5 Workplace Trends in 2016 to Drive Your Organization to Success

By BlessingWhite , a Division of GP Strategies

In a world where change is constant and we no longer measure trends in annual increments, we believe that there are some fundamental changes in the workplace that should remain top of mind as you look to drive your business strategies in 2016.


These trends speak to an evolving workplace based on concepts about which we have been ardent supporters for years – the idea that creating an environment of shared responsibility, one that takes into account individual values and personal differences, is an environment that will not only foster a company’s success but will create a place where individuals have more great days at work.


Listen to this 60-minute discussion where we have a panel of industry experts give insights into these important topics:


  • Coaching Employees for Success and Performance Management
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • The Future of the Workplace
  • Dynamic Business Environment


Webinar Q&A


Q: ­Can you please explain further what group coaching looks like. It sounds like it’s just coaching more than one person at a time.


A: Peter Hawkins defines team coaching as: “direct interaction with a team intended to help members make coordinated and task appropriate use of their collective resources in accomplishing the team’s work.” Essentially, it’s important to consider all the resources of the team – skills, knowledge, finances, assets, abilities, etc., – when moving the team forward. Rather than just one person’s goals, it should be the overarching team’s goal that drives the coaching. It’s different than coaching more than one person at a time, in that it’s considering the entire team, and takes into account other stakeholders in the organization. ­


Q: ­In the Coaching trend it was referenced that managers need to know the employees professionally and personally. What was meant by personally as that area is usually of concern by leaders to learn about and keep it appropriate? ­


A: It is our belief that managers who know their employees on a more personal level have a better relationship and benefit from higher retention, higher productivity, and more. When we say professionally, we mean know your employee’s strengths, weaknesses, areas of opportunity, skillset, etc. Know when you can depend on them and for what tasks. When we say personally, we mean knowing what motivates them, what drives them, what their values are, and what means something to them. All of our employees are unique and therefore need different things from their manager. Knowing these things will only help you be a better manager. Imagine the impact on my employee’s morale when I say to him, “John, I know your kid has a tee-ball game today at 3pm…why don’t you take off and go see it…” And on a larger scale, simply knowing what incentivizes performance can go a long way in utilizing company resources appropriately, and motivating employees in a way that actually works.


Q: ­why the shortened “generation” just before Millennials? And what / why the “split” between the 2 parts of Millennials? (did some technology happen to split the group? ex: pre-internet / post-internet) we may need to drop the “generation” word at some point­


A: The two sub-sections of the Millennial generations are not broken out this way because of any event- I just decided to split them out to show that there are 2 cohorts within the Millennial generation that are in different stages of their career. Someone who is 35 is very different than someone who is a 19 year old college grad­, and they need a different approach to their development even though they are in the same generation.


Q: ­The emphasis for developing a “coaching culture” still seems largely on the accountability of the manager for creating this. What are you doing to develop employees to function as equal partners and agents in this trend? ­


A: We absolutely think that an effective coaching partnership is just that – a partnership. It requires two, so the employee is just as important in the equation as the manager. I think some of this is happening naturally, as the younger workforce is beginning to ask for coaching more regularly. At BlessingWhite, we provide training to individual contributors that help them understand their values, determine some career ambitions, and prepare them to have a conversation with their manager about what they need. We believe that the employee needs to be coachable, if the manager is going to coach. We also believe that an employee “owns” their own career – so it’s their responsibility to find the opportunities to be developed, and move forward. That said, we also know that career coaching specifically is a huge gap in the workplace. While an employee still owns their career, we see tremendous opportunity for a manager to take a more proactive approach in coaching employees for success in their career movement.


Q: ­What is 70/20/10?­


A: 70/20/10 is best viewed as a rule of thumb or a useful guideline when planning learning transfer. To quote from Wikipedia: Morgan McCall and his colleagues working at the Center for Creative Leadership are usually credited with originating the 70:20:10 model. It theorizes that learning in the workplace originates from a mix of:


  • formal learning (~10%),
  • learning from others, watching others model behaviors (~20%) – McCall’s study suggests the boss is the main source although in today’s workplace people have visibility on many more sources of inspiration.
  • Learning by being put in challenging situations where those skills are required, and learning through experience.


While these rations and the model are hotly debated, the key takeaway is that formal learning in itself can provide a good foundation or framework, but it’s in applying the skills that adoption and reinforcement occurs. So when we plan a development effort, we provide support to the 10 (facilitated learning), the 20 (developing leaders who can be role models, building in peer-coaching) and the 70 (on the job assignments, opportunities to be conscious of how and when to apply the skills on the job and how to learn from the experience).


Q: ­Do you have white papers that outline some or all of these trends? If so, how can we access them?­


A: BlessingWhite has many resources that support the trends mentioned during the webinar recording. You can find them all on our Employee Engagement, Career & Leadership Development Resources page.


Q: When looking at the data more closely why do you think the U.S. has less team citizenship than other countries?”


A: Our hypothesis is that those countries that privilege communal values (vs. more individualist societies), tend to respond more to inclusion. But the fact that creating an inclusive environment can impact team citizenship by almost 29% is still impressive, ask those organizations that are trying to increase employee engagement by 2-5%.


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