2021 workplace predictions point to a year of opportunity following a period of intense disruption and change accelerated by the pandemic
In this week’s newsletter we have the annual predictions of the top trends that will impact the global workforce in 2021 from the Workforce Institute at UKG – and I must say they make for interesting and thought-provoking reading.
There are five key predictions in the Workforce Institute report namely: The Great Reset: Work will be (re)shaped in real time as organisations decide which pandemic-era practices stay and go; Trust will become a foundational imperative for successful organisations; Compassionate and inclusive management that puts employees’ lives ahead of work will become a leadership mainstay; Outside forces – including the pandemic, economy, and regulatory change – will push businesses to the brink; and last but by no means least expectations of technology – especially practical AI and automation – will be higher than ever
Dr. Chris Mullen, executive director, The Workforce Institute at UKG says “2020’s legacy will be one of immense disruption, but following disruption always comes the opportunity to refocus and reinvent,” said While the COVID-19 pandemic was unimaginable just a year ago, our 2020 predictions – anchored by themes of wellness, advocacy, and empowerment – now seem serendipitous. Organisations and their people are now doing things they once thought impossible, showing incredible resiliency and creativity, presenting a small silver lining to a year we’d otherwise wish to forget. As we look ahead at 2021, workplaces everywhere will be presented with the opportunity to take the lessons learned from the last year to reimagine a better world of work for the future.”
On this final point the Institute says that successful AI deployments will unburden managers and empower employees. They will help gauge sentiment and accelerate decision-making for everyone. Organisations (and their employees) will pay closer attention to current and prospective technology, demanding significant value from systems – both old and new – while ensuring they measurably enhance performance, productivity, and the overall employee experience. Technologies that do not will find themselves with a short lifespan as cloud-native solutions make it easier than ever to change vendors. With little to no separation between work and life, technologies must make the next leap to help executive leadership, HR, and people managers enhance their employees’ lives.
An interesting and illuminating set of predictions from UKG’s crystal ball. Many of the areas discussed by the Workforce Institute will be discussed at our upcoming Virtual Digital Workplace Conference in March. Look forward to welcoming you there.