Be on the Lookout for These Top 10 Workforce Trends in 2016

February 8, 2016

What trends are facing business owners and managers? What’s on the horizon for the year ahead? From technology improvements to personal time, workforce trends are constantly evolving.

Human resource professionals must make a concerted effort to address every trend, so that new hires and established employees can work harmoniously toward strong profits. Take a look at the top workforce trends that are rising up in 2016.

1. Infringing on Personal Time

Although everyone is connected to a device most of the day, employees are realizing that they don’t want to be concerned with work around the clock. Employers need to realize that they cannot expect workers to constantly answer calls, messages and emails. There must be some off-time for both parties, so that normal work hours can be as productive as possible.

2. Increasing Flex Hours

Because of those mobile devices, employees have the ability to work outside of the office. More workers will want flex hours and telecommuting privileges this year.

Employees understand their work is a direct reflection of their effort. In some cases, workers can finish a task much faster at home than at the office.

3. Recruiting Difficulties

Job seekers have a lot of opportunities in almost any industry, and employers need to face this fact with creative perks. Benefit and salary packages should be generous with some unique bonuses involved to pique applicants’ interests. The standard medical and dental package won’t pull in the most talented applicants. For the Millennial worker, personal and family time is more important than high salaries and benefits. Understanding the basic needs and desires of your potential employees will attract more potential candidates.

4. Emphasizing Wellness Every Day

When employees feel they are appreciated and valued in the workplace, they’ll be more productive and loyal in the long run. Part of feeling valued is being offered healthy options.

Free fruit, snacks and group exercising breaks are workforce trends that benefit everyone within a company. Offering free or subsidized gym memberships is a great way to encourage employees to maintain their health and attending the gym is a great way to manage stress and tension. Being bicycle friendly with secure places for storing bikes during the workday or implementing incentive programs encourage employees to reduce their carbon footprint and exercise more. Wellness is one trend that isn’t going to fade away.

5. Changing Overtime Rules

2016 is the year where overtime costs will rise for some employers. Base salaries within the $20,000 range used to be the maximum for overtime pay eligibility.

Beginning this year, maximum base salaries are in the $50,000 range. These salaried employees must be compensated for any extra time past 40 hours of work each week. This legal trend is a long-term change that must be incorporated into the payroll department.

6. Diversifying Company Perks

Many companies have workers with age differences of 30 years or more. In these cases, companies are facing workforce trends that demand diversified benefit packages among all of their workers. Millennials want more flexible hours and flexible work locations, whereas baby boomers are more focused on pensions and 401(k) perks.

7. Hiring Analytic Professionals

Website hits and social media follows are today’s trends, but businesses must be able to quantify this information. This year’s workforce trends require employers to hire analytical professionals who can decipher all of the online traffic. Potential profits from this analysis will justify their payroll checks.

8. Communicating Through Secure Channels

In-house security for servers and other critical information will be necessary in 2016. Employees will need to know how to access their work desks through firewalls, passwords and other security measures. Employers should update their computer security measures to avoid any data breaches made famous by other businesses.

9. Incorporating More Machines

Although hiring employees is a top trend in any year, employers also have to consider machine use in several departments. Production machines and drones are the technological trends that many businesses are implementing. Drones can ship products for a business, so that customers never have to worry about a lost or delayed package.

10. Moving Toward Independent Consultants

Workforce trends also extend to independent consultants. Instead of hiring people outright, businesses might temporarily contract with a consultant.

After a project is completed, that consultant moves on to another job. Companies approve of this trend because it saves them money on insurance, payroll and other internal costs.

Some trends tend to rollover from the year before, but they do have their differences as people, businesses and technology change with the times. Respecting the workforce and its needs will allow companies to move forward with greater success. In the end, a content workforce will remain dedicated to their companies and daily tasks.