Three Mega Trends to Watch For in 2019

Three Mega Trends to Watch For in 2019

Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons. Maybe it’s the inevitability of the rapidly evolving world we live in. But, each year, I spend a good amount of time with colleagues thinking about how the major economic, sociological, technological, and cultural trends we are experiencing will impact us, our leaders, our employees, and HR professionals in the coming year.

We like to explore multiple topics, always looking at issues through the lens of putting people first. Through these discussions, we extend and expand the ideas until we see emerging patterns everywhere we look. The value of analogous fields is never lost in this process, as we gather innovative and nascent solutions to the problems posed by these trends in unexpected industries and contexts.

Throughout 2018, our team focused on artificial intelligence, in particular “People First” AI, hyper-personalization and its necessity in leadership, and humanizing work with breakthrough diversity and inclusion initiatives. The growing research and attention paid to these topics by organizations globally has certainly advanced our understanding of these trends and has brought new solutions to the market from Ultimate Software and others.

So, we turn now to what 2019 will bring us.

The three mega trends below are not brand-new concepts, but they will take on a critical urgency in 2019 due to a convergence of technological, economic, and socio-cultural factors.


Well-being at Work

With the dizzying pace of change and the mind-blowing exponential growth of data and technology available to us showing no signs of letting up, we are all facing new levels of overload. The impact of this overload is manifesting itself in unanticipated ways. Our emotional, social, and physical well-being at work is directly impacted by the stressors associated with overload, and organizations will struggle to help employees cope and, more importantly, thrive in such environments without a new approach. Far beyond wellness programs, organizations will have to explore creative new workspace concepts, design work with overall employee well-being in mind, and offer transformative technologies to help monitor and change employee behavior. In addition, the work of inclusion and belonging will take on even greater importance for business success. 


Preparing People for the Future of Work

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. Yet, when we bring it up and read about it, it’s generally in terms of job loss due to AI and automation, the primary drivers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The urgency in 2019 comes from the fact that, to date, we have done more talking and less doing – and action is needed before we reach a global skills crisis. HR and business leaders have done little to prepare people for the future of work by systematically and intentionally reskilling and upskilling them.

The future workforce is a blended one, with humans and machines working side by side. We cannot leave the future success of our businesses to chance, yet that is precisely what many organizations are doing by leaving reskilling entirely up to employees. We must ensure employees’ voices are heard throughout this daunting learning process, and every employee should contribute to defining their development paths, but not without guidance and support from their employers. The shift has to start with understanding a new hierarchy of needs for employees, in which we deeply understand their motivations and dreams and actively include them in their future performance development – all of which result in helping drive better performance for organizations.


Creating the Connected, Collaborative Enterprise

The third major force impacting our workplaces and workforces is the Internet of Things(IoT). The IoT manifests itself differently in the workplace compared with in our private lives, with our smart lights, thermostats, and connected kitchens. At work, we have new opportunities to create a highly connected and collaborative enterprise. With the IoT at work – smart work apps that might recognize when praise is given and record it, smart meeting spaces and wearable devices that pick up on stress and stressors – we can elevate the traditional employee and manager self-service models to completely new levels (at last) and transform the Digital Employee Experience into an insightful and interactive one.

With data democratization that both fosters higher levels of trust between employees and employers while enabling people to make better and smarter decisions for the enterprise and themselves, organizational outcomes will improve. We must also be aware of and balance the ethics of capturing new kinds of interaction data and the flow of information that moves between and within the connected and collaborative enterprise in the era of boundary-less organizations. It will be crucial to ensure we respect how people work and honor their private data while helping them thrive.

While these mega trends are not entirely new to the world of work and HR, they have certainly not been addressed to the extent they need to be to ensure our people can maximize their contributions to our organizations while achieving more meaningful levels of professional and personal growth and success.

For the sake of our organizations and, above all, our people, let’s make 2019 the year that changes it all!


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Weekly Market Summary – 14th October 2018

Weekly Market Summary – 14th October 2018

Sean Burgess | PraxisIFM Asset Manager and Co-Founder Emirates HR

With the S&P 500 falling over 5 percent across Wednesday and Thursday – the largest two-day decline since February. Several compounding issues decreased investor confidence, including the US trade conflict with China and signs of weakness in the global economy. US stocks are down significantly from recent highs, with the small-cap Russell 2000 approaching correction territory.


