[December 2018] Global Trends Affecting the Workplace in 2019 and Beyond

By Isabel Valle PCC ACTP, Peak Performance Strategist Global Room


It’s the time of year for business professionals to look back on the year’s performance and begin planning their needs for 2019. To any business, human capital is its greatest asset, and the biggest key to achieving business goals. So how can you better prepare yourself and your teams to improve your performance in a highly competitive environment?

We live in a time of exponential change. The speed of change is 10x faster now than it was a decade ago. In today’s world we all have to think broader, work smarter, adapt quicker and relate to each other better. Change may be forging ahead, however organizations are simply not able to adapt at the same speed in terms of the mindset and knowledge required to stay ahead, and businesses are missing out on leveraging opportunities.

So, let’s turn now to what 2019 will bring us.

The three global trends below are not brand-new concepts; however, they will take on a critical urgency in 2019 due to a combination of technological, economic and socio-cultural factors.

Millennials are taking over the workforce

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There are new people coming in and taking over – Millennials.

Children born in the 80s and 90s, the Millennials are today’s 20 to early-30-somethings, ready to become the majority of the workforce.

By 2020, the workforce will be composed of 50% Millennials. By 2025, 70% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials, and this is a fact that we can no longer ignore.

According to the 2018 Goldman Sachs Small Businesses Summit report, 70% of small businesses struggle to find and retain skilled talent. In fact, attracting and retaining great talent is one of the most commonly raised issues among organizations in Thailand.

Companies of all sizes compete to attract and retain great employees in an increasingly competitive labour market with widening skills gaps, so understanding what motivates Millennials is essential to attracting them to your organization and ensuring that you can maximize their effectiveness as employees and potential leaders.

Millennials are the first generation of “digital natives” – tech savvy and connected. They have more formal education than any generation in history and have mastered multitasking through early exposure to a wide range of media.

Today’s employee craves growth and development, and wants to work with purpose-driven, values-aligned organizations. A competitive salary, a clear path for career progression, flexible hours and an ongoing feedback system about their performance and development are all high on the list for Millennials.

New Leadership Trends

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The landscape of what leadership means today is also changing, as leaders are required to both develop innovative, sustainable businesses for an unknown long-term future and to deliver strong results today.

The VUCA environment (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) – used to describe the rapidly transforming global business landscape – calls for new tactics and methods for dealing with changing conditions, thus, challenging traditional leadership approaches and abilities.

In this demanding, ever-changing workplace, it’s not enough to be a manager. You must truly learn how to be a leader – someone who influences and transforms how others feel about themselves and the work they do. The days of command and control are no longer effective or relevant, as leaders simply can’t be experts on the vast array of rapidly changing market factors and technology. Instead, they must focus more on inspiring, empowering and mobilizing the experts in those areas.

Leaders are no longer the smartest people in the room who know the most about everything. To be successful, they now need to be able to surround themselves with experts in those fields who are smarter than themselves, and then they must find ways to motivate and empower those people in order to bring them together towards a shared vision.

Top of mind for many boards and CEOs, is the fact that there is an evident gap between what leaders are being trained for today and what skills will be needed for tomorrow. Skills such as reflection, dialogue, connection, collaboration, critical thinking and empathy are still finding their ways into the very fabric of corporate structure and business strategy, and yet these will be the skills needed for growth and success in the immediate future.

Preparing People for the Future of Work

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With the impending introduction of robotics and artificial intelligence into our workplaces, we must now focus on people’s skills. 57% of jobs globally are vulnerable to automation. Work, workers and workplaces are all going to change dramatically within the next 7 years.

The future of work is about people – people empowered to do what they do best.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us, and 2019 needs to be the year where organizations do less talking and more doing about preparing people for the future of work by reskilling and upskilling them. Most of the work done by employees in the future will require strong interpersonal skills, collaboration and emotional intelligence. In fact, more than 90% of respondents to a 2016 Deloitte survey rated soft skills a “critical priority”. Soft skills development can also foster employee retention, improve leadership and build a meaningful culture.

Because no matter how much technology improves, it won’t replace human touch when it comes to delivering a customer experience in business.

2019 will be an exciting time, with continuous changes and disruption in the business world. It will also be filled with opportunities for great leaders to forge ahead and reshape their business with stellar results.

Isabel

Isabel is an experienced ICF Coach with over 20 years of international work experience holding senior positions within the hospitality industry in countries around the world, as well as Executive and Leadership coaching, mentoring and training.
Isabel specializes in high performance strategy, leadership development and building organizational culture.
More available on www.isabelvalle.com

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