The future of work is here

May 9

A workforce revolution is here, and everything is changing.

 

Want your organisation to attract and retain talent?

These are the 6 areas I believe companies need to optimise to create a thriving workplace environment.

Work is part of life.

  • For our ancestors, it was hunting and gathering 🥩
  • Since the 1920’s, work has been 9-5pm at a desk ⏰

In March 2020, Covid-19 disrupted everything. Offices closed, companies went remote, people stopped and questioned everything.

 

So what?

We’re now starting to see the impact. It’s creating a workplace revolution.

And leaders have two choices:

1) Accept change is happening

2) Keep things as they were pre-2020 and lose talent

Option 1 is the only viable path forward.

Let’s explore a little further 👇🏼

 

Back in 1997, McKinsey & co coined the term, ‘The Talent War‘.

I.e. if you attract enough of the best talent to your company, you can conquer anything.

The view that, with talent, anything is possible.

But there’s a problem with this…

Everyone is now fighting for this talent. Your competition wants the same thing and like you, will do anything to win the war.

But what if you’re fighting the wrong war?

The real war isn’t a talent war, it’s a culture war.

 

Here’s how you win the culture war 👇🏼

When speaking with talent across sectors, these 6 themes keep emerging as critical conditions for future workplace environments.

  1. Flexibility
  2. BElonging
  3. Conscious Leadership
  4. Energy
  5. Personal Growth
  6. Transparency

Quick note: The ‘cherry-on-top‘ approach won’t work 🍒

Many workplaces mistake quick fads as the solution for cultivating a happy, engaged and motivated workforce.

  • Ping pong tables
  • Free lunch
  • Unlimited holiday
  • Company credit card
  • Gym pass

This won’t keep talent. Here’s what really matters:

 

1. Flexibility

Employees now want to choose ‘when to work’. 9-5pm will be a thing of the past.

Not only does it fire up agency, people don’t like to be in a box. The 9-5pm box cannot cater for all individual life priorities.

And it isn’t just about when to work…

People want to choose 'where to work' & 'how much to work'.

Not convinced?

Look at the gig economy. Freelancers work anywhere. In 2020, 4.4m new businesses were created in the US.

Some will want work/life boundaries. That’s the complexity of a 1 size-doesn’t-fit-all world.

According to McKinsey, the no. 1 reason why people accepted their job was because of workplace flexibility.

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2. BElonging

Workplaces will feel like a family at home. You’re embraced for BEing you.

It starts with onboarding. First impressions count for everything.

Get this wrong, lose talent quickly. Get this right, retain talent for longer, perhaps forever.

Many companies treat onboarding like a checklist.

Great onboarding is about company story, history, artefacts, clarity.

You & your team will exchange stories about your life, what matters to you & your values.

It enables a deeper sense of connection & purpose to the company.

 

3. Conscious Leadership

People want to work for conscious and competent leaders.

Leaders who deeply care about you, your interests and family.

Leaders who provide deep clarity on the mission, roles and responsibilities.

These leaders will also intuitively understand people want autonomy and the ability to work within an entrepreneurial company spirit.

CSR will be the leaders top priority ☘️

They will be environmentally conscious and don’t shy away from taking stance on issues that conflict company values.

All smart recruitment tools 💡

And in the same McKinsey report, guess the no.1 reason why people left their current job?

It was because they had ‘uncaring leaders‘. It’s not surprising but the biggest evidence yet people want caring environments.

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4. Energy

Companies will start thinking like Olympic sport science teams.

They’ll be asking: ‘how can we optimise the energy states of our workforce?’.

But you won’t see the traditional approach of companies providing one-off silver bullet masterclasses.

No, no.

You’ll see fully integrated individualised support systems, just like how elite athletes are supported.

 

5. Personal Growth

Companies investing in talent, will keep talent.

Teams that win are those who focus on the leadership development within the company & provide an abundance of opportunity to build new skills.

‘But what if we lose them?’. But what if you don’t invest in your people?

 

6. Transparency

Transparency build trust 🧠

The future is truth. There’s no way around it. It’s being driven by consumers and employees.

Companies will need to embrace and navigate transparency will courage and openness.

It will become your advantage 💡

Change is uncomfortable, but critical to survival & thriving.

New research from Harvard indicates that 'adaptability' will be the most critical leadership skill in the digital era.

There’s no denying we’re increasingly moving to a digital world 🧠

These are 6 areas that will dominate the future of work.

It’s the changes you make today that create a successful future.

Have I missed anything?

Thanks for reading,

Dean.


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