I read an article the other day about a robot recently introduced at a large mining company to assist with:
“the unpleasant, the untimely, the dangerous and the downright boring work….”*
Robots are amongst a myriad of other emerging innovations designed to make our workplaces more productive in this globally connected, rapidly changing world.
Does our workforce need to be worried about their own sustainability as we move through the 21st century?
You need not start freaking out with thoughts of a Star Wars or I Robot scenario emerging. Certainly not. These inventions are all designed to enhance the employee experience, not replace. Infact I believe they will create further, more diverse employment opportunities. All very exciting really as our working population evolves!
As Australians age, baby boomers seek to continue working. In addition, our “millennials” (born between the late 1980’s and early 2000’s) will make up an increasing proportion of our working population. It is estimated that by 2025, they will constitute more than 50%.**
The numbers of women in the workforce has increased from 38% to 56% in recent years. ***
What will this mix of workers seek in their workplace?
Remuneration + benefits:
Competitive salary remains a high priority for workers, slightly more so for the millennial population. This will continue as tight economic conditions prevail.****
According to Gallup, assuming employees are paid competitively, they also heavily value workplace recognition and rewards.*****
Our changing digital workplace has created many programs that streamline processes, onboarding procedures and incentives. Employees will continue to respond enthusiastically as they embrace the digital age personally aswell.
In addition, the workplace as a “wellness destination” is gaining momentum. Both employees and employers alike recognise the health and mutual productivity and engagement benefits of having a workplace wellness program.
According to Deloitte, going forward our leaders will increasingly view organisational culture as a competitive advantage in attracting top talent.*****
Our multicultural, globally connected workers seek more diversity and inclusion in a workplace where gender, nationality, sexual orientation and disability are all respected. The business benefits of creating this culture have been demonstrated extensively.******
Additionally, employees want to work in an environment where leaders can effectively communicate a higher value purpose and where their opinion is heard and acted upon.
Opportunities for advancement and ongoing training to enhance skills remain a priority in an environment that supports and drives their productivity.******
The physical environment people work in is also of great importance to them and hence as our digital access to colleagues and clients becomes easier, both workplace and time flexibility will need to evolve and accommodate these changes.
Effective leadership and workplace communication
Effective leadership and communication in the workplace are intricately weaved. Study after study has shown that the major reason employees leave organisations is most commonly because of their leader.6
The ability to communicate effectively and often are essential traits of the 21st century leader. Our workforce wants to work with a leader who is authentic and lives and breathes the values of trust and respect.******
Essentially, despite a society that is rapidly becoming more automated, both now and into the future, the fundamentals of excellent communication, culture, leadership and reward remain the glue that hold the best workplaces together, driving them to succeed most effectively.
Contact Lexie at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to create an awesome workplace culture with engaged, performance driven employees.
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Sorenson, S. 2012: How employee engagement drives growth. Gallup Business Journal.
http://www.afuturethatworks.org.au/reports/snapshot of the Australian workplace, 2016