By Jim Ludema and Amber Johnson
Trend #1: Ownership. Chicago’s Tasty Catering exemplifies how a small business can meet this trend.
Recently a question from a journalist prompted me to reconsider what trends are emerging in business. There are many, but here are three that will emerge throughout 2018.
#1: Businesses will have to give employees more ownership – either real or psychological – especially for millennials. I often hear executives, entrepreneurs and business owners share their frustration at retaining top talent because there’s no clear ladder to climb. But this challenge can occur in larger companies as well, when ladder-climbing moves are limited by market restrictions or other factors. If you don’t have an open rung on the ladder, you can expect to lose younger talent within 36 months.
Disengagement is also a significant challenge in businesses of all sizes. Research by Dr. Kim Cameron, of the University of Michigan, and others has shown that if you can help provide a sense of meaning at work, you can expect higher performance both by individuals and by the organization as a whole.
To make up for rung-less ladders and the challenges of disengagement, smart businesses are creating new career paths and opportunities by rethinking ownership.
One CEO I respect, Tom Walter of Tasty Catering, has helped talented young workers start their own small companies (related to the core business, but non-competitive) “on the side.”
Systems like Open Book Management, or more entrepreneurial freedom to launch new products, services, or divisions, can create a sense of ownership that keeps talented people around longer. This sense of ownership leads to more investment and engagement on the part of the employee.
Giving ownership to emerging leaders – this trend & more from @ValuesDriven.
Whatever the solution, keeping talented people engaged involves some form of ownership.
#2: Virtual teams will continue to expand. Last year, IBM attempted to reign in remote workers, asking everyone to come back to the office. Is that the start of a trend? It’s doubtful. Gallup, Deloitte, and others report that virtual work is growing, especially in key demographics like Millennials.
Leadership research hasn’t kept up with the trend toward remote work and virtual teams (which might include remote workers, or just engage colleagues in different offices globally), but it’s attempting to catch up now. Our center is actively engaged in research to define virtuality, explore effectiveness and engagement, and recommend ways to help virtual teams feel more connected to each other and the organization. We aren’t the only ones looking into this topic – expect more ideas to emerge in the coming months.
#3: Hiring will get a facelift. Not long ago, Abby Cheesman, a co-founder of the video recruitment firm Skill Scout, reminded me that there have been few innovations in hiring since the onset of the internet. It’s time for some change, and among other ways it’s coming in a shift toward more cultural and values-based questions in the interview process.
Hiring hasn’t seen a major innovation since the internet. It’s time. This and other trends from @ValuesDriven.
Integrating your values into your hiring process doesn’t have to be complex. It may just include adding a few questions to your standard interview protocol. For example, if your company holds the value of trust, you might ask job candidates, “Think of a time where you were especially trustworthy. Tell me the story – what was it about you, the circumstances, and your response – that made the story possible?” I guarantee you’ll learn something valuable. (For more on integrating values in the hiring process, download our free eBook, Making Values Meaningful.)
That’s just the start of the trends we see coming. What do you see on the horizon? Share your insights on Twitter @ValuesDriven.