Identified by a fall of 20 percent from a recent high, due partly to the global rout but also the government’s refusal to compromise on their budget deficit plans that have been widely criticised by EU officials. Other European benchmarks suffered similar losses throughout the week with France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX 30 down 5 percent a piece, whilst the FTSE 100 dropped 4.4 percent.


As measured by the blue-chip Nikkei 225 Stock Average which is down 7 percent from the 27-year high it set at the start of the month. The largest declines came from companies with the greatest exposure to China, with technology and industrials falling the most. On a positive note, investors believe that the third quarter earnings season will produce strong results across the economy.


The first loss in five weeks, with Brent crude temporarily dipping below $80 a barrel midweek – although the global benchmark recovered to settle at $80.43. Like most assets, oil was caught up in the sell-off with concerns of the global economy creating uncertainty about future energy consumption. Affirming these fears, both OPEC and the IEA lowered their global demand forecasts for this year and next.

In other financial news:
  • Brazilian shares rise on election outcome, with the Ibovespa index up over percent on Monday, after Jair Bolsonaro won 46 percent of the first round of voting.
  • Turkey’s inflation-fighting plan disappoints, with investors concerned that ‘encouraging’ retailers to reduce prices by 10 percent will hurt corporate profits.
  • Venezuela’s inflation rate hits 488,865 percent, in the 12 months ending in September, as the oil-rich nation’s economic collapse creates severe hyperinflation.
  • Prince Alwaleed’s net worth falls 58 percent, down to $15.2 billion, after Saudi Arabia’s richest man’s stake in Kingdom Holdings fell 70 percent from its 2014 high.
10 Tips for Staying Happy at Work

10 Tips for Staying Happy at Work

Before you start looking for greener career pastures, try these tips for maintaining a happy outlook on the job.


If you find yourself longing for greener work pastures, don’t immediately go looking for the first exit ramp off of your chosen career path. The Balance Team, which specializes in professional- and personal-growth seminars for administrative and executive assistants in Fortune 1000 companies, suggests these 10 tips for staying content at work:


1. Keep Personal Problems Personal

When you’re preoccupied with personal issues, it’s difficult to concentrate or be happy at work, says Alison Rhodes, a founding partner of The Balance Team. By all means, make sure you have your kids covered in the event of an emergency, but realize that nobody’s personal life is ever going to be completely problem-free. Just as you need to let go of work to enjoy your time at home, it’s important to leave personal worries at home so you can focus and be productive at work.


2. Create an Office Nest

“You are at your job for at least eight hours a day, which is more time than you probably spend in your bed,” says Jennifer Star, a founding partner of The Balance Team. “Make your space your own, decorate your area as much as your company policy permits, and make yourself as comfortable and relaxed as you can be in your office.


3. Develop an Office Support System

“Gathering a circle of colleagues who share similar backgrounds or lifestyles can take a lot of pressure off you at work,” says Rhodes. “When you are able to voice your feelings to people who understand, it can really help minimize stress.


4. Eat Healthy and Drink Lots of Water

“Maintaining a good diet and keeping yourself properly hydrated throughout your workday can really make a big difference in your energy level and attitude,” says Shirly Weiss, a certified holistic health and nutritional counselor and consulting expert for The Balance Team. “And if you can manage to maintain a diet of whole foods, as opposed to refined foods such as sugar and bread, then you’ll really be ahead of the game.


5. Be Organized

Create a manageable schedule to handle your workload, suggests Stacy Raden, a founding partner of The Balance Team. “A sense of empowerment stems from accomplishment,” she says. “When you feel overwhelmed, it tends to intensify dissatisfaction. By being proactive and taking control, employees can feel a sense of satisfaction, enhanced confidence and motivation.


6. Move Around

“Working in an office can be a very sedentary job, so it’s especially important to your overall sense of health and happiness to take a few minutes during your workday to get up and move a little,” says Jason Bergund, founding director of Dancetherapy, a dance class, and a consulting expert for The Balance Team.


7. Don’t Try to Change Your Coworkers

“You can’t change anyone; you can only change the way you react to them,” says Star. “Don’t let other people’s actions affect you. Just figure out a way to resolve conflicts and avert uncomfortable situations.”


8. Reward Yourself

Identify a reward outside of your job, and indulge yourself, says Raden. Whether it be dinner with friends, a movie, exercise or a manicure, treat yourself every once in awhile. Just as stress from home can interfere with work, the positive aspects of your life can influence mood at work as well.


