Companies Should Seek To Leverage the Digital Workplace

Companies Should Seek To Leverage the Digital Workplace

Employees who work in digital workplaces tend to have relatively high levels of productivity and motivation, but organizations should be alert to security risks associated with these technologies, and to the emergence of a gap between employees who are and are not technologically adept, according to a global study conducted by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

The results of the study, “The Right Technologies Unlock the Potential of the Digital Workplace,” were based on interviews conducted in April and May 2018 with 7,000 employees working at organizations based in 15 countries across the globe, including the U.S. The findings revealed that a more digitally-driven workplace has both business and human benefits, and that companies that are less technologically advanced are at risk of falling behind the competition and failing to attract top talent. The study also warned that a clear chasm in employee performance and sentiment is emerging between more advanced digital workplaces and those that use digital technology to a lesser extent, and that companies must be vigilant as more digital-savvy employees are taking greater risks with data and information security.

Specifically, the analysis showed that “Digital Revolutionaries,” or employees identified as those who work in fully-enabled digital workplaces where new workplace technologies are in widespread use, were 51% more likely to report having strong job satisfaction and were 43% more likely to say they feel positive about their work-life balance than “Digital Laggards,” or those who have less access to workplace technology. The findings also showed that Revolutionary employees were also 60% more likely to say they are motivated at work, and 91% more likely to praise their company’s vision.

The study also found that rather than perceiving advancements in digital technology and automation as a threat to job security, most of the employees surveyed are enthusiastic about these technologies, with 71% saying they would welcome a fully automated workplace in the future that allows their employer to build a smarter, more effective working environment. The results further showed almost all of the respondents (93%) think their workplace would be improved through greater use of technology, and large shares are confident that digital technology will result in a more efficient (56%), more collaborative (52%), and more appealing (47%) work environment.

While confirming that the benefits of digital workplaces are wide-ranging, the study also cautioned that cybersecurity remains a challenge for employers. The study recommended that companies seek to adapt to leverage the benefits of new digital workplace technology while simultaneously minimizing security risks organizations by adopting a digital workplace strategy, building collaborative digital workspaces, and incorporating security into the workplace from the ground up.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 61, Issue 7

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2018 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Millennial Workers Report Higher Stress Levels Than Older Workers

Millennial Workers Report Higher Stress Levels Than Older Workers

Younger workers experience stress more frequently than their older colleagues, and employee stress in general has physical, behavioral, and cognitive side effects that can lower productivity and increase employer costs, according to a survey on the effects of stress in the workplace released by employee benefits provider Unum on April 26.

The survey of 1,232 U.S. adults conducted in January 2018 found that 39% of workers aged 18-34 report that they experience stress daily to several times a week, and just 33% said they experience stress infrequently or never. By contrast, the older baby boomers surveyed appear to be the least stressed of the age groups, with only 11% of workers aged 65 or older indicating that they experience stress daily to several times a week, and 79% reporting that they experience stress infrequently or never. The values for middle-aged workers were closer to those of the youngest than the oldest group, with 29% of respondents aged 35-64 saying they experience stress daily to several times a week, and 48% indicating they experience stress infrequently or never.

The results also showed that working women of all ages report more frequent exposure to stress than working men, with 54% of female respondents, but only 47% of male respondents, saying they experience stress on a daily to weekly basis.

Among respondents of all age groups, the top causes of stress were found to include financial stress (49%), home life and family relationships (43%), personal health (35%), job responsibilities (33%), and the health of family members (33%).

Researchers cited a recent estimate from the American Institute of Stress that stress costs the U.S. economy over $300 billion annually in absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, lower productivity, accidents, and medical costs. They emphasized that while most stress originates outside of the workplace, it is in an employer’s best interest to provide resources that proactively support employees in managing their stress before it escalates and affects their ability to do their job.

