This is the time of year when everyone likes to predict stuff. The sportscasters are predicting who will be in the Super Bowl. The television pundits are predicting what Obama will do during his first 100 days in office. Economists are predicting what industry will be bailed out (or bridged) next.
Well, the Bartender didn’t want to be left out. So, since one of the most common things to do at bars is have a couple of drinks and start prognosticating about the future…I decided to develop my own predictions for 2009.
Coffee shops will be the new virtual office. Look for your local Starbucks or Joe’s Java Shop to start promoting themselves as a great place to meet clients and network. Companies will have to figure out how they’re going to embrace this flexibility and put measures in place to protect their data in these WiFi hot spots.
The threat of union activity will cause companies to finally resume training. We all know the best line of defense in an organizing campaign is a well-trained management team. Sad to say that training will take place for a reactionary reason but at least managers will get the training they need to effectively manage the workforce.
Crime-related problems will increase even as the economy recovers. HR Pros will hear more employees talking about personal theft and crime, identity theft, workplace theft and violence.
Baby Boomers will change their minds about retirement by either staying in the workplace longer or returning to the work force. Thank goodness! The Labor Department told us years ago the Boomers were retiring but many companies have done nothing to prepare. Companies should take advantage of this extra time and create succession plans and mentoring programs so when the Boomers really do leave they’re ready for it.
Employees are going to push for ‘results oriented’ work environments. If they have to do more with less…let it be about the work result not about punching a clock. This is going to translate into long-overdue revamps of performance management mentality and systems.
Customer service will be the new marketing strategy. Consumers will start to demand better service…with their purchasing dollars. Low prices alone will not be a sure-fire means for attracting and keeping customers.
And the buzzword for 2009 will be ‘transparency’. We are already starting to see it in marketing to customers. It will become a demand of employees as well. Social media will play a big part in companies becoming transparent to both their internal and external customers. Expect to see terms like transparent organization, false transparency, transparency quotient, shift to transparency, etc. Transparency as a core competency? I can see it happening.
So those are my predictions for 2009…it will be interesting to see how they stand up next year.
Have a wonderful New Year! Thank you for reading. You guys are simply the best. I’m one very lucky blogger.
Oh and P.S. Since I do try to have fun with this blog and I remain an incurable foodie…here’s my food prediction for next year. With the economy forcing people to eat out less and do more home cooking and entertaining, I expect to see the casserole make a comeback in 2009. I’m not talking Tuna Helper here…but flavorful one-dish meals that are not only healthy for our waistlines but our grocery bills. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Food Network doesn’t devote a whole series to it.