The increasing influence of technology in workplaces is heralding a massive shift in the way employers and employees interact with each other. New values are emerging in this relationship with older conventions depicting a significant imbalance paling into insignificance quite quickly.
The new trends in the corporate sector are now giving more prominence to talent, work flexibility, and mutual respect which is definitely a positive development in every respect.
Moral Values to Practical Realities
Finding purpose in work and attaining self-actualization are important facets of work culture that are worth striving for. That said these values conform to the higher rungs of Maslow’s need hierarchy theory with the majority of employees never reaching those lofty grounds and stuck primarily in fulfilling their basic needs and requirements.
Therefore, the more realistic criteria for anchoring the functioning of the corporate world is the Learning, Earning, and Meaning (LEM) model. The LEM model can also be mapped alongside Maslow’s theory and here employees can be easily categorized into segments of Learning and Earning segments with only a handful crossing over to higher aspects of lives attached with the dimension of ‘Meaning’.
In the fast-changing business landscape, both employees and employers are waking up to the emerging realities of work culture. Both parties are realizing the temporary nature of their contracts which is far from being stable in the absence of a binding force of common values and ethos. This has made employers more open to the idea of extending more respect, power, and freedom to their workforce within the broader contours of accountability.
Employees are also becoming more mindful of their responsibilities and the contribution they have to make consistently to the overall profitability of the company.
The workforce today realizes that until they become a strategic asset for the organization, their growth prospects in the company will remain limited and subdued. In other words, the relationship between employer and employee is becoming more realistic with a focus on creating a win-win situation that will benefit both stakeholders.
Flexible Work Policies
Unlike the conventional rubrics of 9 to 5 working, employees today are exploring remote and hybrid work opportunities that will help them to create a balance between their professional and personal lives.
These people are talented and apt at managing their work within the given deadlines and this self-management capability is encouraging firms to extend a flexible work culture to personnel.
The adoption of Flexible work policies is equally beneficial for companies as they realize higher productivity, low rentals, and less overhead cost for monitoring and controlling the employees, thereby saving a lot of resources in the process.
Unlike the conventional system of linear growth in a typical organization, the new-age talented pool of employees is very much upfront about their growth prospects in the company. Modern employees believe in multitasking, smart work, and delivering results on desired parameters.
In return, these people expect firms to objectively judge their performance and reward them with the fair share of benefits they have earned from their hard work. In case these employees feel that their genuine growth aspirations are being hampered by subjective distortions, they won’t think twice before leaving the organization.
Shifting Power Dynamism
Gone are the days when employers tend to have firm control of the power dynamics within and to an extent outside the organization. The fast-changing business environment has balanced out the power equation with both employers and employees today having equal say on the important decision parameters of the firm.
This has shifted the focus of new-age firms to create a culture of mutual rewards where not only the company and employees are benefitted but rather other stakeholders also get a fair share of their benefits.
While the tone of the relationship between employers and employees is getting positive by the day, experts are concerned about the missing element of the “Human Touch” in this ongoing shift that aims to achieve better productivity and growth prospects for the entire business ecosystem.
As Jim Collins emphasizes in his book titled Good to Great people that the train and the people are the most important aspects of enduring firms, the contemporary compulsions on profitability, shareholders value, and customer satisfaction are leading businesses in a different direction.
Unfortunately, ongoing trends are indicative of the deviation where we are fast losing sight of both the train and the people – and this is exactly what needs to be reversed on an urgent basis.