The world of work has dramatically changed over the last sixteen months of the pandemic, and socioeconomic issues are riper than ever before. Leaders around the globe are struggling with how to adapt to the new demands of their workforce. The workplace was changing even before the pandemic, but the change was accelerated at a rate no one could have predicted or necessarily prepared for. What our workforce demands from us today is complex. Employees are craving more individualization, flexibility, fulfillment, accountability, and total well-being—just to name a few. How can leaders possibly tackle all these items all at once? How do we strategically prioritize all these needs? Organizations and leadership teams need to review several things to ensure their workforce strategy is on the right track and meeting their employees’ wants and desires.
Business and People Strategy
With such rapid change, it is easy for leaders to try to solve each demand in a reactive fashion. However, as our world continues to evolve, it is crucial to think proactively through workforce strategies that meets our employees’ long-term needs as well. Leaders should first start with reviewing their mission and vision for the organization and asking the following questions:
- Why does the organization exist?
- What does it take to fulfill the organization’s mission and mission?
- How is the workforce aligned, and what priorities do we need to put in place to ensure our people are aligned with our mission and vision?
- Does our mission or vision need to change due to the wants and desires of the available workforce?
- Are the values of our ownership, leadership, customers, and our employees aligned?
- Does leadership have enough experience and knowledge on driving both the business and workforce strategies and ensuring they are aligned?
Asking these questions now will help drive your business and people strategies in the future and avoid the reactive nature of short-term planning.
Workforce Alignment and Culture Building
When our mission and vision and values have been determined and communicated to all, we need to develop our strategic plan for achieving that vision. What part do our leaders have in that vision and how do they ensure our employees are engaged in that vision? What do employees feel their role in the vision is, and what do they want their role to be?
For employees to feel fulfilled in their roles, they need to deeply understand their connection to the larger picture. Employees need to have an invested connection to the values chosen and determined by the organization, to how their role fits in with the bigger picture, and to where the organization is going and how they will get there. It is critical that each leader in the organization understands how to communicate, train, and engage their employees in those critical conversations.
Rehumanizing Our Workforce
With the increase of technology in the workplace, it is becoming increasingly important to align and rehumanize our workforce. That is not to say we should forego technological advancements, but rather we should explore how we are staying connected with our employees—and our employees with one another—in the fast-paced, demanding world of work. Examples of rehumanizing our workforce include ensuring our employees are connected through hands-on training and competency development, empowered to interact with our customers and exceed their expectations, and able to develop productive relationships inside the organization by building highly functional teams.
It is also important for leaders to get to know their employees on a deeper level—to understand how each of our employees value their work experience, what they need and want out of work, and how to get into both their heads and their hearts. Individualizing the approach to leading and managing people, acknowledging their overall well-being in life, and moving past the previous notion of only caring about your employee’s work performance will be critical as we begin to navigate the new world of work.
The continued, number-one challenge every organization is facing today is workforce pressures and changes. Therefore, be sure to ask yourself: “Are you doing enough to adapt to proactively propel your organization forward?”
If you would like assistance reviewing your workforce transformation or planning strategy, realigning your workforce, or understanding how to re-engage and rehumanize your workforce, please reach out to the HDG team at email@example.com or 763.537.5700.