Major changes in the workplace will occur in 2014 as “old-school” management protocols and practices give way to fast-moving, as well as more productive and more satisfying, models for engaging employees, according to Fierce, Inc., leadership development and training experts.

    The insights and predictions are based upon Fierce, Inc.’s training experiences with organizations ranging from Fortune-level companies to startups and nonprofits around the globe.

    “The pace of change is not constrained to the external manifestations of the business world; the changes occurring inside office walls are happening just as quickly,” said Halley Bock, CEO and president of Fierce, Inc. “Over the course of 2014, we will see new approaches to management and employee communication evolve in business-altering and business-bettering ways.”

    Fierce, Inc. predictions for 2014 include:

    1. The business world goes flat as hierarchical titles disappear. Fast-moving organizations, most notably Zappos, are dispensing with tiered managerial hierarchies and adopting a “holacracy” – an organizational system that equally distributes authority among all members rather than a few individuals. The business models of many companies, especially those in the tech industry, rely less on title-structured environments, but instead depend on the instantaneous assembling and disassembling of teams to quickly solve problems. This philosophy will take hold in the tech space and make inroads into other industries.

    2. Flexibility most sought after perk for millennials. Evolving the workplace to retain millennial talent is a growing priority as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this segment of the workplace population will comprise a majority of the U.S. workforce by 2030, reported in a recent Wired magazine article. Compensation will remain an important consideration for millennial workers, but it will be trumped by employers offering expanding levels of workplace flexibility – schedule, location, and even the ability to spend time on ventures outside of company business. In addition, flexibility to explore diverse growth experiences throughout departments and business units as a means of career advancement will become a must-have “perk.”

    3. Annual performance reviews continue down the path to extinction. The accelerated demise of the annual performance review continues. Nothing could be more telling than Microsoft’s discarding of the once hallowed stack ranking system, reported in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal. Organizations that want to retain talent need new approaches to reviews. Real-time conversations that allow workers to course correct quickly will become the norm, improving morale, as well as individual and organizational performance.