9. Take a Breather

“In yoga, we practice the breath of joy, in which we inhale a long breath and then exhale laughter,” says Sarah Schain, founding director of Yoga Tales studios for children and a consulting expert for The Balance Team. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Inhale deeply, then exhale laughter and bend forward. Try to do this movement 10 times.


10. Focus on the Positive

“Identify the things that you like at work, even if they are as simple as your coworkers or the nice view from your office window,” says Raden. “You create your own mind-set. If you stress the positives, you will make your job more enjoyable. Worrying about the negatives may cause you to become overwhelmed.”


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47 Habits of Highly Successful Employees

47 Habits of Highly Successful Employees

What do the most successful people out there—the ones who get promotions, raises, and opportunities seemingly handed to them—know that everyone else doesn’t?

Turns out, quite a bit.

We turned to our career experts to bring you a complete guide to how the best of the best approach their work lives. The good news? Every one of these habits is something that you can start doing—today.


1. They Think About the Skills They Need for the Next Job

We all (OK, most of us) try to be awesome at the skills in our job descriptions, but the most successful people also focus on what they’ll need to know to succeed in their next jobs. Not sure what skills you should be developing? Check out career expert Laura Katen’s tips for honing in on exactly what to reach for next.


2. They Speak Up in Meetings

Especially if you’re in a large meeting, intimidated by the higher-ups there, or don’t know much about what’s going on, it’s easy to sit tight and listen. But the people who get ahead don’t wait for permission or an invitation to speak—they make sure everyone in the room knows they have something to contribute. Even if you don’t have a suggestion? “Speaking up to advocate for a co-worker’s point of view or asking a well thought-out question can go just as far,” says leadership coach Jo Miller.


3. They Dress for the Job They Want

You’ve heard it a thousand times—but it consistently holds true. People who get ahead at work look to those above them and emulate not only the clothes they wear, but the ways in which they present themselves in the office, interact with others, and approach their work.


4. They Get to Know the Higher-Ups

It’s pretty hard to get promoted if your boss’ boss doesn’t know who you are—so make it a point to get to know the higher-ups in your department. Check out Sara McCord’s tips for talking to your boss’ boss the right way.


5. They Know How to Communicate With Those Higher-Ups

If you’ve ever been in an executive-level meeting, you know that c-suiters communicate a bit differently than the rest of us. So, if you want to make it there someday, it’s key to learn how to talk the talk. Career coach Lea McLeod gives a few tips for getting started.


6. They Don’t Panic When They’re Caught in the Elevator With a CEO

Instead, they make the most of the opportunity. The good news? We’ve got three conversation starters so you’ll always be prepared.


7. They Take Charge

When faced with a workplace challenge, a project roadblock, or low team morale, most people shrug and say, “Well, there’s not much I can do about it.” The most successful people, on the other hand, take action.


8. They Look for Leadership Opportunities

Whether it’s offering to lead a project team, volunteering to mentor a junior employee, or taking it upon themselves to train the new interns, people who want to (and do!) get promoted don’t wait for leadership opportunities to come from them—they look around, see where a leader is needed, and jump in.


9. They Make Allies Across the Organization

Most people work hard to impress their bosses. The most successful people work hard to impress everyone from the mail room clerk and receptionist to their peers and superiors—because they know they’re nothing without a team of people on their side.


10. They Give People Their Full Attention

“Listening is one of the top skills employers seek in potential and current employees, and it’s correlated with perceived ability to lead,” McLeod explains. Giving people undivided attention, helping them feel motivated and energized, and showing them that you care about their thoughts and opinions is more powerful than you know.


11. They Stay Professional

Would you want a manager who misses deadlines, forgets to answer emails, and gossips about other employees? Of course not—so if you want to get ahead, you shouldn’t be displaying those behaviors, either.


12. They Show Up on Time

Not just because it’s the nice thing to do, but because it ensures they get a seat at the conference room table, not one that’s crammed in the back of the room.


13. They Think Like Managers, Not Employees

Employees wait to be told what to do—managers think strategically about what needs to be done, and then they do it. Employees do their own job well—managers are committed to the team doing well—so they mentor other employees, pitch in when they’re needed, and go that extra mile if it means the works going to be done better.

And people who get promoted think like managers.


