- The ISG Future Workplace Summit took place in London this past April.
- During the event, experts addressed the topic of changing workforce models and the different challenges associated with adapting to these new models.
- To successfully adapt to these changing marketplace dynamics, companies need to define their culture, have a clear vision, and implement an effective communication strategy.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to attend ISG’s Future Workplace Summit London. Among the many topics discussed during the event, I was particularly drawn to the discussions around the changing workforce models within organizations and the challenges of implementation.
The Changing Workforce Dynamics
According to ISG, in 7 years, millennials will make up 70% of the workforce.
Along with the changes of the workforce generation, there are even greater preference shifts occurring in regards to where, when, and how (ie. BYOD, bring your own device) employees work. These shifts are growing not only due to technological advances, but also due to the growing understanding that in order for employees to be more productive, they need to be happier and more satisfied. What companies are experiencing is the fact that the “balance of power is shifting from the employer to the employee.”
In order to be competitive, organizations need to sense and respond to these rapidly changing dynamics in the marketplace.
This means that companies need to “be ready and compatible with demands such as home working, BYOD, and flexibility”, as well as focus on employee life needs in order to continue to drive better and more efficient long term work results.
How can companies prepare for and implement the changes needed to cater to the rapidly changing workforce dynamics?
Define Workplace Culture
For starters, an organization needs to understand its current workplace culture. After you understand your current culture, you should determine where you want to go. Do you want a collaborative culture? Do you need more transparency? How will your new flexible work team members interact and grow within this culture?
Regardless of what is decided around culture needs, it is important to understand that a culture cannot be bought. It is developed. It is nurtured. And it takes time.
It’s important that companies get their workplace culture right, as it can serve as a talent attraction and retention element.
Communicate a Clear Vision
After you have defined your current and target workplace culture, communicate a clear vision of why you are implementing these workforce or workplace changes. What are you doing, how you are doing it, and why you are doing it.
Though this communication needs to come from leaders in the organization, it primarily needs to be focused on creating a dialogue.
With all of these human-centric changes comes a “risk of middle management readiness for culture change and leadership challenges.”
Some of the challenges that are typically faced when implementing these strategies include:
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of potential job loss
- A lack of understanding
- Aversion to change
Communication & Transformation
In order to overcome many of these challenges, communication is most important and needs to be at the forefront of any change.
“True transformation is about bringing people with you.” Instead of a top-down approach, companies need to implement a bottom-up approach so as to bring the needs of the employees into the conversation in order to work through the challenges.
The goal here is to focus on employees, much in the same way a company focuses on customers, to create a company culture that actually focuses on the employee experience. In the future of work, the employee and customer experience are inherently linked with one another.
What flexible work models are you going to be implementing and why? How will these new models impact communication, collaboration, and ultimately productivity, happiness, and success in your organization?
How will technology and other tools be used to support and grow your internal and external teams, improve your employee experience, and eliminate many of the headaches employees deal with on a daily basis?
How can you measure the impact and performance of these changes in your organization, its employees, culture, retention, growth, and other organizational metrics?
What do you think? What are you putting in place in your organization? I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at [email protected].
Interested in deep-diving more into the topic?
The ISG Digital Business Summit is taking place 25-26 June in London and will provide a unique, immersive experience which will fuel an environment for learning, sharing and connecting.