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10 IT workplace predictions for 2016

Sharon Florentine | Jan. 21, 2016
2016 is the year of talent -- how to find it, retain it, engage it and motivate it are at the top of organizations' to-do-lists. Here, workforce management experts share their predictions for the coming year.

Attracting, retaining and engaging employees is job number 1 for employers in 2016 as the IT talent crunch intensifies. The improving economy, aggressive recruiting practices and an emphasis on workplace culture have drastically shifted the relationship between employer and employee. Experts from The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and the Staples Advantage 2015 Workplace Index weigh in on their top 10 workplace predictions for the coming year.

1. The year of talent

The improved economy, aggressive recruiting practices and websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn have all contributed to a dynamic shift in the employer-employee relationship, according to The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated. Talented workers have more leverage than ever before, and it is nearly impossible for an organization to hide its true corporate culture from job candidates.

Progressive organizations understand that the only sustainable business model is to ensure they have the right talent, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills. The C-suite will be more directly involved in talent management strategies in 2016 with a focus on winning with engaged employees, says Joyce Maroney, senior director, customer experience and services marketing, The Workforce Institute at Kronos.

"The ease with which existing employees can record their experience very publicly, and the ease that job seekers can find this information before they take a job is really changing the game. Sites like Glassdoor are a very legitimate way to get information about job opportunities and options. In fact, here at Kronos we find Glassdoor is one of the top drivers of traffic to our careers site," Maroney says. Bottom line: if your culture is toxic, it's critical to fix it or you won't make much headway in the battle for IT talent, she says.

2. Compliance, regulation and workers' rights

As the Obama Administration enters its final year and the spotlight on workers' rights shines brighter around the world, government regulation around paid time-off, overtime, minimum wage, healthcare, schedule fairness, family leave and more will put increased pressure on organizations to maintain compliance, according to The Workforce Institute. Organizations large and small will require tools and technologies to juggle different regulations across cities, states and countries where they do business while ensuring employees are treated fairly within the law with the capability to generate reports that prove compliance and avoid fines and penalties.

"The rising tide we see is not only around affordable healthcare, but also fair scheduling, raising the minimum wage, offering paid leave -- movements toward workers' rights, whether hourly and front-line workers or in the freelance economy, are gaining ground. This presents a challenge for smaller organizations to manage not just increased costs, but to engage your people so you're optimizing productivity," Maroney says.


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