Market Overview

Top 2019 Global Workforce Predictions from The Workforce Institute at Kronos


Workforce Institute
 at Kronos
today released its annual predictions of the top trends
that will impact the global workforce in the coming year.

Top Workforce Predictions of 2019

  1. AI and machine learning unmask previously-hidden workforce data to
    make people-centric decisions.
    Artificial intelligence (AI) and
    machine learning will finally be woven into workforce management
    practices, revealing a treasure trove of data organizations have been
    collecting – but not using – for decades. With regular and digestible
    access to workforce data trends – like scheduling accuracy,
    absenteeism, overtime usage, and burnout – predictive analytics will
    shine, helping organizations head-off potential issues before they
    arise. Intelligent automation will also free up managers from
    admin-heavy tasks – like managing schedules, approving time-off
    requests, and shift changes – while encouraging data-driven
    decision-making to provide clarity between what is equal versus what
    is fair. Though, to harness analytical insights to make accurate,
    actionable decisions for specific employee and business goals,
    organizations must avoid a "one-size-fits-all" model.
  2. Historically tight labor markets and emerging technologies put
    people managers in the spotlight.
    With unemployment low and the
    exodus of baby boomers reaching critical mass, employers globally will
    face a historically tight labor market. Sourcing great candidates has
    never been more difficult, and retention will become an all-out
    dogfight. While an employer's brand, innovative hiring technologies,
    and proactive recruiting practices are more important than ever, it's
    organizations with the best people managers that will ultimately
    prevail. Organizations will place an increased focus on leadership
    development as a retention strategy – especially as Millennials flock
    to middle management – and measuring manager effectiveness will be
    HR's top challenge in 2019. Additionally, as AI and machine learning
    take over mundane managerial tasks, freeing up managers to spend more
    time with their people, deficits in leadership competencies will be
    exposed as management expectations continue to shift from a historical
    command-and-control model to a horizontal style that considers all
    perspectives and seeks innovative ways to inspire, develop, grow, and
    keep the top talent that drives business value.
  3. The changing face of education redefines trades and challenges
    traditional hiring practices.
    As the student loan debt crisis
    furthers the debate about the value of a college education and
    credentialing programs for job-specific skills emerge, tomorrow's best
    employees may take an unconventional path to employment. Competencies
    that once required a degree – such as coding, robotics, and data
    analytics – are being redefined as skilled trades with the rise of
    certificate and micro-credential programs. Also, as yesterday's jobs
    become augmented by automation, new skills will be required for
    traditionally "blue-collar" roles. Employers must revamp their hiring
    profiles and remove traditional job requirements to tap into this new
    pool of qualified candidates who will staff the shop floor, store
    floor, hospital floor, and top floor of the future. And, as
    Millennials become parents, many will likely urge their school-aged
    children to take an alternative educational path for a brighter
    financial future.
  4. Further fracturing of employment laws globally, nationally, and at
    the local level strain organizations.
    From minimum wage to sick
    pay, to fair scheduling proposals to the right to disconnect,
    governments around the world will continue localizing – and repealing
    – employment laws. Ever-changing regulations around the world will put
    increased strain on organizations to avoid sanctions, fines, crippling
    class action lawsuits, and reputation-damaging stories. Technology
    will be vital for organizations to manage scheduling-related mandates,
    ensure unbiased practices, monitor fatigue and overtime management,
    and ensure employees are paid accurately and fairly – all while
    providing analytical insights that surface risky managerial practices
    otherwise buried in a sea of employment data.
  5. Employee-agnostic flexibility, consumer-grade tech, and the rise of
    the occasional time worker redefine "work your way."
    employees – salaried, hourly, and gig – crave control over when,
    where, and how they work. While employers have put more focus on
    flexibility and alternative work schedules, most have been slow to
    reengineer processes that underpin how the organization runs. Tools
    must meet employees where they naturally work – such as on their
    mobile phone, tablet, or favorite social networking platforms. The gig
    economy and emergence of the "occasional-time worker" will force
    organizations to replace traditional hiring and scheduling processes
    with systems that enable workers to choose when, where, and how long
    they work. Mobile-friendly processes, self-service features, and
    immediate access to real-time data in a consumer-grade technology
    wrapper will help drive the next iteration of the flexibility
    phenomenon, as predictability of anytime work will empower employees
    to be more productive, make more intelligent decisions, and be more
  6. Greater emphasis on disaster preparedness as part of a holistic
    human capital management strategy.
    Disasters large and small,
    natural and man-made, have unfortunately become the norm.
    Organizations worldwide have been challenged to respond effectively to
    increasingly frequent crises, with HR, operations, and payroll forced
    to take center stage in the lives of affected employees. With more
    emphasis on company culture, caring, and "doing what's right" in a
    world where disasters – and a company's response to them – are
    frequently in the news, there is a new level of expectation for an
    organization's response, responsibility, and employee benefits.
    Organizations of all sizes must take a hard look at disaster policies,
    processes, and capabilities – including both taking care of employees
    in the moment and rebuilding in the wake of disaster, which will be
    near impossible for those operating on a DIY workforce management, HR,
    and payroll system. Sustainability plans that today primarily account
    for company assets and data will need to incorporate employees and
    their families.

