Well, the New Year is here! And along with it comes the usual trends, predictions and resolutions.

We’ve been busy getting the feel from our clients on what’s hot for the year ahead….from employee experience and service design to mobile technology and a focus on wellbeing. Here’s what the crystal ball is saying. 

1. Employee experience (EX)

Employee experience (EX) has been talked about for years (we’ve based our business model on it!) but this is the year that it should become ingrained into every company’s culture.

Why? Because in the past, employees often stayed with companies for years, working their way up through the ranks. Now, people are taking a much more entrepreneurial view of their careers. Changing jobs often is common, as people look to forge their own career paths, develop new skills and drive personal development.

Keeping hold of talent relies on giving people a fulfilling experience at every single step of their journey from initial brand recognition through hire to retire. Culture, processes and environment all need to be aligned and each area of the business – from the CEO to management, HR, IT, marketing etc – need to work together to make it happen. That way, it’s consistent from the employees’ perspective.

Top tip: Map your employee journey and make every stage as good as it can be.

2. Service design

Service design is how businesses plan and organise people, infrastructure, technology and other elements of a service to improve both the service itself and the relationship with customers. It’s about looking at the journey and all of the touchpoints along the way and re-thinking what works, what doesn’t, and then taking the steps needed to improve. We’ve been doing it for years with the employee journey – but this is where the employee journey, customer journey and everything else meets!

As Mat Hunter, chief design officer at the Design Council says: “ Service design is the shaping of service experiences so that they really work for people. Removing the lumps and bumps that make them frustrating, and then adding some magic to make them compelling.”

Top tip: Employee engagement is a vital part of service design, so try and get all departments working together.

3. Wellbeing moves up the agenda

Mental and physical wellbeing programmes are moving up the business agenda, thanks to a growing recognition of how a person’s individual wellbeing can impact their workplace performance. In fact, we have three clients already this year looking for creative ways to activate their new wellbeing programmes and experiences.

Wellbeing benefits are also becoming more attractive to employees. Historically, these have focused things like gym memberships and healthy eating, but other areas to focus on are work/life balance, quality of sleep and stress management.

Top tip: Don’t just have great wellbeing benefits – shout about them! We love this article on communicating health and wellness benefits.

4. Simplicity reigns supreme

The onslaught of technology in every area of our lives means that choice is more abundant than ever before. Nearly every single moment of a person’s day now requires a choice to be made. While this is empowering, it can also be overwhelming! With so many channels now available, keeping it simple will also help keep things consistent, which is also important.

Top tip: From benefits packages to reward and recognition, internal communications campaigns need to be kept simple, straightforward and easy to understand in order to achieve cut through.

5. Mobile technology

We’re excited about the rise of mobile technology and how this can be used to engage with employees. Businesses want to bring info right to where people need it, and responsive design for all devices is the ideal way of doing this. Even the big boys are launching new workplace specific offerings, with Facebook set to launch its own Enterprise Social Network.

Top tip: Before you launch a digital platform, do your research! Find out how employees want to be communicated with, and what devices they have available – especially if you have remote workers.

Good luck for 2016!
Whatever the year ahead holds, we know it’s going to be a good one! Employer branding, internal communications and employee engagement are firmly on the boardroom agenda and it’s great to see so many companies investing. Have a great 2016 everyone.

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