Change is the only constant in life. But often, change is so gradual and imperceptible that we don’t really notice it until a cataclysmic event happens. Similarly, the future of work, workers, and workspaces has been changing over the last few decades, being continually reshaped by increasing globalization, the need for greater workplace flexibility, economic and socio-political shifts, and the rapid pace of digital and technological advancements. But it took a global pandemic to force a fundamental change in how we work.
Now, we are on the back end of this major shift and a recent study reveals that 40% of employees are considering leaving their current employers and looking for new opportunities that offer more flexibility. Several factors are influencing what’s being called “The Great Resignation”:
The last point is particularly pertinent as people’s personal and professional lives have never been more intertwined, and employers are realizing they have an increasing responsibility to look out for the whole employee—their professional and personal wellbeing—and focus on human-centric, empowered work. Employees are now looking to their employers to provide them with more than just a paycheck. Organizations are expanding to offer senior care, mental care, parental leave, more affordable childcare, among other benefits.
To become a human-centric employer, leaders can no longer think about “people, processes, and technology” as three separate issues to drive the greatest impact but play off their strengths and use their combined power. Organizations need to:
The new, human-centric approach offers incredible opportunities for both employees and employers to rethink what “work” means, how to be successful in the new model and how to balance personal and professional lives—in essence, helping humans thrive. Here are the key trends that support empowered work:
Vice President, Workforce Readiness Practice, NTT DATA Services
Listen to Kim discuss The Great Resignation and The Great Experiment – and her perspective of the renewed focus on organization culture and the human side of businessListen now
The future of work is being reimagined and reinvented, and cultural, social and digital technology shifts are resetting worker expectations. Empowered work requires a collaborative, mobile, secure and inclusive work culture, regardless of physical location. Employers must adopt human-centric design that fosters productivity and elevates employee experience, while providing workspaces that bring out the best in their employees.
Empowering workers means focusing on the human side of the business—providing opportunities and the flexibility to learn, grow, connect, promote equity and make a professional and personal impact. “Employers are expected to increase collaboration, improve customer and employee experience, provide secure anywhere/anytime workspaces, provide training opportunities, grow leaders, build and sustain a thriving culture - all with a workforce that is often dispersed,” says Maribel Lopez, founder and principal analyst, Lopez Research. Eric Clark, Chief Digital & Strategy Officer, NTT DATA Services agrees. “Employers have an increasing responsibility to look out for the whole person including keeping employees engaged and efficient and able to provide the most impact.”
Empower workers by:
Empowering work means having the right tools and technology for employers to offer the best environment to their employees, for superior user experience and one where employee engagement is never in question. Organizations should take a fresh look at the parameters and potential of workplace technology and IT, while training and upskilling employees to support the needs of the future versus the manual repetitive tasks of today. Planning for future scenarios is a cross-functional, collaborative endeavor that requires expertise from business operations, human resources, finance and each enterprise function.
Empower work by:
Empowering the workspace means rethinking physical facilities to make the office a modernized, destination and increase collaboration across locations and geographies for employees and clients. This next decade will see a significant change in how companies manage commercial real estate and how IT will oversee hybrid, physical and digital work environments that can be instantly repurposed to accommodate various user profiles, with a focus on collaborative space and ideation. Lopez says, “Companies need to have a 360-degree view and a vision that includes automating tasks, upskilling teams and digital collaboration, that enables workplace efficiency and workforce equity.”
Empower the workspace by:
“Employers have an increasing responsibility to look out for the whole person including keeping employees engaged and efficient and able to provide the most impact.”