8 Workforce Trends to Watch For
Posted on January 22, 2019 by Danny Leffel
Any leadership team that wants to be ahead of the game needs to be invested in workforce trends. Driven by technology, employees, and even consumers, workforce trends can revitalize industries and set them on a path that no one expected. As exciting as they can be, these trends can also be detrimental for a company that doesn’t heed them, leaving it struggling to stay afloat while its competition thrives.
To be on the cutting edge of your industry, you need to know not only which workforce trends to watch out for but also how to respond to them. Below are several that will impact retail and restaurant businesses.
1. Employees Prioritizing Mental Wellness
Since mental illness rates are on the rise, businesses will be affected by them in the coming year. Employees will be putting a bigger emphasis on their mental wellbeing, so employers need be able to adapt and prove that they value their employees’ mental health. Flexible scheduling can help alleviate the stress that comes with needing to take a day off but not having anyone to cover your shift. The Crew App allows employees to directly message their supervisors and co-workers if they need to switch shifts, so team communication and scheduling is easy.
2. Increased Turnover Due to Employee Burnout
Work hours are getting longer, and employees are feeling the brunt of it. Vacation days aren’t offered by all companies, so employees who need a break are forced to work through it or even quit. It’s in a company’s best interest to stop burnout before it happens because employees who are run-down make more mistakes, tend to be cynical, and are generally exhausted. Look for the signs of burnout and try to mitigate the damage before it harms your team. Don’t expect your team to work understaffed, and make an effort to appreciate your workers.
3. New Technology
Depending on the size of your business, evolving technology may not affect your company as much as it does others. Smaller businesses aren’t converting to self-checkout stations or mobile payment options as quickly as large ones are, but it’s important to keep an eye on the ever-changing technology that’s available. Online apps, like Crew, are becoming more popular among employees as a means for team communication, and new apps that businesses can use to attract customers are being developed all the time. The Pokemon Go phenomenon has provided a great example of how businesses can creatively use a popular game to lure customers.
4. Diversity Being Taken Seriously
Social commentary will be impacting businesses even more in the future as communities are starting to push for diverse representation in all fields. Companies need to be cognizant of their employees’ demographics and strive to hire people of all races, nationalities, sexualities, abilities, etc. Consumers are quick to point out on social media if they see a company stepping on the rights of minorities, so management needs to make sure that their teams are trained in how to respectfully interact with all types of customers.
5. An Aging Workforce
Baby boomers are living longer and often do not have enough money to retire, so they’re taking on service jobs to help make ends meet. Because the workforce is aging, employers are in the situation of hiring employees who are not as technologically inclined as their younger counterparts to work in places that are being aided more and more by technology. Special training may be necessary in order to get all employees to the same comfort level with newer cash registers or mobile payment options.
6. Concern Over Health Insurance
Health insurance is consistently in the news, so it is never far from anyone’s minds. One accident or illness without health insurance can deplete a person’s savings, which means employees are less likely to take a job if health benefits are not included. And if they do accept a job that doesn’t offer benefits, it will most likely be temporary as they look for one that does. Keep in mind that employers who don’t offer any benefits will be hard-pressed to find top talent for their companies and will face higher turnover rates than companies that do offer those benefits.
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7. Increased Competition for Talent
More companies are looking to fill roles with the best people, so there is increased competition over them. Gone are the days of only potential employees trying to sell themselves to the companies; now, businesses need to come up with ways to attract employees, too. In addition to offering health benefits and a livable wage, employers can sweeten the deal by boasting about mentoring programs, the company’s commitment to work-life balance, or professional development for employees. Anything a company can offer to set themselves apart will be useful.
8. Reinventing Performance Reviews
Some companies are moving away from formal quarterly reviews and, instead, choosing to recognize behavior on the spot. To do this, management needs to be present with their teams more often so they can interact with their employees in real time. The reason for this trend stems from supervisors feeling like performance reviews were a misuse of company time. Since employees should never be told about an issue in a performance review that they were not already aware of, the meetings were not productive. It saves time and energy to point out positive or negative behavior while it’s happening.
Companies that evolve alongside these workforce trends will have no problem attracting employees and consumers alike in the future, so start preparing your teams now for what to expect. If your employees are struggling to adjust to the changes, remember that the ability to adapt starts with leadership, so make sure that your managers are aware of any changes to company policies and are equipped to answer questions about them. An enthusiastic and informed manager can set the tone for the whole team.
By adjusting to these trends, you’re letting consumers know that your company cares about its employees, and if consumers are happy, so is your bottom line.