregivers -- More people caring for elders and children while working full-time increases the demand for flexibility. 
  3. Communication -- We’ve noticed a trend for information to be presented more visually like the infograph resume. We’ll probably do more to build on what we learned in Slide:ology last year. There are more and more avenues of communication. We used to simply email staff. Now we also use our intranet, Facebook, Twitter, text messages, etc... There is also a trend toward and even an expectation of more personalized communication. For example, there has been a lot of interest in United Healthcare’s personalized online tools from our staff. 
  4. Data Security -- Greater emphasis is being placed on protecting employee, member, and customer data from identity theft. There may also be more support offered to help employees deal with identity theft when it occurs. Organizations are also investing more in services to protect data in the event of a disaster or cyber attack and setting higher security expectations for the vendors used. 
  5. Disabilities -- More employees with disabilities in the workplace increases the need for accommodations. 
  6. Green -- Employee, customer and member expectations for sustainable and green business practices are growing. 
  7. Healthcare -- With healthcare reform, the changes are too numerous to list, but a couple of key things we expect to see include provider shortages and an increased sensitivity to cost. Services like Health Advocate that help people identify providers may become more valuable to employees. Cost shifting may result in employee backlash and lead some employees and their family members to put off medical intervention and eliminate or underuse prescription drugs. People also need help screening information for reliable sources. There’s an interesting post about this on our ASHAsphere
  8. Retirements -- Baby boomers are retiring, so there is an increased need for succession planning and a process for transferring knowledge. On the flip side, many people are also working beyond when they expected to retire because their retirement savings is insufficient. 
  9. Technology -- People are developing meaningful virtual relationships and using technology for social learning. Information comes at people quickly and from so many different sources that they may need help developing systems to review, store and retrieve it. Employees are increasingly expected to be available in the evenings and over weekends to respond to work issues. Smart phones have led to an expectation that responses will be almost instantaneous. And, people expect information to be formatted for Smart phones. Many people feel they have no “off” time since they’re always connected. Work often occurs in short bursts. Text messages and other alerts increase the number of interruptions people receive and make it harder for people to fully engage in what they’re doing. More metrics on usage allow us to know how many people we reach, reveal knowledge and experience gaps, and many other trends. 
  10. Wellness -- Everyone seems to be predicting an increased focus on employee wellness and it is becoming more common to take an approach that includes family members in wellness initiatives. We expect to see an increase in chronic health conditions in the workplace including depression. We are interested in focusing on more targeted wellness initiatives and looking into using our claim data for predictive modeling, so that someone can intervene before serious problems occur. 

5 comments:

Thom Lanch said...

I'll definitely share this to people who are thinking about what to study in college. Thanks.
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virtual office malaysia said...

I have to agree with your idea, all of this definitely affects work. Thanks.

makati office space said...

Use this chart as a guide to whether your interest yields any sort of value in the professional world. It wouldn't be smart to specialize in something that would leave you in the dark.

Thomas Strome said...

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Seetha Ram said...

This is nice. Thanks for sharing with us. This is good to know


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