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4 Workplace Trends Defining the HR Landscape


At this year’s SHRM Annual Conference, leading HR expert and author Dan Schawbel discussed workplace trends that are defining the HR landscape, from a blended workforce to the entry of Generation Z into today's corporate environment. Here are some of our takeaways from Schawbel’s presentation, plus some strategies for considering how to implement these insights into your own HR initiatives.

Continued Focus on the Candidate and Employee Experience

In the last few years, there's been buzz about the importance of the candidate and employee experience. As the talent market tightens, companies are paying attention to the way they market their brands to top talent and potential hires alike. Some areas of focus include:

  • Creating a clear employer brand through websites, multimedia, and social engagement for recruiting.
  • Investing in training and recognition programs to further improve employee morale and retention.
  • Taking a closer look at your work environment and offering employees a positive experience – from ergonomic workstations to circadian-friendly lighting that can help with productivity.

Prepare for the Blended Workforce

It’s common for a workplace to contain a blend of full-time staff, part-time workers, and independent contractors. In order to develop the optimum mix of workers, companies need to be prepared to leverage a mix of on-demand and permanent talent. They can do this by:

  • Putting systems in place to work successfully with independent contractors, from ensuring HR and legal systems can support them to having the right collaboration tools in place.
  • Evaluating whether schedule flexibility or the ability to work from home could be a valued employee benefit to help you retain some of your company's most important talent.
  • Examining the experience you offer remote employees, and ensuring you're prepared to guide and manage the best talent.

Examine Your Performance Evaluation Models for Employees

Traditional models of performance evaluation that often include annual, static reports are quickly becoming obsolete. Instead, companies are looking for ways to give candidates continuous and dynamic feedback that creates stronger relationships and the chance for real-time improvement. Some factors to consider include:

  • Exploring alternate models for annual reviews, such as quarterly check-ins and updates.
  • Facilitating ongoing conversations with managers, which focus on performance and professional development.
  • Using technology to set measurable goals and allow both managers and employees the ability to easily measure progress.

Prepare for Generation Z

The latest generation to enter the workforce brings a different set of skills and expectations to the table. Managers looking to recruit, train, and retain Generation Z should consider:

  • Creating productive channels between Gen Z and other generations.
  • Building on these individuals' fluency with technology to help them get more done.
  • Taking the time to understand what comprises a powerful experience for Gen Z employees and candidates, and working to deliver that.

The latest workplace trends indicate exciting challenges and potential for today's HR leaders. Schawbel's insightful presentation provides important focus points for companies to further develop their talent strategies for the remainder of the 2017 year and beyond.


This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.
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