The future of work is human
The ongoing changes in 2020, among other things, caused 19 million employees to work remotely. it forced the organization to rethink radically employee welfare, business models and operations, investments in cloud-based collaboration and communication tools.
In all industries, the best-established plans last year were turned upside down. So it’s no surprise that technology and work have been linked more than ever. As businesses move into an uncertain future, companies have accelerated their efforts to use automation and other emerging technologies to improve efficiency, support employee well-being, accelerate work outs, and achieve new results.
However, investments in technology are not enough in the face of future disruptions. In fact, an organization’s readiness is critical to how it prepares its work and team. It is a special human moment that requires a human touch.
To thrive in an ever-changing world, companies need to reorganize their work and help employees meet future challenges. According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Human Capital Trends A survey of 6,000 surveyors from around the world, including 3,630 senior executives, said 45% said building an organizational culture that will celebrate growth, adaptability and resilience is key to transforming work. To achieve this goal, adopting a trio of key human attributes — goal, potential, and perspective — can humanize the work and create lasting value for employees and for the organization and society as a whole.
Objective: To base organizations on values
The goal establishes a creative set of organizational values that do not depend on circumstances and serve as a reference for measuring actions and decisions. It is based on human ability to identify where economic value and social values intersect. Organizations with a firm goal are able to give meaning to work by mobilizing staff around common and meaningful goals.
For example, Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, credits Delta Air Lines ’goal of helping the organization through the covid-19 crisis. “When I took over as CEO, we looked at what our role was and what it was, which helped us clean up the post-pandemic, because we were clear about the pre-pandemic,” he says. “Our people can do their best to have the support of leadership and feel connected to the purpose of the organization.”
Potential: A dynamic look at people’s abilities
To move forward through ongoing disruptions, organizations need to harness the potential of their employees and teams by analyzing the capabilities of their people in a more dynamic way. Most leaders agree: 72% of Deloitte survey executives said that “their ability to adapt, retrain and take on new roles” is the most important or second factor in their organization’s ability to navigate future interruptions. boost speed and agility.
AstraZeneca, for example, is an organization that quickly mobilized its resources and harnessed the capacity of its staff to meet a serious need (to develop the covid-19 vaccine). Tonya Villafana, vice president of AstraZeneca and global franchise head of infection, has accelerated the company’s response to its ability to connect with a wide range of experts, both across the company and in collaboration with Oxford University. In addition, AstraZeneca not only brought in leading experts, but added that they were “really passionate and high-performing with the vaccine development team”.
Vision: To act boldly in the face of uncertainty
In the face of uncertainty, it is easy to be paralyzed by multiple options and options. The approach – literally, the way organizations see things – is a challenge to act boldly in the face of the unknown, using interruptions as a starting point to imagine new opportunities and opportunities. For example, taking the view that uncertainty is a valuable option frees organizations from taking new and fearless steps, even if it means starting from the usual comfortable path. For most survey executives, a deliberate effort is made to completely re-imagine how, who, and where the work is done and what results can be achieved. 61% of respondents said their goals of transforming their work will be to re-imagine work, only 29% before the pandemic.
ServiceNow covid-19 is an organization that changed direction in this way. In March 2020, the company held a “blue sky” strategy session as a forum for leaders to discuss the future of work, digital transformation and business. But when they were looking at these issues under the cloud of the pandemic that was emerging, CEO Bill McDermott realized that the organization needed to take a different approach. “If we can’t help the world manage the pandemic, there will be no blue sky,” he said. As a result, the focus of the meeting was on how ServiceNow could rapidly innovate and bring new products to market to help organizations maintain business operations during the pandemic. ServiceNow quickly created and deployed four emergency response management applications, as well as some secure workplace applications, to get everyone back to work to work.
Putting people at the heart of work decisions pays off
The job of re-architecting is not just about automating tasks and activities. Basically, it consists of setting up work to take advantage of what human beings can achieve based on their strengths.
In the survey, managers identified the two most transformative factors related to human potential for the workplace: building an organizational culture that will celebrate growth, adaptability and resilience (45%) and improving staff capacity, retraining and building through mobility (41%).
Leaders should find ways to create a shared sense of people’s goal, pulling them in the same direction as they face the organization’s current and future challenges, such as the role of Delta, keeping people connected or focused on goals of inclusion, diversity or transparency. People should be confident in working in ways that allow them to fulfill their potential, giving employees the opportunity to work on aligning their passions with organizational needs. They should see that re-imagining work is the key to achieving the ability to achieve new and better results, in a world that is constantly rethinking itself.
If you’ve shown us something in the last year, putting people at the heart of work and workforce decisions pays off because they help companies better keep up with downtime. The result is an organization that grows not only to survive but in an unpredictable environment with an unknown future.
This content was created by Insights, a custom content from the MIT Technology Review. It was not written in the editorial board of the MIT Technology Review.