January 2019

Trends to watch in 2019

Each new-year sees change in our places of work; so we’ve compiled a few trends to watch in 2019

Gen Z

Australia’s 4.6 million Gen Z’s are rapidly entering the workforce. While they are today’s children and teenagers, within a decade they will comprise 12% of the workforce and by 2020 expected to make up 36% of the global workforce. As a result, companies are adapting their people strategies to ensure they can retain young talent, because these new entrants are digital natives and expect strategic use of software and technology in the workplace.

An Ageing Workforce

The traditional view of retirement is changing fast; as mature workers realise they either can’t afford to retire or aren’t quite ready to. As a result, many continue to work past the standard retirement age of 65. In Australia it’s estimated that by the end of the next decade, one in three Australians will be aged over 55. For the first time in history, there may now be four or even five generations of people working together. Which raises issues around differing work values and work expectations between the generations.

Social Responsibility

In today’s climate of increased brand accountability and global government inaction on things like climate change, more responsibility is being placed on big business. Employees, especially Gen Y, have higher societal expectations and employee demands are fast becoming the rules by which companies must operate. As such, companies are increasingly working to align their mission, vision, and values with those of their employees and focussing on things like environmental sustainability initiatives, or supporting community programs.

The Gig Economy

In Australia, the gig economy is on the rise. Comprised of individual contract or project work, there are opposing schools of thought. On one side, the gig economy boosts labour market flexibility. Further, employee engagement is low globally and younger employees are significantly more likely to leave their organisation within five years. However, many see the gig economy as an easy way to enable exploitation and a race to the bottom in terms of wages and conditions.

Big Data

Consumer data remains a big issue in Australia with the likes of Facebook however, companies are also starting to gather employee data for their own purposes. Historically, employee data was used to inform people strategies like recruitment, retention, performance management and training. But with improved technology in the workplace, employers have a greater ability to collect and evaluate employee behaviour through communication on internal messaging systems, geographical locations via GPS in work vehicles or using employee health trackers to collect health data.

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