BetterUp Sees Innerwork, Transparency as Top Workplace Trends
Guest Blog By BetterUp
The future of work is constantly shifting and for many professionals, work is becoming more than just a job. Organizations are beginning to support a wider variety of leadership styles and diverse thoughts and ideas, ushering in new workplace trends for 2018. Together with our team of experts, we’ve compiled a list of the seven workplace trends we predict will be big this year.
Employers will usher in a new age of workplace transparency
2017 saw its fair share of explosive workplace scandals. Elite organizations have been rattled by sexual harassment claims that brought issues related to conduct in the workplace and Psychological Safety to the forefront. We predict that 2018 will see a movement toward more candid conversations around workplace norms, a focus on creating more inclusive cultures, and rebuilding trust internally and externally.
Emphasis on sustainability in response to the ultimate well-being crisis
Organizations are beginning to see the value of inner work, things like meditation, art, and reading, for leadership development. When we’re buried deep under a pile of tasks, it’s difficult to be creative and innovative. However, in the new knowledge economy, companies live and die by creativite solutions. By exponentially elevating the value of our decision-making and productivity, we will see more companies encourage inner work.
Organizations will be better equipped to handle workplace stress
The American Psychological Association’s Stress in America™: The State of Our Nation survey results recently revealed that “nearly 6 in 10 adults (59%) report that the current social divisiveness causes them stress.” But even if we factor out the current economic climate, workplace-related stress is on the rise. MediKeeper, a San Diego-based technology firm, found that investing in individual well-being can not only decrease stress, but also positively affect organizational culture (and in turn, lead to more productive employees). Stress is likely not going anywhere anytime soon, but how organizations tackle it on an individual will be a crucial factor into 2018 of their success and retention efforts.
The return of compassion and kindness as a virtue
In a time when many individuals are deeply divided, empathy is not enough. In 2018, organizations will need leaders who can build bridges in the face of challenges and difficult conversations, and do it with compassion. But we won’t be able to make progress unless we invest in whole person development. One small way leaders can create a more inclusive and compassionate environment is by showing gratitude and kindness, which has been shown to improve well-being, increase resilience, and decrease depression.
Professional development will scale
When it comes to development and sustained behavior change, one-off training and workshops simply don’t move the needle. The scalability of coaching – below the C-suite and eventually to all employees – was cited as a top theme (happening now and disrupting the industry) at this year’s Innovations in Executive Coaching Conference (SIOP).
Technology-enabled solutions (coaching platforms, mobile apps, and AI) are offering considerable leaps in scalability and ushering in a new era for increased transparency, new insights for evidence-based coaching, and the integration of coaching data with the full suite of HR people analytics. At the same time, the demand for managers to develop and embrace coaching skills is skyrocketing. We believe that the drive to fully embed a coaching culture inside organizations will further intensify the already growing demand for high-quality professional coaches, accessible to all.
Inclusion will become a core management skill
Traditional diversity initiatives in organizations seek to include a wide range of groups inside the organization and make hiring decisions with that in mind. But there’s an alternative model for building a diverse organization: creating an inclusive organizational culture.
As entrepreneur and coach, Fern Mandelbaum so aptly stated, “Diversity for diversity’s sake doesn’t help anyone. What we should be striving for is a culture that isn’t just diverse, but inclusive of diverse points of view, backgrounds, and experiences.” Companies that prioritize inclusion and belonging, we believe, will come out on top in 2018.
Companies go “all in”on the loneliness wars
It’s become abundantly clear that loneliness is a problem in the workforce. Over 40% of adults in America report feeling lonely, and as noted by the Harvard Business Review, “at work, loneliness reduces task performance, limits creativity, and impairs other aspects of executive function such as reasoning and decision making.” 2018 will lift the veil on loneliness at work and seek to find ways to foster meaningful, healthy workplace relationships.
A version of this post, 7 key workplace trends to watch in 2018, originally appeared on the BetterUp blog.
Founded in 2013, BetterUp’s mission is to help every professional pursue their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion. The company offers a scalable, mobile-based leadership development platform that brings personalized coaching to employees at the core of Fortune 500 organizations. With a diverse range of customers including Logitech, LinkedIn, Lyft and Deloitte, BetterUp inspires key employees to build the skills to thrive personally and professionally.