Will 2014 Be The Year of the Employee?

Yes, according to Josh Bersin’s predictions on talent, leadership and HR, based on the results of Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends’ latest global study. Bersin pronounced 2014 as “The Year of the Employee” in which “Attraction, Retention, and Engagement Will Really Matter,” and he’s not alone in his thinking. A renewed focus on talent management is echoed by Scott Hebner, IBM’s VP of Social Business:

“In a world were employees move from job to job at a rapid pace, when it comes to human capital, loyalty trumps everything. Organizations are searching for a means to not only recruit the right candidates, but more importantly retain and nurture that talent to become passionate, engaged and loyal.”

Forecasting a sharp rise in employee turnover in 2014, Hay Group senior principal, Mark Royal, advocates:

“To keep high value employees from leaving in search of more favorable work arrangements, firms must address engagement and enablement challenges.”

Many HR researchers cite the growth of the global economy and technology in fueling strong competition for talent. Yet effective engagement is a challenge as Bersin notes:

“Companies have reduced costs, restructured, rationalized spending, and pushed people to work harder than ever. More than 60% of organizations tell us one of their top [concerns] is dealing with ‘the overwhelmed employee.'”

Competing for talent isn’t new. What I find most encouraging, however, is the renewed focus on attracting, engaging, and retaining people.

So will 2014 really be the year of the employee or just wishful thinking? We’ll see …

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