The world of work is a constantly evolving and changing space, reacting to the most diverse stimuli and influences, with business owners and managers striving to direct their organizations to be as efficient and productive as possible.
Adding to this volatility, 2019 has seen the largest wave of organizational and workplace disruption in decades: the emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
To respond to the difficulties and constraints created by the virus, companies and organizations were forced to adapt to new work methodologies and technologies, with telecommuting being the most emblematic of these measures.
Although it brought difficulties, this disruption was also the ingredient for several companies to make a qualitative and quantitative leap in the way they face the labor market and its agents, looking for new forms of internal organization that could respond to the new needs and new habits that emerged during the last 2 years of adaptation to the pandemic.
Given the importance of this topic, Diggspace organized a Webinar in which extremely valuable insights were shared by two speakers from very different areas, but who also shared imilar challenges, bringing with them a unique vision of this new organizational world that we now face.
Our main lessons learned were:
If transformation isn’t genuine, it won't work - the search for transformation must be constant but without ever forgetting the employees. It doesn't matter whether the company is conservative or not, the potential for change will always be within reach, provided that there is openness to it.
Industry 4.0 will not put an end to jobs - the complementarity between technology and human beings is a positive factor that will change the reality of the labor market. Although robots and automatons are better than a human being at performing calculations and computing tasks, the human element such as empathy, the ability to create consensus and personal experiences are the elements that allow for companies to make decisions. This is not replaceable by a machine.
There is no "One Size Fits All" - all employees are unique and have their own personalities, characteristics, ambitions, difficulties and strengths. One of the great business challenges is to balance universal, fair and equitable policies with the uniqueness of each employee, their work preferences and the way they react to the company's initiatives.
How to Lead? By Example! - Leadership must earn people's respect, not through a policy of subordination and obedience, but through daily examples that inspire employees. In change processes, it's necessary to reassure people, showing them that change is healthy and that stagnation is dangerous for the whole company. It is necessary to nurture them, provide them with the conditions to learn new skills, and provide them with training, coaching, and other methodologies that allow them to evolve.
To inspire, you need to know - to know the true character of an employee, you need to challenge them and confront them with methodologies or ways of working that they don't know or haven't had the impetus to try yet. You need to get to know the employee beyond who they are in their 9am to 5pm schedule, find out what their drivers are, their interests, show empathy and give people space to talk and share what their wants are.
Culture eats technology for breakfast - no matter how motivated and ambitious leaders may be, when trying to implement new ways of managing, adopting emerging communication and collaboration technologies, it is crucial that a culture of openness, curiosity and innovation is instilled in the teams. Otherwise, the existing culture will tend to reject the most disruptive initiatives. Technology must support culture (and not the other way around), and culture must evolve according to the organization's strategy and the needs of its people.
And the next trends are: - online did not do away with the physical element in retail or in the workspace, it gave leaders, employees and customers more options. The future of work will be found when the balance between remote work, people's quality of life and comfort, and organizational efficiency is achieved, something that has been intensifying over the last few years. For example, already today, the younger generations are often unwilling to work if the proposal is anything other than than full-remote, even rejecting proposals that do not allow remote and/or hybrid work.
For Sérgio Martinho, Chief Information Officer at Lusitania, "We need fewer bosses and more leaders. The most important thing is to create a spirit where people are not afraid to fail. To err is normal, it's human, and only those who don't work, don't fail."
Erich Brodheim, Vice President of People & Technology at the Brodheim Group, believes that "It is not easy to create in all areas a mechanism of working by objective but we are trying to go deep into this, although there are areas where this is easier than others. Our CEO says something very nice: it's not work-life balance, it's life-balance, and everyone has their own life, although it's difficult to regulate this by impositions or by wills. Basically, we try to do the best, with good sense."
We are in an evolving stage of the labor market where technology is a great lever that allows forcompanies to adapt to times as fast as ours. It is increasingly imperative to have a digital single point where everyone can meet, drink information, share ideas, and interact, creating proximity, involvement, and a sense of belonging, wherever everyone is, whatever their work model.