The Future of Work is Here

Innovation is changing the workplace game. How fast is your company adapting? What was once thought futuristic is today’s reality. Here are some of the dynamics that are driving organizational change in small to mid-market companies everywhere:

Collaborative team structures: We still see lots of traditionally formed organizational structures out there, but the reality of how work gets done tends to be cross-functional and very team based. Leadership is dispersed and much less dependent on the formal reporting hierarchy and siloed-based models that can stifle innovation and creativity.

Corporate values really matter: Exponential change is redefining the world order and industries are transforming all around us. In this environment, corporate values show employees how the work they do is important and makes a difference. When clearly defined and celebrated, strong corporate values are the compass for success in an uncertain world.

Digital employee experience: Savvy companies are integrating social networking, mobile platforms, artificial intelligence (AI), and other tools and technologies that change the way people work and how they interact. Digital ways of thinking can require rewriting the rules for business models that by their nature bring a new level of flexibility, responsiveness, and customer focus.

Learning reimagined: Two major shifts are underway. One is that as people start to live longer, they may face careers that span 60 years, and this means continual reinvention through life-long learning. The other is that traditional classroom-based corporate learning now incorporates accessibility through mobile platforms and digital training opportunities, transforming learning into a self-directed pursuit.

Rethinking Performance Management: Annual reviews are now the dinosaurs of the HR world, re-engineered to reflect the current work environment of networked teams and rapid-fire changing business demands. More frequent, less formal check-ins enable a continuous, feedback-based approach and agile goal setting.

Growing contingent and remote workforce: Virtualization of the workplace has driven exceptional growth in non-traditional work arrangements. Coined the gig economy, it’s estimated that fully one-third of working Canadians participate on a freelance or contract basis, and this is expected to rise to one half by 2020. This ultimate two-way street called flexibility carries profound implications for how organizations manage business flow in the context of building a sustainable corporate culture.

Wellness at work: There’s widespread acknowledgement that happy and healthy employees drive productivity and performance. Yet many don’t bring their best to work everyday. Individuals are distracted by concerns for their financial well being, the daily commute, and family and childcare issues. Forward thinking firms are doing their part to help employees seek the support they need to optimize their life management efforts and self care.

Talent shortages are everywhere these days, so if your organization hasn’t or is struggling to embrace these new realities, you’ll be challenged to attract and retain the great talent you need. Where’s the future-of-work conversation taking your organization?

Check out my book Basic to Brilliant for practical tips and strategies to address these many evolving workplace dynamics. It’s the definitive guide for helping small to mid-market enterprises adapt to the “future-of-work” trends happening in their organization today.