As the world transitions to hybrid work models, enterprises of tomorrow can no longer afford to overlook the shifts needed to enable agility and meet redefined expectations from their workforce. With changing work dynamics, enterprises and individuals need to pay increased attention to human capital invested in doing work, generate better value for the workforce, create exemplary experiences in the workplace and empower people to be ready for the “future of work.”
What Got Us Here Won’t Take Us To The Future
Given the rapid pace of change, relying solely on the existing skill sets of the workforce is no longer adequate. Enterprises of tomorrow are demanding more from their employees and redirecting investment to build future-ready teams. Employees must take charge, responsibility and accountability for everyday growth and remain relevant.
The traditional career journey is a path that progressive enterprises now see as limiting growth opportunities. With changing demands, growing assimilation of technology and a shift in what, which, where and how people contribute, we see the future of work changing.
To influence desired future outcomes, enterprises have to create a conducive environment for employees to step up to the “never normal” world and out of their comfort.
To successfully carve new paths, leaders of tomorrow need to engage, enable and empower employees for everyday growth through platforms that facilitate policies, processes and practices.
Planning For Everyday Growth
Changing workplace dynamics are seeing increasing demand and readiness to transition to new roles. Expectations from the workforce to contribute are much faster than the development of workforce capability. HR leaders must reset and reinvent workforce planning norms to ensure capacity and ability to staff new roles and meet demands influenced by evolving customers and the evolving multigenerational workforce.
As we shift responsibility to shape the growth path to the individual employee, enterprises are responsible for changing their experience at every stage of the employment lifecycle. Whether it’s a promotion or lateral transition, an individual’s ability to adapt requires a transition in mindset and mechanics.
Engaging For Growth
Enterprises must identify leaders, encourage transparent conversations and build a trusting connection with everyone. These can lead to higher quality, clearer personalized performance and career progression plans for a defined period.
A co-created plan between people who own, share or support performance must specify goals with time-bound milestones and track progress. Measurable achievement and recognition of established milestones can then enhance the commitment to work toward common goals.
Strengthening the line of sight between proficiency and contribution leads to everyday growth.
Enabling For Growth
As employees enhance their engagement, their mindset can shift if the time between positive feedback and experiences is inconsistent and longer than their expectations.
Technology and tools can enable employees to take action for everyday growth. You can do this by incorporating features like AI-driven market intelligence on skill and skill gaps, crafting personalized career and learning recommendations, facilitating internal mobility and succession planning, aligning people goals with organization goals, recognizing and rewarding performance and milestones and more.
Structuring and scheduling time for learning opportunities and skill development in the “flow of work” facilitates everyday learning. It could be a “tip of the day” or a “five-minute learning module.” Small changes can help break the routine and translate into valued learning.
Humans are lifelong learners and can challenge themselves to exceed their own benchmarks. Continuous ability to assess skill development enables employees to stay current and future-ready in a fast-paced talent market. Nurturing talent in a culture where learning is valued every day can resonate with committed and capable employees.
Empowering For Growth
Staying in the same role can become routine and often create comfort zones. Working without challenge tends to lead to reduced creativity and results in stagnant capabilities. Challenging individuals to explore new opportunities and solutions to achieve their goals empowers them to maximize the possibilities within the organizational canvas.
To push people out of their convenience circle, they need to be moved. It could be a horizontal or vertical movement—a transfer to another location, function or within teams—triggered by an individual’s aspiration or an organizational need.
Once they take the initial steps out of their comfort zone and find the right balance between certainty of outcomes and uncertainty of stretch, they often realize their true potential. This takes time, effort, resources and daily investment.
New roles have new nuances that require employees to become proficient. They can benefit from practices like shadow learning, 360 feedback, continuous coaching, networking, relation-building, upskilling and reskilling.
Everyday work schedules often put learning in the backseat, so progressive enterprises must actively create practices and platforms to make learning a part of the “flow of work.” Personalized nudges can power actions and give people the freedom to ideate, decide and act.
Investing in engaging, enabling and empowering everyday growth can create anchors for commitment and capability and contribute to career progression. Pushing collective and individual boundaries empowers people to embrace their true potential.
Action Translates Potential Into Performance
While mindset and mechanics create a learning culture, the creativity it generates needs to translate to contribution.
Ensuring the right people utilize the right data at the right time and in the right way to make the right decisions at every stage of the business lifecycle can mitigate risk to growth.
Enterprises and employees who have adopted practices that lead to everyday growth have solved the “strategy to execution” jigsaw puzzle faster and can remain future-relevant. They proactively seek data and translate it to information; information then leads to ideas and insight, which inspires the right decision leading to the required action.