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How to create the future of work strategy

Office meeting of young creative business people.
Image: REDPIXEL / Adobe Stock

The future of work is more than hybrid and remote. Even though organizations are already figuring out how to handle hybrid work, leaders need to think about how things will change in terms of where they work, when they work, who they work for and who they don’t. The work is considered, said Emily Rose McRae, senior director of research at Gartner.

At Tuesday’s Gartner’s Digital Work Summit on Creating the Future of Work Strategy, McRae said his research shows that three-quarters of organizations are not ready. Furthermore, 62% of HR leaders said that their biggest challenge is that their organization does not have a clear future of work strategy.

See: COVID-19 Gender Gap: Why Women Quit Their Jobs and Getting Back to Work (Free PDF) (Tech Republic)

The actions that leaders take today will shape the future work of their organization, not enough for a business unit or a department to formulate their own future work plans, he said.

Gartner highly recommends that organizations take a unified approach to the future of work. When this is done, you will be able to “truly celebrate your actions during the interruption,” and provide surface innovative ideas, as well as a centralized framework, that can be contextual and have a significant impact on both employee engagement and employee attraction. McRae said.

How to create the future of work strategy

Strategy begins by designing a framework that includes the analysis of trends, the context, and the future of the organization.

McRae advised organizations to prioritize trends and then develop a strategy for future scenarios.

Leaders need to “collect everything you can from internal and external sources” to do so. They should then try to make crowdsourced ideas and trends from employees and customers or clients.

“Whenever possible, try to get different perspectives, especially from your employees who know your business well,” he said. “Another strategy is getting the tendency to imagine a possible future.”

Then leaders need to understand trends and what they mean for their organization.

They should consider the impact from the macro scale, as well as the economic, social, political and industry-level effects, and again, what it means for their particular organization.

Ultimately, they can look at the types of opportunities available – whether it can provide some kind of talent benefit to the organization.

Organizations should consider flexibility

Turnover continues as people move back to their offices compared to when they were working remotely. McRae said there is a gap in expectations between what employers want and what current firms are offering when it comes to flexibility.

“When it comes to flexibility, overall companies are downsizing,” he said. “Adjustment is not only where you work, but when you work, how much you work, what you work for… half of the employees consider it. [issues] Important or very important. “

Companies that rethink how much people work, what they do, and with whom they work, “will be able to make some massive improvements to operations and move in a way that it wouldn’t have otherwise,” he said.

Flexibility should also extend to offsite workers, McRae added. Some best practices to do this include providing tenured employees with options on what fields they work in and with whom.

Referring to retail workers in particular, he said, “make it easier for employees to work in different locations,” and consider whether it is possible to give employees the option of when they start their work day.

“Where can you adjust your expectations and, in many cases, your scheduling software, which gives you more flexibility?” She said. “And what kind of transparency can you offer to prove to employees what decisions are made and how responsibilities are delegated?”

When it comes to field technicians, McRae suggested that leaders consider whether remote work can be authorized when they are not on the spot.

“Not every work that needs to be done is done on the field,” he said. “Why can’t they work remotely when work allows it?”

How to measure the future success of a work strategy

Some way to know if the firm’s future strategy is successful. McCray said that without specific metrics, leaders feel that it is not working.

They should look at areas including employee retention, contribution acceptance rates and employee engagement and productivity through surveys.

He said they should measure when there are changes and whether there are improvements in areas where there is no change.

McRae summed up his speech with a set of recommendations.

“When it comes to strategy, I highly recommend calling a cross-functional team to work. [areas where you] Crowdsourcing your trends and your initiatives in the past, ”he said. “Programs and ideas are very strong when they come from your employees.”

Initiatives are more likely to succeed when people contribute to them. Prioritize trends that your organization has a comparative advantage.

“Use the most impactful scenario plan and … go ahead and let go of the uncertain trends in your business strategy,” he said.

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