The New Year has just started and as usual everyone has an opportune moment to predict how things will pan out in their areas of interest. As a human resource professional, I have taken time to introspect on how various factors will affect the job market this year.
Last year was a slow and difficult one for Kenyans due to the protracted electioneering period that sullied economic prospects. It is only fair to say that 2018 cannot be a replica of the previous year.
For a start, I have a feeling that various innovations in ICT will continue redefining industry. For instance, the The Economist has published a report predicting that technology will have a huge impact in many industries. According to the report, the automotive, consumer goods and retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, and telecoms industries will significantly adapt to vast technological advancements.
The report predicts that in 2018, companies and whole industries will become more flexible while being aware of new regulations, new competitors, and new consumer demands.
In this regard, people and organisations must remain informed regarding these trends in order to adequately prepare themselves professionally on how to react to them.
The world has gradually made a radical shift from the traditional way of doing things and embraced technological advancements. For instance, apps have been developed that have significantly changed the realm of human life, from HR and payroll software solutions, mobile apps for dieting, taxis, to banking and health checks.
Organisations have also been seen to hold training on how to capitalise on digital avenues and make the lives of their workforce much easier.
This year organisations need to be more adept at adopting digital tools in order to remain relevant.
Similarly, the emergence of millennials is seemingly saturating the job market not only in Kenya but on a global scale. You have perhaps noticed a bit of culture change in the office structure where a relatively large number of young people are holding managerial positions, among other high level positions. This has been brought about by their energy, technological awareness and vibrancy.
If you are a millennial, 2018 is expected to present great opportunities you could leverage on. If you are not a millennial, then 2018 will demand that you keep up with the energy of these young individuals in order to remain relevant.
The year will also present an opportunity for professional accreditation and academic advancement. Anyone keen could have noticed that there are a number of employers asking for advanced academic qualifications and certifications.
Employers require that professionals should at least have a degree and should also be part of a professional body. For instance, the PR practitioners are expected to be members of the Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) and HR practitioners are expected to have taken a professional course in HR and be members of the Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM).
Any discernable employee should make sure that he has set plans to register with a professional body and advance his or her education and skills.
The year will also beckon for the need to increase more interpersonal relationships. It is expected that in 2018, most Kenyan companies will encourage healthy interpersonal relationships between employees and the leadership. This has mostly been seen through the increased number of employers who are taking team-building activities.
According to a recent study done in the United States, cordial interpersonal relationship between co-workers and management increases performance by 20 per cent. Another study found out that at least 72 per cent of employees who have a best friend at work are more satisfied with their job.
Therefore as an employee expect to be called upon to interact more interpersonally with your fellow employees and management.
Most organisations are also expected to increase trainings on work-life balance because employee burnout is a likely occurrence in fast-paced organisation.
In 2018, it is expected that employers will seek to retain their employees by ensuring that they have a healthy balance between their work and their families.
Considering that that the just concluded general elections placed the country in a go-slow and some employees were retrenched, employers want to make sure that the remaining workforce is not overwhelmed. Consequently, there is expected to be increased trainings on work-life balance compared to the ones that were already held in the year 2018.
In conclusion, this 2018 is expected to produce numerous opportunities for job seekers and professionals. Be sure to make yourself outstanding by understanding that times are changing and so should your strategies.