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Employee Wellbeing

How differently will we and our organisations need to think and behave in the future?


Cathy Brown

Executive Director, Engage for Success

The world is changing, and work is changing with it. How will that impact the way we lead, manage and operate in the workplace?

Technology is revolutionising our workplaces. Increasingly, jobs will be automated and the jobs we do will be focused on the things human beings can uniquely offer: our flexibility to learn and adapt, our ability to innovate, our humanity. Concepts like Glassdoor bring transparency into the heart of the organisation.

The concept as we know it today of a career will soon be out of date. We are moving to non-linear career patterns because people now live longer, work longer and want different things from work at different points in their lives. Portfolio careers, second or even third careers, self-employment are all on the rise.

Socially responsible businesses, social enterprises and new business models are leading the way in more engaging, effective working cultures. Research demonstrates that organisations with sustainable high engagement consistently outperform the market, have higher retention rates, have lower rates of sick leave and are safer to work in.

Increasing flexiblity

Organisations are starting to think differently. We are already seeing great examples of this – think less hierarchy, more self organising teams. Think trusting people to design their own shift patterns, plant layouts, working arrangements. Think people able to leverage their own capability and potential, for their own benefit and for the benefit of the organisation. Think people developing new and exciting ways to offer products and services so creating competitive advantage and innovative, motivating workplaces.

We need to remember that we are all employees, and engagement isn’t something that’s done to us, it’s something we all create, together. And work might be changing, but fundamentally we still need certain things to feel engaged.

We need to be involved in the strategy of our organisations, and really feel our part in the vision. We need to be confident that we are recognised as individuals and give scope & support to bring our whole selves to our work. We need to trust that our voices will be heard and welcomed within our organisations. We need to see that what our leaders say is backed up by what they do.

So, what do we do?

We can co-create engaging environments where we can be innovative and fulfil our potential.

We can engage ourselves in the change, work out what we want the world of work to look like. We can hold our leaders to the values and behaviours that they put out there, and live them ourselves.

People who enjoy their work make good things happen. We can call it engagement, involvement, we can call it commitment, we can call it enlightened.

Whatever we call it, we can start building better places to work now, places that help us, our organisations and our economy to flourish, that give us a sense of meaning and achievement and that are a natural part of the long, healthy and happy lives we’re going to live.

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