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Workplace Trends Report: 12 Key Issues and Solutions for Business Leaders

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Environment, Facility Management, FacilityBlog, Featured Post, Sustainability, Topics

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Published on January 31, 2013 with No Comments

Sodexo has released its annual Workplace Trends Report, noting key trends indicating that the emerging workforce is motivated by positive, people and community centric workplace practices and initiatives. In fact, the report shows all four generations in the workforce see corporate social responsibility as a potential motivating factor at work. The report also offers fresh insight into drivers affecting the people, workplace environment, and community impact issues faced daily by leaders and discussed and debated in boardrooms across the U.S. and around the world.

Among its 12 leading trends, the report examines issues ranging from recruiting and mentoring talent to the corrosive effects of workplace bullying. It also looks at the benefits of sustainable working environments to integrated people and facilities solutions that deliver increased individual and organizational performance.

“It’s a volatile world; economic factors, social issues, even naturally occurring events such as severe weather, place pressure on organizations to deliver consistently innovative, integrated solutions to complex problems,” said Michael Norris, COO, Sodexo North America and market president, Corporate. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s when—the time when an organization is presented with the opportunity to do the right thing for its employees, communities, and the environment.”

The 2013 report identifies the following significant workplace trends:

  1. The Built Environments Crucial Role in Organization Performance
  2. Superstar Recruitment – the Power of Community
  3. Inspiring a Connection to People, Community and Brand Through CSR
  4. A Contemporary View of Inclusion and its Effect of Psychological Health
  5. 21st Century Mentoring
  6. Thriving in the Cloud
  7. Ushering in the New Era of Recognition
  8. Facilities Management: A Strategy, Not a Tactic
  9. Data Reporting OUT; Predictive Modeling IN
  10. International Design and Construction; a Shifting Paradigm
  11. The Changing Office…Literally
  12. Integration as THE Solution

Leading indicators from the report cite, for example, that the way the marketplace engages with prospective employees today is vastly different than it was just five years ago. Today, social media and mobile communications dominate over traditional e-mail campaigns. In fact, a recent study released by Jobvite found that 92% of U.S. companies used social media networks in 2012 as part of their recruitment efforts. Additionally, seven out of 10 employers report having successfully hired a candidate through social media—up from 58% in 2010.

While significant time and resources are spent on recruiting top talent, the report notes that once onboard, 35% of the U.S. workforce report being bullied at work (repeated, harassing behavior that is deliberately intended to cause harm to individuals and prevent them from excelling at work), according to the Workplace Bullying Institute. This emerging issue is at the forefront of human capital management and represents a real workplace psychological health concern that can truly hurt a company’s bottom line.

The report notes that facilities management is essentially now a strategy and not just a tactic, or worse yet, an afterthought. Sustainability—an office feature once considered distinctive—has become table stakes. Whether it’s economics, environmental consciousness, or both, must haves from clients, even those with no interest in green building, now include recycled products (including buildings), locally sourced and sustainable materials, energy efficient HVAC systems, and better indoor air quality. The trend is an unmistakable shift toward offices designed to attract and retain top talent while emphasizing productivity over cost savings and quality of life per square footage.

“The workplace, and the environment it creates, is now a key tool for supporting work, for shaping the experiences of the workforce, and for producing competitive advantage,” added Norris. “Facilities management has evolved and is simply no longer about just managing the facility, but rather it’s now about engaging and enabling people to be productive, and creating value for the organization and its communities.”

Integration 2.0 is another forward looking concept identified by the report. The needs of the current working generation are significantly more complex and dynamic, and creating efficient, effective, and flexible work environments that take into account total well being has become a critical decision point for organizational leaders. The report finds that progressive organizations are now understanding and solving for human needs when developing workplace services and solutions in specific ways, such as designing strategic environments and evaluating the impact of these ecosystems on improved service and people effectiveness and well being.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

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