A Focus on Accessibility
Remote and hybrid work flexibility options are in high-demand. Businesses who are leveraging technology to provide these options to working from the office full-time are taking a pro-active strategy in meeting the needs of workers today, and in the future. The challenge for businesses is to create that accessibility and ensure productivity. While some business operations require and benefit from employees who work in-person, the focus for the coming year is connecting the right people to do the work that needs to be done effectively and refining roles to define in-person, remote or hybrid.
Consumers from every generation are now willing to pay more for sustainable products, according to research from a recent Forrester poll. Watch for the term “Greenwashing.” This is a practice in which a company implies it’s more sustainable than it really is. Federal, state and local governments are also increasing regulations on various industries to lower their environmental impact. For small businesses, now may be the time to consider a strategy to shrink their carbon footprint.
Google has reported that over 40% of adults and 55% of teens now use voice search daily. This number will continue to rise as it is more convenient than typing. Voice search through programs and devices such as Siri and Alexa will continue to evolve and eventually replace typing to a great extent.
Businesses will want to consider accounting for voice search as part of a website and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. When people search with their voice rather than typing, they tend to speak in sentences. For example, a business searching for a human resources consultant by typing from their desktop computer may simply open a search engine like Google and type, “Human Resources Consultant.” When using voice, the search statement may be, “Alexa, please find a Human Resources Consultant in the Upland, California area.”
Prepare for this trend by making a list of possible voice search terms and test them out. Research how to adapt your website and optimize search terms so that customers can find you, no matter how they choose to search.
Employees Want Job Security
The last few years have been a challenge for the labor force. In a recent Gallup poll, over 53% of workers surveyed reflected fatigue and noted that they’re looking for a job with greater security than they currently have. Employees want stability, peace of mind about their role, and to know that they have a future with the company.
Business owners should consider having solid plans in place to address employee fatigue in order to improve employee retention, satisfaction and recruitment. Have strategies in place to regularly communicate the health of the company, conduct regular team meetings and one-on-one manager/employee meetings, offer growth and development plans, communicate how and when salary increases and bonuses are given, to name a few. These elements will also help with recruitment as well.
The management role has evolved into much more than simply overseeing employees and providing performance feedback. Today’s manager must also work as a coach, mentor and empathetic leader. Business owners and executives must understand that, because employee expectations have changed, managers must also change. Providing managers with training and the resources needed will help this management trend succeed.
For example, consider implementing initiatives to teach managers how to manage off-site employees, identify employee strengths, refine roles and responsibilities to employees’ strengths, and implement goals aligned with a company hybrid and remote structure. These are just a few strategies to ensure your management team has support to be successful in their roles.
While the coming year will likely present even more workplace trends, keeping your business adaptable and communicating with your team, clients and partners regularly is a solid and smart strategy.
*Southland Data Processing, Inc. (“SDP”) is not a law firm. This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other SDP materials does not create an attorney-client relationship. SDP is not responsible for any inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process.