7 workplace predictions for 2020


Technology and artificial intelligence will define how salaries are determined instead of pay-for-performance models in 2020, says Scott Cawood, CEO of WorldatWork. Cawood shared his seven workplace predictions for the new year, including more socially conscious workplaces and a move toward the four-day work week.

Welcome to the 4-day work week

More organizations are going to adopt a variety of workweek schedules to gain favor with employees and shareholders.

Health plan deductibles may be decreasing

More US employers will conclude that high deductible health plans aren’t sufficiently meeting the needs of their people, and they will rethink, reduce and even eliminate deductibles — following the lead from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan.

Stand for something

Highly charged social issues will be on the corporate agenda because employees demand and expect their companies to take a stand. Expect more focus on gender, ageism, race and wellbeing. In addition, companies that take on social issues and focus on conscious business and purpose — instead of shareholder value and profit — will experience the strongest financial performance in 2020.

More bonuses to more people

Variable pay will play a stronger and broader role in compensation. Existing bonus programs will extend to more workers and bonus targets will increase (slightly). This is done in recognition of the speed, agility and expectation of today’s workforce and empowerment.

AI will determine your salary, not your boss

You will see an increase in organizations that remove pay-for-performance from base pay determination, opting for single-rate systems and AI determination instead of subjective performance assessments. Pay-for-performance will remain strongly rooted in variable pay practices, which will be expended.

Opioid addiction may be improved outside of the employer sponsored health plans.

Organizations will address this with foundations, community investment, treatment centers and more to address the predicted $78.5 billion economic burden that is related to this issue.

Gig-economy lite

The gig-economy transition will come slower than originally predicted, and the 2020 focus will be on transforming employed workforces (not independent contractors) to adopt an internal gig model of work. Talent leaders will adopt development structures that focus more on gig/project assessment and will develop pathways that provide a line-of-sight to the next internal project. They’ll also work to understand how professional competencies and career capabilities are developing.