While acknowledging that stress can manifest differently from person to person, researchers pointed out that the common signs include a significant change in an employee’s quality of work, professional demeanor, or personality. They recommended that employers watch for short-term responses to stress, including avoidance behavior or lack of participation in group activities, reduced reasoning or difficulty making decisions, and a tendency to work long hours; as well as for signs of long-term responses to stress, including a loss of concentration or confidence, outbursts of irritation or anger, panic attacks, and a loss of energy.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 61, Issue 6

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2018 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Strong Value Proposition Can Boost Employee Engagement

A Strong Value Proposition Can Boost Employee Engagement

Whether a company brings out the best in its workers depends on the health of the organization’s engagement ecosystem, including the value proposition companies offer current and prospective employees, according to a report released by The Engagement Institute, a joint venture of The Conference Board, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Mercer I Sirota, ROI Institute, and The Culture Works.

The report, “The DNA of Engagement: Moments That Matter Throughout the Employee Life Cycle,” was released on March 1. The authors used data from surveys, focus groups, and interviews to examine the interconnected factors that attract employees to organizations, keep them engaged, and encourage them to stay. Researchers also looked at the critical moments that affect the employee experience at work, and recommended strategies that organizations can implement to attract, retain, and engage employees.

According to the report, the most critical components that shape an organization’s engagement ecosystem is the employee value proposition, or the tangible and intangible deal that organizations provide in exchange for employee effort, commitment, and performance. The authors pointed out that the employee value proposition is a product not only of the explicit statements made by employees and actions by the organization, but of the implicit assumptions and observations employees make over time.

Researchers emphasized that individual employees have their own “personal ecosystem” that changes over the course of their career, and that is shaped by numerous moments they experience. The authors observed that when faced with critical moments in an employee’s life cycle that may affect his or her level of engagement, key stakeholders, including the employee’s managers, and coworkers, may struggle to respond adequately, and to ensure that the employee’s experience remains positive.

The report recommended that organizations take three key actions to strengthen overall employee engagement. First, researchers encouraged employers to promote an employee value proposition using empathy in the workplace. Specifically, they advised organizations to design and implement programs that support employees in how and where work gets done, prepare leaders to respond to employee concerns with an authentic tone of support and solidarity, and support supervisors who support employees in difficult circumstances by showing sensitivity to their workload.

Second, the study’s authors advised organizations to provide programs to assist employees at every stage of the career life cycle. They encouraged organizations to engage individuals from the start of their career to retirement by providing robust onboarding programs for new employees, training and development for junior-level employees, and processes to enable later-stage employees to connect with leaders and voice their concerns. They added that employers can make all employees feel valued by offering them training in newer technologies and other skills.

Third, researchers recommended that employers prepare for and seize upon “the unscripted moments.” The study’s authors observed, organizations can shape a favorable experience by ensuring that leaders are approachable, show heightened awareness during daily interactions, and demonstrate behaviors that build trust.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 61, Issue 4

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2018 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Boredom, Main Motivation for Looking For a New Job

Boredom, Main Motivation for Looking For a New Job

As the job market picks up, many professionals report that their primary motivation for looking for a new job in 2018 is feeling bored with their current job and wanting a new challenge, according to the results of a recent survey by executive search firm Korn Ferry.

The survey of 4,900 professionals was conducted in December 2017. When those respondents who said they are planning to look for a new job in 2018 were asked to identify their top reason for jumping ship, 33% said they are bored with their current job and need a new challenge, 24% said the culture at their current company does not align with their values, 21% indicated they have either lost their job or expect to lose their job, and 19% said they are hoping to get a higher salary.

The vast majority (89%) of the professionals surveyed said they believe networking is important during every period of their career, and not just when they are in job search mode. By contrast, a mere 7% of respondents said they see networking as important only when they have a job but are considering other options, and just 3% said they believe networking is essential only when they are out of work and looking for a job.

When respondents were asked what their usual first step is when searching for a new job, the top response was networking, cited by 44%. Another 23% of respondents said updating their resume is their typical first step toward landing a new position, while 19% indicated that they start their search by taking an inventory of what kind of job would make them the happiest. Smaller shares said their usual first step when looking for a new job is reviewing the online job postings (12%) or engaging in social media activity (2%).

The professionals surveyed were also asked to name the top strategy they use to network. One-third (33%) of respondents said they seek to reconnect with current and former friends/colleagues, 31% reported using LinkedIn, 27% said they ask current friends or colleagues to introduce them to others in their network, and 9% indicated that they attend networking events.

