During this era of unprecedented instability, leaders in every sector and region have been managing their organizations for resilience through three phases.
First came the response, when leaders made bold decisions to adapt and accelerate transformation so their organizations could weather rapidly changing conditions. Next came the recovery, which included reflecting, rethinking, and rebooting the business to emerge from the crisis stronger than before.
It’s now time to focus on the third phase: ensuring your organization will thrive in this changed landscape by embracing the future of work through new insights and capabilities. To thrive, your organization must take a human approach to rethinking and rebuilding work to prioritize people above all else.
The Human Approach
An overwhelming 96% of respondents to the recent annual Deloitte Human Capital Trends survey said organizations are responsible for employees’ well-being—but 79% said well-being isn’t designed or integrated into the workplace.
The pandemic has thrown this imbalance into stark relief. Despite the flexibility offered by remote and virtual workplaces, many intangible but critical qualities of well-being have suffered. Smart machines and cognitive technology may boost efficiency, but humans who work with them say they feel more isolated, anxious, and burned out than ever.
It’s critical now to focus on strengthening your employees’ sense of belonging and on the satisfaction, purpose, and pride they feel in doing good work that supports your organization. It’s not your tools and technology that make your organization resilient, but instead the way you empower employees to apply their creativity, strategy, and ingenuity.
Three Steps to the Future
Leading your organization into the future of work depends on taking three critical steps:
- Set the enterprise mindset for your organization by making humanization a strategic priority, fostering coordination and collaboration across practices and departments so employees can align on your mission and vision.
- Recognize work itself as a motivator by clearly defining your goals and then inspiring and energizing your employees to apply their own innovative and creative thinking to meet those goals.
- Reorient your organization’s focus to future potential, not your past performance, by inviting people to imagine and pursue new possibilities.
To put these concepts into practice, your organization will need to make three significant shifts in your work, workforce, and workplace.
Work: From Process to Flow
People don’t work the same way machines do. We’re programmed not to operate in rote routines but rather to operate with human nature, bringing our ideas, motivations, and creativity. We change course and tactics to achieve different outcomes and enable new aspirations.
For your organization, redesigning processes to put humans at the center and infuse more meaning into their work may mean
- pushing your leadership to unlock human potential to achieve bigger outcomes,
- applying technological capabilities to enable and elevate human capabilities, and
- focusing not on optimizing work outcomes but unlocking the flow of work.
Workforce: From Structure to Capabilities and Potential
With rapid changes to technology, customer needs, and employment structures, the workforce continues to change from traditional models. And workers themselves drive much of this change as they seek greater flexibility—whether in their physical location or in their job description.
The most important factor executives in the Deloitte survey cited for thriving in a continually disrupted business landscape is their workers’ ability to adapt, reskill, and assume new roles, but only 17% of executives feel their workforce is ready to do this.
In your organization, you can unleash your workforce’s creativity and flexibility by
- building a strategy to achieve greater outcomes through a broader talent ecosystem,
- using technology to support human power, encouraging insights that uncover opportunities, and
- personalizing and elevating the work experience to help people reach greater potential.
Workplace: From Physical to Organization and Culture
Even before the pandemic, the notion of the traditional workplace was rapidly disappearing. Today, the workplace is no longer a building or an office but rather a mindset that comprises the processes, policies, and cultures that encourage collaboration and engagement among all physical locations.
Your organization can now rethink your workplace as a flexible, adaptable hybrid that can continually adapt, using both the assets of physical space and best digital practices. Reorienting your work environment to optimize human potential may mean
- redesigning your physical and digital environments with an emphasis on collaboration and culture-building,
- ensuring leaders can build trust and confidence through a culture of belonging and safety, and
- prioritizing humans’ well-being by adapting to workers’ personal preferences and needs.
The Future of Work
Transforming and leading into the future of work is unique to every organization, as each has its own mission, challenges, goals, and outcomes. And it’s not a singular shift but an evolving process.
For your organization, the key to thriving is to support a vision for the future that focuses on the power of your organization’s humanity so you can unleash human creativity and create lasting value for your organization, your people, and your world.
Learn more about how Deloitte can help your organization embrace the future of work.