It’s that time of year when offices take on the appearance of the Marie Celeste and there’s more talk about end of year festivities than end of year targets.

That can only mean it is time to take a step back and think about the trends which will drive HR and reward in the year ahead. Here’s my take on what we’ll be thinking about in 2015.

·       The war for talent – it’s an old phrase but the biggest challenge for a growing private sector will be the need to compete hard to get the talent it needs to grow. In a market where employees have better choice over who they work for, organisations will need to look hard at their employee value proposition and the elements of the rewards mix they will need to improve.

·       Employee wellbeing – it’s not just choosey employees who will drive organisations to think about how they support employee wellbeing. The trend for employers to better support the financial, physical and mental health will continue to be driven by government policies like auto-enrolment and the return to work service which launched this month.

·       Focus on the psychological contract at work –  the focus on employee engagement in the past few years has put meaning at work at the centre of driving deeper relationships at work. I wonder whether 2015 will be the year that organisations start to further re-evaluate what they need to do to build this relationship and focus on putting employees, not organisations first in a bid to drive better results.

·       Changing HR practice – the final and most substantial challenge in 2015 will be how practitioners step up to the huge changes their organisations face as the age diversity and structure of organisations shifts further. I see marketing skills and practice playing a greater role in meeting the challenge of attracting, motivating and rewarding people in this environment so organisations get and keep the people they need.

Time will tell whether my predictions will be accurate. But right or wrong, taking time out to think about the big picture is an investment everyone should make from time-to-time. I hope this has stimulated your thinking and I will be back sharing more thoughts in the year ahead.

I am sales and marketing director for employee benefits provider Edenred. You can find blogs and insight at or follow me on twitter @andy_philpott