A NEW WAVE OF CHANGE IN THE WORKPLACE
March 24, 2022
Notes by Julie Furlong
At the present time, we are xperiencing a wave of change that is evolving quickly and continually transforming. People are resigning from past company values and culture they were promised, but did not truly exist. They are now longing for a different way of working, thinking and ultimately living. The desire? Environments that are agile, uplifting and understanding; where professional development and opportunity is paramount. Now is the time for employers to demonstrate leadership with empathy by providing an adaptable platform for employees to work from, because if they don’t… they will risk to lose good talent who are committed to the role and will continue to develop within the company vision. (Read: 4 ways to manage with love) Providing a flexible work arrangement, will most certainly instil productivity and loyalty, which has become one of the biggest challenges and difficulties for most organisations.
Whilst in lockdown, during 2021, I prepared for a new era in the workplace. Even though I have a core team who have been loyal for well over 5 years (which is unheard of in an agency environment), I refined how we approached our work balance and the Design+Marketing values that would be helpful for future team members. I thought about new initiatives and the output of these values, and then took the necessary small steps to plan and put processes in place to bring those ideas into fruition. People like me, managing a company, need to consider, plan and understand that the way we work has changed forever and will continue to in the future. It is true that COVID-19 has been responsible for altering some of our habits, however a new generation of employees will continue to rightfully demand a new way to work. A workplace that is defined by balance, positive culture, inspiration, flexibility and significance. To deliver this will require a different transparent approach, as well as a mindset about fulfilment, growth and what it means to be a good leader. I launched these ideas post lockdown and now, a good 6 months later, I am starting to see the positive results; a more productive and happier workplace with values that make a difference.
In my experience, employees become more productive when they are in control of their own work life balance – managing their own time. Good talent will seek that flexibility within these roles and I believe, for companies to attain great staff retention and in-turn productivity and success, it is more critical than ever that they provide a holistic approach, adopting these agile practices; including how people are measured for productivity. This, along with introducing on-going experiences and activities that align with the company culture and lessen the hierarchy emphasis. It is this type of culture that will set your brand and company apart.
‘TRAIN PEOPLE WELL ENOUGH SO THEY CAN LEAVE, TREAT THEM WELL ENOUGH SO THEY DON’T WANT TO.’ – RICHARD BRANSON
I no longer work within a strict environment and have not done so for many, many years, where hierarchy is common and sometimes comes with a lack of trust. Indeed, the strict hierarchy continues to exists within some environments and unfortunately, the reality is the people who work within them, slowly become miserable in the workplace. Many work tirelessly with little or no recognition, sacrificing important life events and time away to fulfil the demands of the role. Only to find when they do eventually leave, for one reason or another, they are offered another generous corporate package that includes high income, material perks and bonuses only to start the cycle again. With that, some miss out on key milestones and events that arise through life. Only reflecting with regret and resentment later.
IT’S TIMELY THAT MORE EMPLOYERS RECOGNISE HOW THEY CAN SUPPORT THEIR COMPANY CULTURE AND WHAT THEIR BRAND IS TRULY ABOUT:
- What does it represent?
- With that, how do they value people?
- What is their architecture for innovation and how are their people directed, rewarded and made accountable?
At the same time, talented staff need to think deeper and become even more transparent about their role and what value they bring to the company. In addition, during a future of immense transformation, they need to be multi–skilled and versatile; stepping up to bring value, before they command the higher salaries and enjoy the benefit of an agile work environment. (Read: 8 ways to practice self-worth). If your employees aren’t thinking that way, take it as a warning sign. The right employees will make all the difference for success and growth, it’s a two-way exchange, a collaboration and certainly not the ‘them VS us’ scenario we all once knew, with a lack of trust in between. Trust needs to be instilled and with that trust, will come productivity, turnover and profit.
Leaders in businesses fail to understand experiences and culture; overseeing how important it is for a company, as it is never shown on a balance sheet. But ultimately, culture improves output, connectivity and productivity; the final outcome that drives the success of organisations and sets that business apart.
At the end of the day, when businesses are true to their values and culture, providing the flexibility for people to perform and thrive, aligning with their brand & company culture, you will have a happier, more balanced team, who will remain focussed in their roles and loyal – which we all know is hard to find these days. As for the rest? It will take care of itself. For your business to thrive, be productive and ultimately deliver, adapting these strategies will provide the success for an all-round win-win. Employees and company brands working together, drawing customers and talent to the organisation, allowing growth to scale upwards and drive further success. (Read: Attitude Adjustment – The power we all have).
THOUGHTS TO PONDER
I believe leading with compassion, connection and love in the workforce secures that success. There is perhaps no more powerful way to show people you care about them than this.
When you feel like you are worth nothing and everyone around you belittles you, change places, do not stay there. Have the courage to change environments and go somewhere you are provided the value you deserve. Surround yourself with people who really appreciate your worth.
Are you going to be a positive or negative person? This is a choice you can make every day. A good attitude needs to be made on purpose. So, each day think about the small tweaks you can make to your own attitude for the better.