14. They Record Their Accomplishments

Unfortunately, even if your boss generally thinks you do a great job, he or she probably doesn’t keep a running tally of your achievements. And that’s why the most successful people keep track of their own sales numbers, project results, and awesome client feedback. (To get started, we recommend keeping a “brag folder” in your inbox.)


15. They Communicate Those Accomplishments

To take it one step further, they don’t just keep those accomplishments to themselves—they communicate them at regular check-ins, at the end of big projects, and most definitely at their official reviews. (Here are a few ways to do it without sounding like a jerk.)


16. They Focus on Results, Not Just Activities

Just like you would on a resume, don’t just talk about the to-dos you’ve knocked off your list—talk about the quantitative results of your work. Think: “In last week’s vendor meeting, I was able to negotiate a 10% discount, which will save us $20,000 next year,” versus, “Last week’s vendor meeting went great!”


17. They Pay Attention to Who Else is Getting Promoted

The rules of promotions are a bit different every place you go. Some companies reward their top-performing salespeople, others advance those who can smooth-talk their way through any meeting. Even if there’s no real pattern, you can learn a lot about what it takes to (eventually) move up at your organization by watching the actions, habits, and accomplishments of others who’ve been successful.


18. They Don’t Compare Themselves to Others

Of course, it’s easy to think that just because Tim got a raise after being at the company for a year, you should, too.

Bad idea. You’ll make a much better case for advancing within your company by focusing on what you’ve accomplished—and what you can continue to do in your new role—than whining about how you stack up to your colleagues.


19. They Pitch In

At most companies, there’ll be opportunities to join committees or take on responsibilities that aren’t necessarily part of your job description: Your company is overhauling its social media procedures and needs a representative from every department to sit on the project team, say, or your office is putting on a major fundraiser and needs someone to coordinate with the event planning company. The most successful people pitch in—so they’re always right there where the action is.


20. They Listen to Feedback

Feedback can be tough to take. But top employees have figured out how to take it seriously without taking it personally—and more importantly, how to put it into action. (Here’s how they do it.)


21. They Solve Problems

Anyone can drop a complaint into the suggestion box, but the marker of a truly brilliant employee is coming up with solutions to those problems. Becoming a problem solver shows that you care—not only about your own career, but about the long-term health of the business as well.


22. They Identify Inefficiencies

Even if there aren’t big problems, there are probably things in your workplace that could be done better or more efficiently. And if you can be the one who identifies those things—as well as the way to fix them? You won’t only make your life easier—you’ll prove to your boss that you’re ready to improve the entire department’s operations.


23. They Steer Clear of Gossip

You can and should identify problems within your company, but you should not pontificate about those problems in the break room—which gives the impression that you’re looking for an audience, instead of a solution.


24. But They Don’t Avoid Politics Altogether

Knowing the unofficial rules of your office—how communication happens, who’s on the CEO’s side (and who’s not), which teams move and shake and which stagnate—may be playing the politics game. But it’s a game that will get you ahead.


25. They Keep Tabs on the Business as a Whole

Senior leaders don’t just know what’s happening in their own functional area—they know what’s going on in their business as a whole so they can contribute to the big picture. To get started, set up a Google Alert with your company’s name so you’re always kept up-to-date on what’s happening.


26. They Keep Tabs on Other Parts of the Business

If there’s an area you don’t know much about—like finance, HR, or supply chain—introduce yourself to people in that department and ask if you can shadow them for an afternoon to learn about what they do.


27. They Commit to Learning

Learning about the company, the industry, and the world at large—the most successful people are asking questions, attending conferences and courses, and always working to improve upon their skill set and learn something new.


28. They Stay Positive

“You don’t need to blind every passerby with your pearly whites, but remember that no matter how close your deadline or how heavy your workload, other people will take their cues from you,” says LearnVest’s Libby Kane. “If you’re snapping at co-workers and frowning, they’ll snap and frown right back. Instead, take a breath, put on a smile, and show your boss you appreciate the opportunity.” It’ll go further than you know.


29. They Socialize

Fair or not, bosses promote people they enjoy spending time with (and will enjoy spending a lot more time with). Promotable people work hard from 9 to 5, but they also make a point to make it to happy hour.


30. They Pay Attention to Body Language

Because 93% of what we say has nothing to do with our words. To look like a leader when you speak, “stand up to speak if possible, with feet comfortably apart, shoulders back, chin up, and expansive arms, so that your body language adds credibility to your message,” says Miller. “It works when seated, too; sitting up straight with arms out increases the space you take up, which is a demonstration of power.”


