Here are the remaining trends to watch:
- New Performance Measurements and Meaning
The carb intake of your diabetic section chief has a direct impact on productivity. Your CTO’s divorce creates predictable judgment issues. These are the tip of the iceberg. Music choices in the cube, spicing in the cafeteria, the density of the fog, the trajectory of the local sports franchise, and traffic congestion all have direct impacts on the bottom line. As those correlations (and many, many more) come under management, we will be redefining the way we shape jobs and describe performance.
- The Future of Talent Communities
For some companies, there is no better way to navigate the future than by building an interactive talent community. Over the coming years, many will be built. The hardest thing for companies to navigate will be the respect, time and attention required to make the communities thrive.
- Managing A Contract and Virtual Workforce
At this year’s LinkedIn users’ conference, a speaker asked the assembled audience, “How many of you work from home at least part of the time?” A large majority of the audience responded in the affirmative. Many jobs, like the recruiter’s, do not really require significant time onsite. This makes the jobs viable for outsourcing, contracting, or some other form of reshaping. While most forecasts assume that virtual work and contract relationships will evolve in a linear way, the next five years will actually see an explosion of alternative relationships. This will provide a range of administrative challenges including redefining employment branding.
- Near Death Experiences for Job Boards
If you ask around, the proponents of social media are loudly proclaiming the death of the job board. Referral systems, mediated by social websites, will somehow trump the old broadcast advertising approach. It’s not likely in the short run. More predictable is a retrenching caused by overly optimistic forecasts about social media.
- The Virtual Classroom as Organizational Metaphor
Learning will be permanently changed by classrooms that integrate multimedia, online participation, video, audio, chat, and collaborative whiteboarding. The net result of colloquium in this environment is an explosion of insight and creativity. Organizations will shudder from the volume of positive proactive output.
- Too Much Feedback
Before the end of 2012, there will be tools on the market that let employees deliver feedback on every imaginable aspect of organizational life. Grumpy with your boss? Give him a one on the friendliness scale. Want to recognize the cafeteria worker? Give them points. And on. And on. Many of the tools will arrive from outside of the walls of the company. Expect to hear stories of people who show up to annual reviews with +Ks (from Klout) given by other employees. Ultimately HR and front line supervisors will have to make sense out of all the critiques and attaboys. While it’s getting sorted out, there will be no end of raised expectations, hurt feelings and attempts to game the gaming system.
- Mobile Technology: Sensor or Workstation
Mobile technology in the workplace merits a study of its own. For the moment, it is not clear whether the mobile device is primarily an input or output device. The great evangelists all position mobile as the future of advertising. There is, on the other hand, good reason to understand mobile devices as the primary source of the data that will overrun our organizations. Mobile is likely to be the source of personal and performance data and the gateway to external markets, rather than a device for engaging (current or potential) employees.
- Career Path Shifts
For a number of years, there has been an observable shift in the HR career track. When the VP of HR slot is filled from within the ranks of the department, people with Recruiting backgrounds have started to have the advantage. As demonstrated in this report, the vast majority of contemporary social media usage is for Recruiting purposes. Expect to see additional gains in this area.
Virtual classrooms and other collaboration technology can unleash a kind of synergy that is very difficult to manage. One of the largest problems facing 21st Century managers is how to contain and control the creativity that will be unleashed by technology. Initially this will be perceived and treated as an attention problem. Ultimately it will come clear that employees are still the greatest asset a company has.
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