Sodexo: Recognition, Flexibility Top Workplace Trends for 2012
By Alex Palmer
February 2, 2012
Workplaces this year are going to see a greater emphasis on rewards, flexibility, and being as broad as possible, according to Sodexo's "2012 Workplace Trends Report."
Released on Jan. 18, the report draws on insight from the food and facility management company’s own research, insights from its corporate clients, and academic studies to pinpoint the most significant trends likely to be seen in the workplace this year.
According to the report, recognition programs are likely to become even more important this year in engaging employees. Beyond just encouraging greater sales or safety, the report finds rewards are helping to support organizational values and a company’s mission more broadly through not only traditional sales incentive programs but also smaller, more incremental approaches.
“Corporations can’t look at gaining that employee engagement by just associating a cost to it anymore, it’s more about having the tools available to employees for encouraging their colleagues with something like an ecard that really fuels that culture on a daily basis,” says Jennifer Tekin, senior marketing manager for Sodexo Motivation Solutions.
She added that programs are going to become much more tailored to their employee populations in the coming years.
Among the report's other findings are that the idea of diversity is poised to get more inclusive, with workplaces making efforts to attract talent of all types, be they persons with disabilities, LGBT employees, or those of other minority groups.
“Normally when we hear 'diversity,' we think along the lines of race or gender, but workplaces today are looking to go beyond that,” says Rachel Permuth-Levine, senior director of outcomes-based research and solutions for Sodexo's toLive workplace strategies. “Corporations really need to reach a better talent pool today, more inclusive of different types of people with different academic and work experience backgrounds, as well.”
Permuth-Levine sees this inclusiveness as tied to other trends covered in the report, "Virtual and Flexible Workplaces."
With new technology allowing for more employees to work remotely, and for those who do work at an office preferring a variety of setups beyond the traditional cubicle, the report predicts employers will increasingly encourage employees to tailor their own workspaces that will allow them to improve their performance.
Here's the full list of trends:
Integration of Workplace Solutions: Creating Higher Value
Workplaces That Promote Sustainability
It's All About Me: Rewards and Recognition
The Built Environment as a Driver of Employee Engagement
Evidence-based Space Design
Quantifiable Employee Health and Wellness Initiatives
Psychological Health in the Workplace
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