Culture Trends to Expect in 2020

Nothing ever stands still. With political, economic and social shifts occurring frequently, the manner in which we work changes too. As 2020 draws near, here’s what we can expect to occur that will transform the dynamics of our existing workplace.

1. Employee experience being a priority

Unlike previous generations, employees now are driven not only by job stability, competitive salaries or benefits, but by a shared sense of purpose towards achieving business growth. 

A key workplace trend is the steered focus towards creating compelling employee experiences as it proves to be equally as important to satisfying consumer needs and leading to business success. 

Major companies such as Google and Facebook are industry leaders in this area, as they build their entire core organisational ethos and structure around the experience of their team. Examples of practices that companies leverage to satisfy their teams experiences are flexible hours, updated office fit-outs that support modern practices and personalised relationships.

2. Increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Modern technology has proven to profoundly change the way we work day to day. The rise of AI, as well as the proliferation of data, has become a major driver for business decisions, however it has also impacted traditional job functions. 

AI, although delivering great value, can become a social and economic dilemma if human capacity is not properly re-deployed to other areas of value. 

It is important during these times of transition that human potential is not lost, but reutilised in supportive environments. This requires businesses to build cultures that are open to change and also provide environments for development and learning, allowing people from redundant jobs to being redeployed.

3. Creation of agile work spaces that promote culture

Millennials, within the next two years, will represent the largest percentage of the global workforce, making up 50% of the workforce. With this comes a shift in the way we work and what a physical business represents, not just an environment where work takes place but a space that represents the business’s values. 

Accommodating all employees requires flexibility by providing different spaces linked to enhanced connectivity to suit the growing mobile workforce.

Companies now are retracting from line of sight management towards output driven performance indicators and accommodating the needs of a mobile and independent workforce.

 4. Focus on team development

Time dedicated to individual development within a business is key to strengthening existing skills but also keeps teams engaged. However, just as important is the focus towards team development. 

Moving away from only focusing on individual employees, in 2020, a priority that all business leaders should focus on is team development resulting in greater co-operation and therefore more effective outcomes. 

The new year brings new workplace dynamics and a goal that leaders should aim towards is educating their team on effective collaboration and how to contribute to projects alongside their colleagues.

5. Anti-hierarchy structure

A less radical trend slowly being adopted by many industry leaders is that of businesses renouncing traditional roles and placing focus on developing projects that flourish without needing contributions from specific departments. 

Online retailer Zappo’s has successfully applied a new management structure called ‘holacracy’, retracting from the command-and-control approach and favouring a sense-and-respond leadership style that is based on asking the right questions. 

Holacracy encompasses the practice of running a business that removes responsibility from a management hierarchy, dispersing it across all roles which can be performed autonomously. This practice is highly encouraged as not only does it tap into the collective intellect of the team, it additionally increases transparency and democracy within the workplace.

Your Next Step…

Businesses in the near future will need to establish cultures that are open to change as well as provide co-operative and therefore collaborative environments that support growth and development. Detailed above are only a fraction of the trends likely to thrive in the coming year and it is essential, as business leaders, to understand which of these trends are likely to impact your business and your team. 

To successfully move forward in the dynamic business world, it is important to assess your business’s strengths and weaknesses and search for opportunities that will ultimately lead your team towards a positive and successful future.


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