The Workforce Institute at Kronos board members include:

  • In the Americas:
    David Almeda
    , chief people officer of Kronos; Natalie Bickford,
    group HR director at Merlin Entertainments; Joseph Cabral,
    chief human resources officer and president, workforce solutions at
    Press Ganey; Bob Clements, president at Axsium Group; David
    , CEO of Creelman Research; John Frehse,
    senior managing director at Ankura Consulting Group, LLC; China
    , a human capital management consultant, speaker, and writer
    who is former CEO of the Great Place to Work® Institute and
    former COO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); John
    , editor-at-large at ERE Media, award-winning journalist,
    and nationally recognized expert on leadership, talent management, and
    smart workforce practices; Sharlyn Lauby, The HR Bartender
    and president of ITM Group, Inc.; Alexandra Levit,
    business/workplace author, speaker, consultant, and futurist; Joyce
    , executive director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos; Dennis
    , chief employment officer at Cal Poly Pomona Foundation; Chris
    , director, strategic advisory at Kronos; Neil Reichenberg,
    executive director of IPMA-HR; Dan Schawbel, best-selling
    author and partner and research director at Future Workplace; Raciel
    , CEO at Leadex Solutions; and Mark Wales,
    workforce management industry advisor.
  • In Europe:
    Roland Axten
    , workforce management solutions explorer at
    Inter IKEA; Dr. Steffi Burkhart, speaker, author, and lecturer; Christian
    , entrepreneur and futurist speaker; Julia Hobsbawm,
    OBE, honorary professor, author, and writer; Simon Porter,
    digital HR services at NGA Human Resources; and Claire
    director at the Workforce Institute at Kronos, Europe
    and vice president EMEA professional services at Kronos.
  • In China:
    Danny Dai
    , vice president, Capgemini China; Dr. Huang Pei,
    CEO, editor-in-chief of E-Works; Kevin Peng, deputy
    secretary general of China Chain Store Association and deputy
    secretary general of China ECR Committee; Miao Qing, general
    manager of Kronos in Greater China; Yang Wei Guo, dean of
    school of labor and human resources at Renmin University of China; James
    , presales manager at Kronos in Greater China; Winnie
    , independent consultant; Xu Zheng, founder, CEO of
    Cofound Innovation Center; and Freedom Zhu, business
    partner at Allpku Consulting.

Supporting Resources

About The Workforce Institute at Kronos
The Workforce
Institute at Kronos provides research and education on critical
workplace issues facing organizations around the globe. By bringing
together thought leaders, The Workforce Institute at Kronos is uniquely
positioned to empower organizations with the knowledge and information
they need to manage their workforce effectively and provide a voice for
employees on important workplace issues. A hallmark of The Workforce
Institute's research is balancing the needs and desires of diverse
employee populations with the needs of organizations. For additional
information, visit

© 2019 Kronos Incorporated. All rights reserved. Kronos and the Kronos
logo are registered trademarks and Workforce Innovation That Works is a
trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. See a complete
list of Kronos
. All other trademarks, if any, are property of their
respective owners.

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