We had our ears to the ground in 2018 and talked to our clients about what they want to happen in the coming year. There were hot topics that came up again and again, from embracing employee well-being to managing digital transformation. This has helped us predict the four key trends of 2019 that will ensure companies are great places to work for. Take a look below:

 

1. It’ll be all about inclusion…not just diversity

2019 will be the year when we start to see companies saying “au revoir” to diversity tick boxes and adopt truly holistic inclusion strategies. This will mean companies will need to be open to diversity of thought: open to hiring people from a wide variety of social backgrounds and life experiences. As a result, we predict there’ll be a definite shift in HR strategies as they dig deep into what people will bring to a company. We expect to see more campaigns and initiatives that focus on raising awareness, development, and retention of truly diverse talent. We think too, that we’ll start seeing companies embrace training HR and people in leadership roles about unconscious bias so that a real culture of inclusivity will thrive.

 

2. A healthy body and mind = a healthy business

Everyone wants to have a healthy body and mind, right? Well, we predict 2019 will be the year businesses recognise this and really start doing something about it. With the continuing success of Mental Health Day and the publicity the Royals have brought to mental health issues, businesses are starting to step up more and more. It’s not about being warm and fuzzy, it’s good business sense. Companies who actively support mental well-being will attract and retain top talent. After all, modern day workers facing modern day pressures will want to know they’ll have the support of their employers. These companies will have happier employees, less absenteeism, and more ROI. Those that don’t adopt these policies could face reputational damage. Comprehensive well-being policies ranging from providing onsite counsellors to fresh fruit and birthday holidays will be underpinned by HR. We predict there will be an increase in campaigns that raise awareness of companies’ commitment to mental health in a bid for these “always-on” companies to attract the right talent.

 

3. CEOs will walk the teccy walk

“Siri what time is the comms meeting?” If this sounds familiar, you already know that digital transformation and work automation is part and parcel of today’s workplace. With every new system comes change, which can be a bit scary for some, and a delight to others. It’s why we’ve recently seen a huge leap in the number of clients asking us to help them plan their IT change communication journeys. With around 70% of failed IT transformations due to company management and employees not embracing change, we predict the companies that are going to thrive during digital transformation are the ones who centre their change communications not around technology, but around their people - using a truly blended learning and communications approach. We also predict it’ll be the CEO who’ll be key to guiding a culture of change. As leading by example is a really effective way to ensure transformation is embraced, it only makes sense that the CEO is the person to do this. It’s why we’re seeing more comms requests as CEOs step out of the boardroom to publicly champion digital change and start to build trust from the top down.

 

4. The influencers will have more influence

The future really is in the power of online influencers, and we predict this will become a more engrained practice within internal comms as it becomes a crucial part of the communication mix. Savvy companies won’t want to miss out on this key form of brand promotion. We’re starting to see more companies consider what their employee advocacy strategy should be. Companies are also beginning to encourage employees to tell their own stories in a mutually beneficial way. We predict these ambassador programmes will become more popular as employees are encouraged to share content, promote a company brand story and stay connected to social media in an authentic, real way.

 

These are our top four. We’d love to hear about any trends you’ve noticed this year.

THE 2019 EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE BUSINESS TRENDS ARE IN!