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Dollarphotoclub_63910844A New Year always brings with it opportunities to check in and assess where we’re at and where we’re headed. With that in mind, we’ve got lots of changes, opportunities and advancements on the Engaged HR radar for 2016.

Here are five hot topics we see making an impact this year:

1. Millennials are moving up the ladder.

With Boomers retiring in droves (or at least moving into semi-retirement or consultancy roles), according to Forbes one quarter of millennial workers are predicted to be moving into manager or leadership roles in 2016. Millennials will continue to influence the trend towards flattened organizational structures: the new leadership generation, who might be seen to lack the technical expertise, interest or influence to direct organizations, will influence organizational success by flattening corporate hierarchies, pooling individual strengths, and considering more than just the bottom line.

So the happiness of your millennial employees is well worth considering- Just how millennial minded are you?

2. Generation Z is graduating.

As millennials move up the ladder, the first wave of Generation Zers (born in the mid 1990s to the early 2000s) will be graduating from colleges and universities and hitting the workforce this year. What should you know about this new employee pool? Generally speaking, Gen Z is cautious, curious and wants to be intellectually engaged with what they’re doing.

Interestingly, Gen Zers are more likely than millennials to prefer face to face communication over technology. Research also shows they’re pragmatic and financially cautious from the impacts of recession and student debt, and have more realistic career and salary expectations than millennial counterparts. For more tips on incorporating Gen Z employees in your workplace, click here.

3. Freelancing and outsourcing are becoming the norm.

With increasingly flexible work arrangements, smaller physical workplaces and tighter budgets, many organizations are realizing the benefits of hiring freelance professionals and outsourcing specialized business functions. Companies are increasingly delegating roles such as accounting, marketing, and human resources to external experts, decreasing associated overhead and administrative costs and providing organizations with access to industry experts on an “as-needed” basis.

Shameless plug for our outsourcing solution HR on Retainer here.

4. Office space is shrinking.

With a rise in remote workers, increased collaboration, flatter organizational structures, and more flexible schedules, the typical office footprint can afford to be smaller than before.

Reduce employer costs by shrinking overall office size and improving the functionality of workspaces. Twitter_logo_blue

Cutting space doesn’t mean decreasing employee engagement. Keep employees happy by providing more of what they’re looking for: workspaces that provide multiple options for working environments and scenery changes, including quiet zones, flexible furniture, and lounge spaces.

5. We’re even more plugged in.

With technology evolving rapidly, wearable devices such as Apple Watches and Fit Bits are ubiquitous. All this technology can be an organizational advantage, since wearable devices have the potential to enhance communication and feedback efficiency, improve employee health and wellness, and be incorporated into training and performance management systems. But personal devices can also blur lines between work and personal time, and can raise concerns about employee privacy, network security, and productivity.

It’s worth noting how your employees are using current technology, and keeping yourself informed about new devices in the works. As we move into 2016, are there new ways you could be harnessing your employees’ tech-savviness and using it to your organization’s advantage?

We’re curious… What do you see on the horizon in your organization? We’d love to know what your predictions are for 2016!

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