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3 Tips for Leading an Evolving Workforce

by Siv Rauv

17 Oct 2017

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Still relying on email and demanding the 9 to 5? Think again.

The modern-day workforce is going through its greatest transformation - the digital transformation - for some time and it’s no surprise that some organisations are struggling to keep up with change.

We’re seeing the Baby Boomer generation fading, continuous technological advancements, and the rise of remote working arrangements.

What does all of this mean? Employer goalposts have changed.

Achieving effective employee engagement now requires employers to re-assess priorities, pivot, and undertake new concepts to thrive as a workforce. However, one essential need remains the same: understanding how to attract, engage, lead and manage the evolving employer landscape.

Working and Living in Modern Times

The need for organisations to continually transform can be attributed to globalisation, economic and geopolitical uncertainties, technological innovation, societal shifts, new cultural norms, and increasing environmental concerns.

What’s more, the ‘command and control’ management style from the 20th century is fading fast. The current empowered consumer mindset continues to influence new human behaviours and expectations in both commercial and personal settings.

From a workforce perspective, Baby Boomers – a large and highly capable cross-section of the population – are well into retirement age. On the other end of the spectrum, younger generations like Millennials are looking for meaningful employment on their terms, with many unwilling to accept outdated working requirements. The freelancer movement is therefore steadily growing given these employment challenges, workforce opportunities, and independent preferences.

With that in mind, how can employers attract and retain a collaborative yet ever-evolving workforce - what is the secret to collaboration with others?

1. Understand shifting human motivations

Gone are the days of workers expecting to sit at the same desk, in the same office, from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday.

Today's workers are empowered people who are accessible from any location, on any device, 24/7. They seek work/life balance, connection, purpose and social reciprocity.

Contemporary workers who favour flexibility, autonomy and collaboration over command won't tolerate bureaucratic management styles. They will leave for friendlier locations.

So consider if the working style you’re offering meets the key motivators of the people you want to attract and retain.

2. Create a good employee experience

Employee experience is a term used to gauge the overall perceptions employees have about their organisation, and how their wants and needs are being met long-term.

Good employee experience goes beyond tangible perks like discounts and free drinks. It is focused more on culture, flexibility, technology, wellness programs, development and recognition, co-worker relationships and communication.

Organisations should be focusing on improving this since employees now expect more from their employer. What’s more – good employee experience typically leads to better customer experience.

For more insights on preparing your workplace for employee experiences changes, click here.

3. Use technology to help you achieve it

The importance of collaboration is undeniable. In fact, participation and collaboration go hand in hand for today’s workforce. On top of that, mobile digital communication is now a must-have.

When workers are no longer tied to a desk, a shift or one location, they need effective tools that open and maintain communication channels.

While email once beat inter-office memos for speed and agility, today it's more likely to hobble communications rather than facilitate them.

Is your workforce taking advantage of these digital, cloud-based tools that make flexible communication a possibility?

  • Instant messaging
  • Social intranet powered by a content management system
  • Video conferencing
  • Project management and collaboration systems

Technology companies, such as Elcom, provide best practices and digital workplace solutions that enable employees to collaborate and engage with one another, their customers and prospects from anywhere – on any device.

Doing so in turn helps organisations in pursuing performance, revenue growth, sustainable practices, and better employee experiences.

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