Guest post by Caroline Lindsay
Having recently been asked to give a presentation on the future of the workplace, I spent some time wading through various reports and futurist thinking on the topic.
I put the lights on high beam and looked down the road myself and tried to define what I predict for the future. And you know what I found? I found that the future is here already. It’s here for the bold, the innovative, the nimble and the smart. Allow me to explain.
Below I’ve put together the top five predictions from futurist reports by global consulting firms and then commented on how you can embed that thinking into your own workplace right now.
By creating a future-now organisation, you can make your employee value proposition more compelling and enhance your industry reputation. You’ll amplify what really matters to employees and who knows what can happen when you do that.
Why not find out. Let’s get down to it.
Futurist Prediction #1
Change will continue to speed up and become abrupt.
Accelerated change is already here so communication is key. In order to manage this, businesses should consider implementing 24/7 communication access for employees, so that no matter where or when, they can keep up to date.
Along with this, it’s a good idea to use a raft of methods to hear from employees – gather their ideas and hear their feedback. Do regular ‘Community Consultation’ within your organisation to actively leverage employee ideas, identify issues and generate enthusiasm.
Think about what you don’t actually need to change so you are not experiencing a tsunami of change which tends to escalate tension and exit rates.
Futurist Prediction #2
By 2020 we will have five generations represented in our workplaces.
Create policies and a culture which actively promote ‘Results-Only Work Experience’. This is work that is evaluated not on your attendance time, but on the quality and timeliness of your work along with your impact on the culture of the workplace.
You should also give employees permission to transition to retirement in a way that suits both employer and employee. Create in-house volunteering options for contributing onsite and implement wellness programs for all ages.
Futurist Prediction #3
Employees will make decisions on where to work based more on meaning and purpose.
Meaning and purpose are different for everyone so having various programs and options is good, but listening to employees and working with them to find internal or external opportunities is better.
Implement a 4P Program – helping employees in their career Progression, outwork their Passion and Purpose and work on projects which align to their Pride points.
Futurist Prediction #4
Work-life balance will morph to become work-life blend.
Embrace the opportunity to promote a culture of care about family, life, work and volunteer activities. Make it okay to not attend the weekly meeting because ‘Grandparents Day’ is on. Let no one raise an eyebrow in disapproval if someone leaves at 3.30pm. Technology is key, so amp up the skills of your IT staff to manage ‘Bring Your Own Device’ workplace cultures.
Futurist Prediction #5
Employees will demand virtual working, flexibility, vibrant and even fun working environments.
Send staff to other locations to learn and work virtually. Offer highly flexible employment options. Break down the barriers to fun and create a culture of ‘yes’ – work hard on making it happen.
A future-now organisation needs to amplify what creates value to various generations, cultures and interest groups. My own predictions on the future point to our HR departments creating individualised employment packages and experiences.
Workplaces will promote connection, idea generation and vitality. It will allow working and knowledge to become borderless. Employers will offer a wide range of personal wellness and concierge services to help staff manage their personal lives. Working hours will blur. Knowledge workers will choose to locate themselves in places that nurture creativity. Diversity will no longer mean culture, gender or disability. It will be about the customisation of our employee experience.
So hail to the bold and welcome to tomorrow, today.
Caroline Lindsay is an AIM Facilitator, Coach and Change & Learning Manager. She has worked across many industries and held a variety of leadership positions throughout her career. Caroline manages her own consultancy, focusing on people management, working with HR teams to develop cultures which compel employees to stay engaged. You can email Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about her consultancy services.