It’s that time of year again. I’ve predicted big trends for the past 20 plus years. What’s more amazing is I’ve been correct almost 90% of the time on the trends I predict in advance!
It’s time to discuss which trends will impact the way you do business in the coming year. Fail to adjust your strategy, and watch what happens over the coming year. It won’t be pretty.
The first trend for 2016 is marketers will continue to overhype how technology will change the way we do business. Technology continues changing the way we interact with others, but rarely does the technology change overnight. Many organizations are reluctant to change until they have to. In many cases, there are just about the same number of late adopters as early adopters. This provides an incredible opportunity for leaders who can get their teams to adopt the right technology more successfully.
The second trend is there will be at least three new social media platforms to go mainstream in 2016. These are all in their early stages, but will be pushed to market by individuals who are looking for new ways of not doing their jobs effectively. Social media lets you monitor your customers and clients. It can help you answer questions in the initial stages of the client relationship, but it doesn’t take the place of human contact. I wish I had a nickel for every time a new social media platform shows up on my favorite news programs. I’d be buying coffee all day. Everyone seems enamored with whatever the new social media platform is, but there’s still limited engagement on many platforms.
The third trend is that between 5-15% of the people you work with today will retire in the coming year. Many choose to retire rather than waiting to see if the next cool generation of robots take their jobs. Companies will respond by beginning to offering retention bonuses to retiring individuals within their organizations. The problem with this trend is many of your best people will leave when they are producing results because they’re not being compensated for their results. They’re not the ones retiring. But the lights will still be on.
Some organizations will choose not to retain their employees and will have work stoppages because someone in management failed to make sure all key aspects of your daily business operations are covered. The organization’s many leaders will look at each other with scorn and say “I thought you were the manager of this company.” Too many leaders, not enough managers to manage an organization in times of increasing complexity.
The fourth trend is many older workers will decide this year’s election because they no longer have health insurance because they missed a filing deadline they never had to deal with when their employer provided their healthcare. Many of our HR organizations are struggling to educate retiring workers to their options before they take their retirement packages.
The knockout punch will come when employees discover how much health care costs when you’re paying for your own. It’s not unheard of for your monthly healthcare bill to go from $100 a month to $950 a month or more when you’re paying it yourself. This can blow a hole is your retirement budget pretty quick!
I believe many smaller business leaders and entrepreneurs will snicker at this knowing how much they have been paying for healthcare for others for many, many years.
The fifth trend is that a whole generation of millennials will discover there is life outside their mobile phones. It will start with a battery shortage and end when people discover real life can be much more fun than virtual life. I say this with some humor since many older readers love and use their mobile phones much more than the younger coworkers. Everything looks better on a mobile phone.
Finally, the last trend I predict is 2016 will be a year where we see a more engaged and empowered work force. Personal responsibility will begin to return to more normal levels as individuals become masters of their own choices versus victims of chance. We will start to see a number of trends impacting our workplace, but you will discover that you’re a much better serving leader when you focus on the things within your control.
Next week I’ll share several ideas that you can leverage to be virtually unstoppable in your life and work in 2016. See you next week.