Obamacare has been the big news in the workplace for the past year, but as the Affordable Care Act settles into reality for business owners, what are some other trends that will affect your business in 2014? The Herman Group recently issued its 2014 workplace trends forecast and here’s some of what they had to say:
- Recruiting in science, technology, engineering and math-related jobs will continue to intensify. There will be growing competition for these workers, which could spell trouble for small businesses with lesser benefits than big corporations.
- Workforce shortages will get worse. There are already severe shortages of trained, experienced workers in many fields; in fact, some employers will go out of business due to a lack of skilled labor. Smart employers will work with local schools, colleges and universities to find talented employees while they’re still in school.
- Technology will change workforce needs. The level of computer skills needed for employment is growing at all levels. Even entry-level or hourly employees need technology skills, and at higher levels, great sophistication is required. Employers will struggle to find these workers and will have to pay dearly for them.
- Climate change will affect productivity. The more frequent occurrence of natural disasters and extreme weather incidents will hurt business productivity and sales (as we’ve already seen with the polar vortex this winter). Businesses will need disaster plans and good business insurance to protect themselves, their profits and their employees.
- Social networking will help companies recruit, hire and retain employees. Social networking is already being used to recruit employees, as well as to communicate internally and build bonds among hired employees. This trend will continue to grow.
- The long-term unemployed will be a source of labor. Long-term unemployed people will give up on finding jobs in their previous fields and be more willing to take anything they can get. For small business owners, this means opportunity to snatch up experienced workers for less. However, it may also lead to more competition, as some of the unemployed are likely to start their own businesses.
- Businesses will continue to re-engineer. To get the most out of their budgets and employees, small businesses will continue to re-engineer their systems and workforces, which may include layoffs for greater efficiency. If you don’t want to lay off employees, you’ll need to call on your team to figure out how to make work more efficient without eliminating positions.
- Employers will ignore employee engagement and retention at their own risk. Employee turnover will increase as the economy improves and workers finally feel more confident in their ability to find better jobs. If you haven’t paid attention to employee engagement until now, you’d better start.
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