Christmas and New Year is well and truly over and it’s back to work for recruiters throughout London. We expect the world of work to continue to evolve over the next 12 months, as new ways of thinking unfold and take shape. As experts in employment, we are responsible for keeping our clients informed on the latest trends, ensuring they can attract and retain the best talent. Here are just six of the trends you should be prepared to give advice on in 2019:
1. Corporate social responsibility
The millennials are here and they aren’t going anywhere. Encouraged by a sense of purpose and a desire to make a difference, this age group is driving a push towards corporate social responsibility, expecting the companies they work for to have strong social, environmental and charitable policies. We expect a business’ ethical standing to become increasingly important as the year goes on, especially as millennials are set to make up half of the global workforce by 2020.
2. Flexible working and work-life blend
The need for flexible working has been well-established over the last few years, but 2019 is set to see it explode, with initiatives that move beyond the typical flexi-time or occasional work from home day. Innovative companies have thrown away set working hours altogether, instead choosing a way of working that relies on employee outcomes, instead of actually being in an office.
There’s no denying it – employing a diverse workforce is good news for business, having been shown to improve engagement and productivity, encourage creativity and result in an innovative working environment. It also happens to boost the UK economy by £24 billion a year. Therefore, if it isn’t already, it should be a huge area of focus for your clients over the coming months, with an emphasis on equalizing the number of men and women in business, as well as increasing minority representation.
4. Mental health
At least one in four people will experience some kind of mental health issue each year, while one in five people will take a day off work due to stress, costing the country £70-100 billion annually. Therefore, businesses who ignore their employees’ mental health do so at their own peril. Creating a mental health-safe environment, with open lines of communication and initiatives like mental health first aiders, are set to increase in popularity as senior decision-leaders recognize that their employees’ health goes beyond just the physical.
5. Soft benefits
We expect the candidate-led market to continue well into the New Year, meaning finding the right talent will be more competitive than ever. Employers will now have to think beyond the base and bonus salary to wider benefit strategies, as companies are becoming more inventive as to what they can offer their employees. Annual leave, pension, and healthcare are now stock standard, while free meals, season ticket loans, and discounted gym memberships are just some of the offerings.
6. Employee engagement
In the war for talent, retaining talent is just as important as attracting new starters. A 2016 report found that there is a direct correlation between performance and engagement, with the highest performers of an organization registering as three times more engaged than the lowest performing. With just 58% of UK employees saying they are engaged, 4 companies have their work cut on in fostering a connection between the employee, the brand, their role, and their leaders. However, initial ideas don’t need to complicated. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs also applies to engagement, with easy fixes including hygiene, access to healthy food, the right tools to do the job and simple recognition initiatives that ensure the employee feels appreciated. From this baseline, your clients can start to look at developing a two-way dialogue where employees can feel like they can make a difference and therefore, increase their engagement level.