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The future of work
The future of work has been evolving rapidly, and because of this, businesses need to rethink their talent strategy. Pandemic-related epiphanies about family time, remote work, community, passion projects, and life and death have droves of people leaving their workplaces to such an extent that there is even a name for it – “The Great Resignation”
Earlier this year, I wrote an article titled “Employee engagement: a problem or opportunity?” which provided insights on improving people’s engagement and the importance of it.
But there’s more to it.
Employees are seeking new things from their Employers.
Be prepared to give them what they want or watch them go.
What organisations once thought were good value propositions to attract and keep employees are now outdated, and they put together short-term tactics which they feel will address the issues, that are actually longer-term systemic truths.
Gartner sees the long-term systemic truths on the future of work being:
- Employees are people, not just workers.
- Work is a subset of life, not separate from it.
- Value comes through feelings, not just features.
These truths are shared in one form or another by many other leading research companies, and what they are also finding is that employees are continuing to ask themselves questions such as:
- What makes me happy and whole, and what is my purpose in life?
- What truly satisfies me?
- Where have I given away too much of myself for little return?
Employees want more value from their work
Deeper connection and shared purpose
Many employees feel that their sense of purpose is defined by their work. So, if a company doesn’t have a purpose that can either help an employee define their individual purpose or align with it, chances are a person will be looking for a company whose purpose does.
Supporting or sharing a person’s purpose through your company’s purpose provides deeper connectivity that is beyond the old employer/employee relationships.
If they see the company taking action to support its purpose, they feel more invested and are getting more value from the company. When employees are seen as more than just workers and as contributors to improving lives, they get a sense of personal growth.
As the connection between the employee and the employer grows, employees become excited about their work as their job has more meaning. Thus, they are less likely to be lured away to another organisation.
Flexibility and personal growth
People want to feel trusted and autonomous in all aspects of work. Giving people the freedom and encouragement to take initiative and tackle problems is motivating.
Naturally, you wouldn’t want to set a person or your company up for failure by giving too much freedom to those who may be unable to achieve the task. Let them grow gradually by buddying them up with someone with the skills, or finding other solutions that may help them develop.
Today’s companies are doing a good job of supporting employees’ well-being. However, there is an equally important aspect that needs attention – ensuring that these provisions are actually being used by employees. This approach makes employees feel genuinely cared for, knowing that the company does not just provide benefits on paper but honestly wants to impact their lives positively.
Leaders must understand that the way of work has changed and will continue to change. The old ways will not return; the carrot and stick days are over. No matter what market-leading products, services or technology a company may have – its competitors will catch them unless they utilise their key differentiator – their people.
If you don’t have People Talent as one of your key strategic initiatives, I highly recommend including it in your plan and acting quick-smart. Don’t risk losing your top talent to those who are dialled into the future of work.