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Top Workplace Trends for 2015

Jan. 7, 2015
Organizations will continue to do more with less.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology surveyed its nearly 8,000 members to reveal the top 10 workplace trends for 2015:

1. Mobile assessments: As technology continues to expand and develop, mobile assessments will be tapped for selection, performance management, and training and development decisions. It is increasingly important for organizations to understand how technology, including social media and social collaboration, is changing the science and practice of selection, recruitment, performance management, engagement and learning. Industrial-organizational psychologists will continue working to design assessments that are valid and reliable regardless of how and where they are delivered.

2. Continued use of HR analytics and big data: Industrial-organizational psychologists have long recognized the value of science and data analysis for improving business and HR decisions. With the automation of collection and storage of data, more advanced hardware and software, and larger databases, empirically based big data predictions will become increasingly fundamental to workplace decisions.

3. Integration of work and nonwork life: Reduced boundaries between work and home life as a result of new technologies (such as wearables, social media, smartphones, Google Glass) pose challenges for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Industrial-organizational psychologists are continuing to study the effect of new technologies on work-life balance and if and how these technologies can be used to improve it.

4. Increasing implications of technology for how work is performed: Technology is radically transforming all aspects of work. Industrial-organizational psychologists will help organizations understand the implications of these changes and what they mean for the future of certain roles, the employee experience, collaboration, management styles, performance management and HR processes.

5. Organizations will continue to do more with less: With declining budgets the past few years and stakeholders calling for better management and performance of organizations, resource optimization has become core to many organizations’ business strategies. Industrial-organizational psychologists are working to help organizations identify innovations that allow them to reduce costs, increase organizational efficiency and, in general, do more with less.

6. Increased need to manage a multigenerational workforce: Four generations make up the current U.S. workforce: Generations X and Y; baby boomers; and the silent generation. They come to work with differing perspectives, assumptions and skills. Industrial-organizational psychologists are continuing to research and implement methods that maximize the potential advantages of these differences, such as increased employee learning and team collaboration.

7. Emphasis on recruiting, selecting and retaining potential: Industrial-organizational psychologists expect that organizations will need to increase emphasis on recruiting and selecting new employees this year, while still retaining top talent, due in part to a strengthening economy. Industrial and organizational psychologists will continue to contribute to these processes through the development and validation of legally defensible selection procedures and training/development programs as well as the identification of key attributes of the roles, positions and organizations that top talent find most desirable.

8. Changing face of diversity initiatives: Simply having a diverse workforce may not be enough to give your organization an edge in today’s workplace. To make the most of a diverse workforce, leaders need to know how to properly use such diversity. Industrial-organizational psychologists are finding that programs that value and leverage such concepts as inclusion and equality have more effective managers, drive greater productivity, and attract a more diverse workforce.

9. Growth of Corporate Social Responsibility Programs: The measure of a good company has traditionally been its revenue or stock price, but more companies today are also being judged by what they give back to their local and global communities. Corporate social responsibility programs are becoming a business requirement for organizations that want to be seen as responsible citizens. Industrial-organizational psychologists are finding that these actions affect how people feel about companies, their purchasing behaviors and the attitudes of the employees who work there.

10. Changes in laws may affect employment-related decisions: Changes in current laws and regulations and the passage of new ones have the potential to affect numerous HR and organizational practices. Industrial-organizational psychologists will continue to ensure the programs they implement align with these and related legal standards.

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