5 Ways HR Leaders Can Monitor Global Workplace Trends

global workplace trends

Monitoring global workplace trends is a critical part of leading a successful HR organization. Here's a closer look at what CHROs should consider.

An understanding of global workplace trends is essential for attracting top talent in today's competitive business environment. According to the ADP Research Institute® study, The Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workforce, 82 percent of workers feel positively about technology changes and innovation that lead to "deeper connections and more opportunities," while 45 percent fear that automation may ultimately replace them. Tuning into workforce trends and worker attitudes in different countries gives CHROs an advantage; yet many naturally focus on what's happening in their own countries.

Expanding visibility into other parts of the world can provide insight into trends, movements and ideas that ultimately benefit your organization and your team.

Here are five strategies for CHROs to tap into international workforce trends and determine what to integrate into their organizations's global employment initiatives.

1. Globalization With Fewer Global Boundaries

Although globalization created the modern international workforce structure as we know it, new trends in remote working and better collaborative technology are breaking down boundaries. International teams are acting less as disparate outposts working on specific projects and more as integrated teams. A study by Global Workplace Analytics shows that 50 percent of workers hold a job that's compatible with telework, 20 to 25 percent are working remotely at least part of the time and 90 percent of workers would like the option for part-time remote work.

As remote working arrangements, contract workers and global teams collaborating across borders become the norm, the face of the global workforce is changing. For CHROs, that raises important questions. What cultural and technology systems support collaboration? Do trends in remote working vary between locations or worker groups?

2. Evolving Definitions of Security

Meeting global employee expectations around security affects everything from compensation and benefits to handling employee communications. The evolving global employment landscape has shifted — and with it, employees' expectations of their relationships with specific employers.

As a gig-based and flexible work environment becomes the norm, workers see security in the form of their professional networks, their skill sets and their ability to find work from different employers consistently. As workers' demands for security and compensation change, CHROs will have the opportunity to redefine the work environment and employment structures to meet these needs.

3. Geographic Talent Clusters and the Global Workforce

Recent research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) highlighted the growth of the geographic talent cluster. For example, cities like Hong Kong, Boston and Toronto have become known as epicenters for developing certain types of expertise.

For CHROs, tuning into where talent clusters are developing can provide a strategic advantage in talent acquisition. It's critical to stay focused on where there are pockets of talent in areas like biotech, finance or coding. Connecting with those specialized groups — and understanding the unique trends and cultures that emerge from each "pocket" — can keep a steady flow of ideas and fresh talent into the organization's pipeline.

4. The Growing Importance of Meaning

One of the key themes emerging in the global workforce environment is the importance of meaning. According to Pew Research, millennials have surpassed Gen Xers as the largest segment in today's workforce. ADP's Evolution of Work report found that younger workers are increasingly motivated by finding personal meaning in their work and making a difference — even beyond a lucrative salary.

So it's critical to stay in tune with the evolving needs of millennials globally. For example, according to the New York Times, Google addresses that issue by allocating 20 percent of each employee's time to individual passion projects.

5. Integrating Global Trends

HR leaders need to re-imagine their own learning agendas, and there's an opportunity to challenge the status quo and redefine which workforce trends are in the viewfinder. Whether it's reading the latest research on workforce trends or maintaining open lines of communication with workers in different regions, organizations benefit in multiple ways from staying in touch with emerging approaches to work.

Insights into the latest developments, human capital management experiments and worker needs can lead to new processes, technologies and approaches to work. No matter where workers are located, innovation that leads to higher global productivity and a happier workforce makes it easier to deliver quality HR experiences.

For more information on the latest global workplace trends, download the report: The Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workplace.