31. They Know How to Pitch Ideas (the Right Way)

Smart people are full of ideas—but brilliant people also have the ability to sell those ideas to everyone else, sharing not only why the idea is a great one, but how it will impact the team and business. McCord has a few great pointers.


32. They’re Comfortable With Pressure

“Start getting comfortable with pressure. In fact, go out of your way to put yourself in uncomfortable situations,” says Jeff Vijungco, vice president of Adobe’s Global Talent organization. “When you do this often enough, you’ll be more immune to pressure when you are stress-tested—like in an impromptu meeting with the CEO.”


33. They Look Cool, Calm, and Collected (Even When They’re Not)

When you’re angling for a raise, in the running for a promotion, or just flat-out trying to impress, there’s no doubt your superiors will look at how you handle your workload (translation: stress). So, when you’re crashing on a deadline or tackling a new assignment, it’s important to handle stress in style, with the appearance of an unshakeable, “I got this” attitude. (Here are a few pro tips for doing just that.)


34. They Don’t Over-Apologize

“You may think apologies are a good way to build relationship and express concern for another’s well-being, but they can actually undermine your professional demeanor,” notes McLeod. “In her book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, Lois Frankel posits, ‘Apologizing for unintentional, low-profile, non-egregious errors erodes our self-confidence, and in turn, the confidence others have in us.’”


35. They Look for Opportunities to Get in Front of Others

How do people get the opportunity to present at conferences, get involved in big projects, or attend the right meetings? They ask for those opportunities (and they never turn them down when they come along).


36. They Don’t Worry About Perfection

“I know perfection is an ideal many of us strive to achieve, but when you get down to it, ‘perfect’ rarely comes up in performance reviews or is given as grounds for a promotion,” says career expert Jennifer Winter. What’s more important? Trying new things, being willing to learn and grow, and constantly striving to get to the next level, even if you make a mistake or two along the way.


37. They Own Up to Their Mistakes

Of course, they know how to deal with those mistakes the right way—by apologizing (once), figuring out how to fix what went wrong, and making a plan to make sure it never happens again.


38. They Take Opportunities They’re Afraid Of

“When you’re offered a big opportunity, consider it carefully—even if it scares the heck out of you. In the end, high risk often leads to high reward. But if you turn down every opportunity that comes your way, you won’t even have the chance to succeed,” saysDaily Muse writer Avery Augustine.


39. They’re Not Afraid to Ask for Help

“Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength,” says Elliott Bell, director of marketing of The Muse. “No one got to where they are today without help along the way.”


40. They Don’t Say Yes to Everything

Because if they did, they’d never finish what’s truly important. “As you go through the day, do frequent reality checks. Stop each hour and quickly ask yourself: Did the last hour contribute to my most important goals?” says McLeod. “If not, vow to make the next 60 minutes better and start again.”


41. They Constantly Think About Their Careers

Upwardly mobile people don’t let a couple of years go by without really thinking about moving up—where their career is headed is regularly on their mind. “Every year or two, spend some time really thinking about your career,” says career coach Christie Mims. “Go out and warm up your network, check out new opportunities, and do some salary comparisons. You make smarter career decisions when you have real data.”


42. They Always Know What They Need to Work On

Do you know exactly where you need to grow, your boss’ goals for your future, the timing of your next review, the timing of promotions and raises at your company, and who besides your boss you should be impressing?


43. They Know What They Need to Do Their Best Work

Whether it’s a full no-meeting day, a quiet hour in the morning to get focused work done, or regular check-ins with their team, successful people know exactly what they need to get their work done—and they’re not afraid to make it happen. (Want to up your own productivity? Sign up for our free “Hack Your Work Life” class.)


44. They Actually Like Their Jobs

Because, otherwise, what’s the point?


45. They Ask for What They Want (and How to Get There)

We’re sure there are people out there who’ve been promoted without asking for it, but a much more certain approach is to tell your manager exactly what you want. Try: “I’m not sure I’ve shared this before, but I’d really like to make manager level, and I feel I’m more or less ready for the challenge. What can I do to get there?”


46. They Don’t Stop Reaching Higher

While a promotion is something to (seriously) celebrate, successful people don’t see it as the end goal. They see it as just one step on a path to a long, fulfilling career.


47. They Read The Muse’s Daily Newsletter (Obviously)

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