Five Business Trends to Embrace in 2012

keeping employees happy

Image by Laurie Luczak

Despite all the reports in the media about lack of employment opportunities in the UK at the moment, many businesses are actually struggling to hold on to their best staff. Often this is because they are failing to adapt to modern working conditions and so are not offering the same benefits as newer companies. There is a shifting trend towards taking more enjoyable/beneficial jobs over higher paid jobs and taking advantage of the strategies in this post could save you money as you don’t have to keep raising salaries to keep employees or go through costly hiring processes. It also helps to have the right management skills acquired through a management course

The last few years have seen a lot of changes in the world of work. The idea of fixed shifts, long commutes, and standard issue IT equipment seems almost archaic to the modern knowledge worker. Today, the trend is towards flexible hours, remote working, and unprecedented freedom when it comes to choosing the device or platform you work on. The when, where and how no longer matters, as long as you get the job done.

If your company hasn’t embraced modern technology and workplace trends yet, then check out this list of positive workplace trends that are well worth pushing for.

1. Smartphones and Tablets:

The trend towards hooking up your own mobile device to the company network is causing quite a headache for enterprise IT departments, but the benefits do outweigh the downsides. Most people are pretty attached to their mobiles, and allowing people to work wherever they are, on the platform they prefer, is a good way to enhance productivity.

2. Remote Working:

The roads are getting busier, and petrol prices are increasing. Commuting, in many cities, is a nightmare. So why not allow trusted workers to spend a lot of their time working from home? Many older employees would prefer to work from home instead of getting a raise (in some cases, this makes financial sense, as they save more money by dodging the commute than the raise would have given them). In that case, supporting working from home saves the company money too.

3. Web Conferencing:

Give your road warriors a little time to recover between trips by arranging web conferences instead of flying people to remote offices for every little thing. Not only will this save you money on air fares, and reduce your carbon footprint, it will let your travelling employees de-stress for a while between trips, which can only be a good thing.

Performance appraisals ensure everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet and are crucial for spotting and solving problems early. Read about the manager’s role in performance appraisals.

4. Corporate culture:

If you want to keep the best and the brightest among your employees, you’ll need to do a lot more than just offer a nice salary and benefits package. Give your employees something to be proud of, and something to feel part of. That could be corporate fund raisers, green initiatives, regular volunteer work, or an annual community day. Employees want to feel like they’re doing something positive, not just working for money.

5. Outsourcing

In many cases, outsourcing makes economic sense.  Some things, such as web order processing can be difficult to do in house, especially if demand is unpredictable, or your business is still growing. In addition, many jobs can be performed more cheaply abroad, not just because of cost of living differences, but because of tax issues.

The economies of scale make outsourcing a good option for customer service provision, web order processing, and manufacturing. If a company already has all of the infrastructure in place to provide web order processing for a few companies, it’s trivial for them to add you to the list. Instead of wasting money on investing in the tools needed for you to do your own processing, it makes sense to outsource it, and save your money for working on the things you do best.

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Andy Trainer

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