Top 10 Workplace Trends in 2017

There will be a greater emphasis on real-time feedback, daily manager-employee relationships, and the need for managers to acquire the skills to coach employees.

Industrial organizational (I-O) psychologists study workplace issues of critical relevance to business, including talent management, coaching, assessment, selection, training, organizational development, performance, and work-life balance. Based on a survey by The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) of 800 of its members (, here are the Top 10 workplace needs I-O psychologists are predicting businesses will want to address in 2017:

#10 Increased focus on employee health and wellness: Research continues to illuminate the effects of stress on employee satisfaction, motivation, effectiveness, and engagement.

#9 Data integration across sources, systems, and processes: Organizations will focus on combining multiple disparate pieces of workforce data (e.g., engagement surveys, HRIS data, exit interview data) and performing analytics across data and over time.

#8 Growing importance of diversity and inclusion: Specific issues include understanding how implicit/ unconscious bias affects how you interact with others, increased diversification in the workplace, the need to be more inclusive, and issues arising from an increasingly global workforce.

#7 Capturing the voice of the employee: Organizations may focus on utilizing continuous listening/ pulse surveys and examining passive data for employee opinions and behaviors.

#6 The changing nature of the workforce: Organizations may need to continue to redesign jobs and workspace to accommodate Millennials. In addition, new technology, innovations, and the growing use of artificial intelligence could have drastic implications for how organizations and employees function.

#5 Flexibility and its effect on the way work is done: A greater emphasis will need to be placed on how people get their work done, how they collaborate, and how to create meaningful, satisfying interpersonal interaction among remote workforces.

#4 People analytics: Employers will use analytics for HR decision-making, assisting in selection decisions, and talent identification and management.

#3 Leveraging big data to make data-driven decisions: Organizations will work to tie all their data to workforce planning to make better workforce decisions and create meaningful data-based action plans.

#2 Adapting to change effectively: Organizations need to think strategically about structural changes in the world economy and their workforce implications.

#1 The changing nature of performance management: There will be a greater emphasis on real-time feedback, daily manager-employee relationships, and the need for managers to acquire the skills to coach employees.

Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.