When asked about their job search history, 53% of respondents described their past interviewers as, on average, only somewhat to very ill-prepared. Moreover, 46% reported that they had been turned down for a job because the interviewer did not take the time to fully understand their qualifications.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 61, Issue 3

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2018 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Employers Are Increasingly Turning Permanent Positions into Contingent Roles

Employers Are Increasingly Turning Permanent Positions into Contingent Roles

To cope with the talent gap and to ensure that their company remains agile and flexible in the changing economy, more than half of global human capital leaders expect to transfer nearly one-third of their organization’s permanent positions to contingent roles in the near future, a report on talent trends published by talent solutions provider Randstad Sourceright has indicated.

The report, released on December 6, 2017, examined trends for the fourth quarter of 2017 based on a survey of more than 700 global human capital and C-suite leaders. The survey results showed that 61% of respondents plan to replace up to 30% of their permanent positions with freelancers, gig workers, and independent contractors; and that 74% of respondents believe that the right person for a given job may be an employee, contractor, or contingent worker from anywhere in the world.

The survey also found that 40% of respondents believe that by implementing an integrated hiring strategy, they will be able to reduce the impact of talent scarcity. According to the report, an integrated talent model, which includes both permanent and all forms of contingent talent, can reduce recruitment costs by between 10% and 12%. Of the survey respondents who said they have implemented an integrated talent model, 94% confirmed that they are very or extremely satisfied with this strategy.

When the leaders who reported having adopted an integrated talent model were asked about its benefits, the top responses were that this approach brings strategic planning to the HR function (45%), enhances the employer’s brand (41%), helps the company gain a competitive advantage through attracting and engaging higher-quality talent (41%), and creates efficiencies in hiring (41%). Among the survey respondents who said they have not yet adopted an integrated talent model, but plan to do so, the top reasons they cited were to gain a competitive advantage through attracting and engaging higher-quality talent (39%), followed by a desire to build for the future (36%).

The results further indicated that the great majority of respondents agree that all available resources should be considered to combat recruitment challenges, with nearly 69% of the leaders surveyed saying they believe the skills gap is widening and will create significant challenges in the near future. Moreover, 25% of respondents identified talent scarcity as their greatest concern.

The report also noted, however, that companies are investing more in training programs to meet the growing demand for talent: 50% of respondents said they are increasing their budget to invest in programs that help their workforce advance their careers through upskilling, and 52% reported they are investing in training and development technologies at moderate or significant levels.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 61, Issue 2

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2018 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Generation Z Are Looking For Passion and Pride In A Workplace

Generation Z Are Looking For Passion and Pride In A Workplace

While Millennials tend to seek jobs that provide stability and convenience, members of Generation Z who are just starting to enter the workforce are more concerned with following their passions and taking pride in the work they do, according to the findings of a survey conducted by the Lovell Corporation, a Millennial marketing and youth engagement agency.

The results of the survey of more than 2,000 individuals aged 14 to 37 across Canada were released on November 21, 2017. The main goal of the analysis was to define the characteristics of the emerging Generation Z (aged 14 to 23), and to look at how their career expectations and workplace values compare to those of Millennials (aged 24 to 37).

The survey asked respondents who were not yet working what type of occupation they wanted to pursue in the future. The career paths most commonly cited were entrepreneur (17.4%), public service (17%), and health care (15.4%). Broken down by sector type, 49.4% of these respondents said they expect to work in the private sector, 39.1% indicated they expect to work in the public sector, and 11.5% said they intend to work in the not-for-profit sector.

The respondents were also asked to rate the importance of 28 work value priorities, ranging from compensation to social environment and psychological benefits. The top priorities cited by Millennial respondents were job security, interesting work, convenient hours of work; while the top priorities cited by Generation Z respondents were interesting work, working for an organization they are proud of, and having work they are passionate about.

When asked what career success means to them, both Millennial and Generation Z respondents rated financial security as the most important factor, followed by having a workplace culture that is positive and inclusive. According to researchers, a notable difference between the two groups of respondents was that members of Generation Z were more inclined than Millennials to say they consider having positive work relationships and a positive impact as determinants of career success.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 1

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2018 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.