As we go into the New Year, it is important as communicators that we truly understand the way workplace trends will impact our organization. Below is a list of four trends that communicators need to consider when planning for 2016.
1. The rise of the CDO
Digitalization is no longer a sideshow — it has moved to center stage and is changing the whole game. As a result, digital leadership roles are rising and digital leadership will be very dynamic. According to Gartner, going into 2016, 25% of large, global enterprises will have a chief data officer (CDO) appointed. Faced with a growing need to be more strategic, the CDO and CIO will need to focus on improving communication in order to really drive understanding and adoption of business change efforts. Much effort of this new role will focus on implementing digital trends related to data management, Internet of Things (IOT), computing everywhere, advanced analytics, smart machines, social collaboration tools and more.
2. Bye-Bye Baby Boomer, Hello Millennial
According to Forbes, “more than 3.6 million baby boomers are set to retire and more than one-fourth of millennial workers will become managers.” With the largest generation to ever hit the workforce now retiring and other employees taking on management positions for the first time, talent retention, succession planning and career development will be key in 2016. Successful organizations will need to invest more in their workforces by effectively implementing new business initiatives surrounding building capabilities. To make matters more complex, communicators will not be able to rely on a one-size-fits-all communication plan, as Generation Z (those born between 1994 and 2010) will be entering the workforce in May 2016 after graduating from college.
3. Getting serious about workplace flexibility
A trend set to continue to grow with the rise of telecommuting, freelancers, and new technology tools, is the demand for workplace flexibility, the ability to choose when, how and where to work. Being expected to be reachable outside of the normal work hours can be daunting and tiresome. Employees are now willing to switch to employers that offer better flexibility programs, according to Forbes. Communicators will need to consider implementing workplace flexibility policies to set expectations and address issues. In addition to this, the rise in remote workers and field employees in 2016 implies the use of new technology will be crucial to effectively communicating virtually.
4. Rethinking the Office Space
With the demand for more workplace flexibility, more and more companies are also rethinking the purpose of workspaces. Studies show that there is a strong correlation between employees’ satisfaction with their work environment and their level of engagement and overall business performance. According to Steelcase, 69% of employees who are not fully engaged at work are also the most unsatisfied with their work environment. As a result, companies are moving away from solely having cubicles or open office space concepts and are gravitating towards multi-faceted office spaces that provide employees with options. For some CCOs, there will be a need to address how creating a new ecosystem can truly engage employees and increase work productivity.
Someone once told me that the only thing constant in life is change. As we go into 2016, I encourage everyone to look at and consider other workplace trends that might change the way communicators approach certain opportunities. With an abundance of new communication technologies and services, the possibilities are endless.
What other workplace trends have you noticed that will impact communication in 2016?