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We reflect with gratitude on changes, challenges, and celebrations this year. Here are seven workplace trends, tools, and technologies to be grateful for.

Businesses constantly adapt to industry dynamics, technology advancements, and ever-shifting business priorities. In this season of gratitude, we reflect on some of the changes, challenges, and celebrations that are shaping the modern workforce. Here are just seven workplace trends, tools, and technologies we’re grateful for this year.

1) Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI), including generative AI, has emerged as a cornerstone of innovation in the workplace. From automating routine tasks to providing data-driven insights, AI has become an indispensable tool for businesses seeking to streamline operations and boost productivity.

This year, we’ve seen more AI-powered technology assisting in workforce decision-making and helping to improve employee workflows. Chatbots, predictive analytics, advanced skills gap analysis, personalized learning plans, and accelerated reskilling are just a few examples of AI applications that are making work more efficient and enjoyable.

Yes, there are legal and ethical concerns swirling around AI. Yet we remain thankful for the many opportunities to learn and shape how it’s used in the workplace – and for the potential it holds for the future of work. 

2) Hybrid Workplace

The rise of the hybrid workplace has been a transformative force, allowing employees and employers to blend the best of remote and in-office work. This flexible approach has improved work-life balance for many employees — and created opportunities for talent acquisition beyond geographical constraints. Remote collaboration tools, cloud-based platforms, and virtual meeting solutions are now common and essential components of the modern workplace.

The hybrid model has fostered a culture of adaptability, enabling organizations to remain resilient in the face of unforeseen challenges, such as global events or natural disasters. Employees now appreciate the flexibility to choose where they work, fostering a sense of autonomy and empowerment.

Remote work isn’t preferred, or even possible, for every job and workplace. And, especially for younger workers earlier in their career, in-person work has myriad benefits beyond the core responsibilities of the job. Still, we appreciate the positive impact that remote and hybrid work has had on employee wellbeing and organizational resilience.

3) Rethinking College Degrees

College degrees as proxies for skills are quickly falling out of favor with employers and workers alike. Employers are increasingly embracing alternative learning and skill-development pathways, such as internships, apprenticeships, eLearning, employer- and community-sponsored certification programs. This shift not only makes skill-building more accessible to a broader group of people, but it also addresses employers’ demands for specific skills in their workforces.

College degrees were never excellent predictors of employee skills. And they remain a necessity for certain career paths (medical, legal, and engineering professions, for example). We’re heartened, though, to see the many employment opportunities being presented to those without college degrees.

4) Skills-First Hiring

Low unemployment, difficulty filling open job positions, and a debate about the cost and value of college degrees have prompted an increasing number of employers to adopt a skills-first approach to hiring. Avilar was built on a belief that a skills- and competencies-first approach to workforce management can better inform strategic decisions, support a diverse workforce, and positively shape a company’s workforce. Now, many employers are recognizing the value of building and harnessing diverse skill sets among their workers. And that starts with skills-first hiring.

Placing greater importance on candidates’ skills has democratized opportunities, allowing individuals to showcase their skills, regardless of formal education credentials or traditional work history. Military veterans, people who are returning to the workplace after years away, and others from a range of backgrounds and experiences now have the chance to contribute based on their abilities, fostering a more equitable and dynamic workplace.

We see skills-first hiring as the first essential step in a skills-first approach to managing the employee lifecycle. When skills are at the forefront in an employer’s learning and development, performance management, and succession planning strategies and actions, they build and sustain a resilient workforce.

5) Gig Economy

The gig economy continues to redefine the employment landscape, offering flexibility and autonomy to workers and businesses alike. Freelancers, contractors, and temporary workers contribute their skills to projects without the constraints of traditional employment structures. This trend has empowered individuals to design their own work schedules and pursue diverse projects, enhancing their professional growth and job satisfaction. It also gives employers the flexibility to supplement their workforce with talented individuals who can provide surge capacity and expertise that does not exist in the current workforce.

There are some potential drawbacks to navigate when tapping into the gig economy. We applaud, though, the innovations and opportunities that come with this workplace trend.

6) Non-traditional Workers

Beyond the gig economy and those without college degrees, the workforce is diversifying with an influx of non-traditional workers. Part-time employees. Military veterans. Older workers who are entering or returning to the workplace. Embracing this diversity fosters a more inclusive workplace, where ideas, solutions, and decisions are fueled by the best of a wide range of experiences and perspectives.

We are fans of non-traditional workers because we see their presence as an opportunity to enrich today’s dynamic business culture.

7) Customer and Community Collaboration

Businesses are increasingly recognizing the importance of collaboration beyond their internal teams. Customer and community collaboration have become key drivers of innovation, as organizations seek direct input from those they serve. Through feedback loops, social media engagement, and co-creation initiatives, businesses are building stronger connections with their customers. As the college degree debate unfolds, more businesses are starting to reimagine learning with their local educational institutions.

We believe in the power of a connected community. Today and every day, we are thankful for the connections and support we enjoy with our customers, team members, and community. Thank you!


We are grateful to be a part of our customers’ initiatives as they harness tools and technologies that support the identification, tracking, and building of essential skills and competencies.

As workplace trends and transformations continue to evolve, contact us if we can be of help. We’d welcome the opportunity to see if our WebMentor Skills™ competency management system can support your efforts.


6 Ways Competency Management Can Support Your Hybrid Work Environment
Generative AI: Friend or Foe in The Workplace?
Five Ways AI can Help Close the Skills Gaps of Your Workforce
College Degrees vs. Skills and Competencies. Which IS More Important?
What is the Impact of the Gig Economy on Your Future Workforce?