Recent data show digitally savvy employees include demographics that extend beyond Millennials. Megan Biro, writer for Forbes.com, points out that the 45-55 age demographic and even Baby Boomers expect the pre-employment process—from searching to applying for jobs—to be a digital breeze. In other words, job seekers expect to locate and apply for jobs with a few quick touches on their mobile devices.
To keep up with the rapidly changing digital landscape, companies big and small are implementing the latest tech tools in recruitment and application processes to locate, pre-screen, interview and on-board the best and the brightest.
To retain employees, major organizations are implementing automated systems and creating digital cultures where employees will have the capability of sharing information and communicating with peers and managers via their mobile devices. Conversely, managers will have the ability to assess team members and communicate with HR and other departments more efficiently and in real time.
Gaming in the Work Place
Farhad Manjoo of the Wall Street Journal recently blogged about the trend some companies are following to make work feel less like work and more like a game of Candy Crush or Angry Birds via workplace “gamification.”
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Manjoo notes companies are hoping that bringing the video gaming industry to work will motivate, increase morale, spark creativity and foster learning in everything from the pre-screening and application processes, to projects and training. Ideally, gamification will liven even the most tedious and mundane of day-to-day tasks.
A New Kind of Tree House and a 4- Day Work Week
While some companies are adding video games, others are subtracting workdays. Writer Bryce Covert of ThinkProgress.com recently highlighted a newly emerging retention trend in the four-day workweek. While unheard of in the United States, shorter workdays and workweeks have been common in Europe for years. According to Covert, Germany has gone so far as to ban companies from requiring employees to work more than 48 hours per week.
In her blog, Covert showcases the online education company, Treehouse, where co-founders Ryan Carson and Alan Johnson instituted a four-day workweek with employees receiving the same salaries as those working a traditional five-day week. The result so far? According to Carson and Johnson, employee morale and productivity at Treehouse are higher than ever.
Jumping off the Corporate Ladder and Joining the Company Circle
Another radical change to the status quo shows some big companies going “holacratic.” The idea here is to erase the slate on linear corporate hierarchies and job titles and allowing each employee, regardless of area of expertise, to work as an interconnected part of the entire group. This is meant to provide a more balanced sense of power, leveling of the playing field and creating an entrepreneurial spirit—all of which hopes to raise morale and create a harmonious and productive atmosphere.
Matt Cantor of Newser.com reported that online retailer Zappos recently overhauled its entire corporate structure to fit the holacratic model. Zappos eliminated management positions and job titles and rebuilt a corporate culture where individuals self-govern, yet are still an integral part of the entire team. Cantor points out that Zappos is the largest company so far to follow this model, and added that Medium, founded by Ev Williams, co-founder of Twitter, has gone holacratic as well.
Holacratic systems in the workplace are designed to create self-reliance for each employee, while at the same time, encouraging connections with immediate team members and employees from multiple departments.
Thus far, however, the success or failure of holacratic business practices has yet to be measured.
Utilizing HR Trends in the Workplace
The latest trends, scientific studies, mass analytics and recent sociological and philosophical theories identify three themes for HR trends in employee recruitment:
- Potential candidates expect to search for and apply to jobs quickly, easily and on their mobile devices.
- HR leaders and Recruiters are investing in cutting edge applications and tools to quickly and efficiently pre-screen and onboard the best candidates.
- Once the candidate is hired, trends in cost-saving employee retention now include innovative cultural policies—from increasing vacation time, decreasing the work week, providing catered meals and yoga breaks—to more drastic changes like the complete demolition of the corporate hierarchy.
What does all of it mean in terms of the evolution of the workplace?
HR leaders are actively pursuing the latest trends in technology and social science. This brave, new corporate world may develop organizations and cultures where transparency, inter-connectedness, employee appreciation and the best and most recent automated tools are front and center.