by Alex Palmer | January 29, 2013
A more comprehensive approach to employee incentives and a stronger focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) are two trends that organizations can expect to see in the coming year, according to a new report. The annual “Workplace Trends Report” from employee recognition and motivation company Sodexo Motivation Solutions, released on Jan. 28, identifies 12 trends that employers can look out for in 2013. 

One of the trends is what the report calls a “new era of recognition” in which employees are connected to their organization through a program of “planned involvement.” Rather than a simple carrot-and-stick approach, this style of recognition is more strategic, aimed at encouraging long-term loyalty from workers.

“We’re seeing an uptick in more groups refining their programs and aligning them to their organization,” says Jennifer Tekin, senior marketing manager at Sodexo Motivation Solutions. “They’re finding that they’re saving money by investing in strategy versus having disjointed programs that are unregulated and disconnected.”

Another one of the trends identified by Sodexo was “inspiring a connection to people, community, and brand through CSR.” According to the researchers, CSR has moved beyond being a nice-to-have offering, and has become an essential program for any organization looking to attract the next generation of workers.

But as with the shifting approach to motivation, Sodexo also expects CSR to become more integrated into the brand identity and company culture over the next year, rather than bolted on or run as a separate arm of the organization. Rachel Permuth, Sodexo’s principle researcher, believes that this focus on CSR connects directly to workers’ engagement with their employer.

“We’re going to see different types of motivators,” she says. “A lot of times we look at extrinsic motivation — external things that compel us to do something — but we see more people who are going to volunteer and do something for the environment and it’s going to work as an internal motivator.”

Permuth expects that organizations will work to combine both tangible and intangible awards, as part of a program that incorporates rewards and recognition from peers as well as company leaders.

Other trends identified in the report include a greater focus on how the built environment impacts the organization and an embrace of technology to enhance mentoring throughout the company.

The trends were determined after a three-month review of a range of sources and research, including academic journals, trade journals, and one-on-one interviews with c-suite executives. 

The full list of trends are as follows:

1.      The Built Environments Crucial Role in Organization Performance
2.      Superstar Recruitment – the Power of Community
3.      Inspiring a Connection to People, Community and Brand Through CSR
4.      A Contemporary View of Inclusion and its Effect of Psychological Health
5.      21st-Century Mentoring
6.      Thriving in the Cloud
7.      Ushering in the New Era of Recognition
8.      Facilities Management: A Strategy, Not a Tactic
9.      Data Reporting OUT; Predictive Modeling IN
10.   International Design and Construction; a Shifting Paradigm
11.   The Changing Office … Literally
12.   Integration as THE Solution

The complete report can be found here