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Five Workplace Trends for Managers to Keep an Eye on in 2008

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What does the New Year mean for managers? It's a good time to reflect on your team's accomplishments and an even better time to plan for success in the coming year. Here are five developments that have a foothold and will continue to gain traction in 2008.

#1 Have You Gotten the Flex Message?
Flexible scheduling is a popular benefit for both employees and their employers and it shows no sign of losing steam in the New Year. Employees appreciate having the ability to better manage their work life balance, while employers view it as a low-cost offering with high perceived value that leads to greater employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention. Whether it is hours worked, working from home, or sharing duties, take time to modify schedules to get the most out of your workers. And always keep in mind, personalizing a work schedule does not mean giving preferential treatment.

#2 Baby Boomers Have Left the Building
What does the tidal wave of baby-boomer generation retirements mean for managers? It may be time to re-tool your mentoring system if most of the mentors on your team are more experienced workers. Signs point to employers continuing the practice of cutting costs by offering early retirement and departure incentives to older, higher compensated employees. As boomers leave, supervisors will increasingly turn to the current generation to recruit young, up and coming talent. However, an overlooked aspect of this is that there could be an increase in hiring retirees returning to the workforce.

#3 Health Matters
It's expected that managers will further push employees to create a healthy work/life balance and to take advantage of healthful lifestyle programs. This includes taking adequate time off for vacation, exercising regularly, and curbing tendencies to work long hours that can lead to burnout. With healthcare costs rising, more employers are adopting cost differentials in the employee share of health insurance premium costs. Workers who take part in healthful lifestyle programs are rewarded by being charged less.

#4 Recruiting Increases
The hiring outlook remains optimistic for the New Year. According to AppleOne's 2008 Salary Guide, 57% of surveyed respondents report that they expect to increase the number of full-time employees in 2008. Other forecasts put the percentage anywhere from 45% to 58%. Trends show that screening candidates over the Internet will continue to increase in popularity. Evaluating potential employees by getting information from blogs and social networking sites will continue to be a hot button topic. While it gives hiring managers a window into a candidate's nature and tendencies, information provided by peers is not always reliable.

#5 Stopping the Hopping
Job hopping is here to stay and promises to be on the rise, especially among younger employees. The best way to combat it is to offer your workers flexible scheduling and instigate inventive rewards and recognition programs. Groom workers to grow in their positions and don't stifle them. When you create a positive, open work environment and value input from your team chances are they won't be looking for greener pastures.

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