Culture is nothing but a company’s personality. A company’s culture encompasses the norms and practices followed within the organization along with the behavioural expectations that ultimately influence how people interact both internally and externally.
In a recent survey of CEOs by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 71% cited workplace culture as an important aspect of their talent strategy that would make the greatest impact on attracting and retaining the people needed to remain competitive.
In yet another survey by Deloitte about the future of the workplace, nearly 7 out of 10 executives said that their company’s culture will be critical to realizing their organisational mission. These statistics alone are indicators of the extreme importance associated with having a great company culture.
Companies are asking themselves several questions when it comes to figuring out the way to build a great work culture such as…
What do you stand for?
What are your core values?
What’s your team like?
How do you interact with each other?
Organisations are rushing to answer those questions and build a strong culture that brings and retains top level talent. As more and more companies focus on this, the future of workplace culture is bound to get impacted.
Let us figure out the how, why, when, and where the impact would be and what would our future workplaces look like!
What Will Company Culture Look Like in the Future?
A culture based on trust is a strong driver of a successful business. The statistics below prove this point. Employees who said they have a great place to work as compared to their peers had a strong and caring organisation culture.
Employees who are a part of such an organisation are:
- 4 times more likely to say they are willing to give extra time to get the job done.
- 8 times more likely to say they are proud to share where they work, popularizing their employer’s brand.
- 13 times more likely to say they want to work there for a long time.
- 20 times more likely to say their workplaces exhibits traits linked to innovation.
Respect and Trust:
Effective work culture is based upon the three facets of trust, respect, and dignity between everyone – leader, team member, customer, etc. Every interaction amongst the different stakeholders in an organisation has to uphold these values in order to enforce a positive and productive work culture. Future leaders will definitely create a culture that values each employee in the organisation and encourages them to produce better results. The plans, decisions, and actions will be geared towards creating a healthy environment in the organisation.
Lately, the startup culture, which majorly comprises of a cubicle-free, open workplace, along with interesting freebies such as in-house gyms or ping pong tables, is flourishing. Slowly, this culture will shift and companies will start focusing more on physical and psychological well being i.e. intrinsic needs. Companies will be more adept at linking intrinsic needs that boost employee performance with activities that shape culture.
Impact on Revenue:
Every organisation will start questioning themselves on a very important metric, which is “How healthy is our culture?” Studies have shown that a healthier culture multiplies the company’s growth and enhances resilience against crises and inculcates the ability to withstand the normal ups and downs of business. An organisation’s culture and health is just as reliable an indicator of success as sales. Employees who are valued love coming to work and they outperform companies where employees feel disengaged and undervalued. The future health of workplace culture will focus on creating a healthy culture first, as it will have a direct correlation with business growth.
In the coming 10-15 years, company culture will be dramatically influenced by the Internet of Things or IoT. IoT refers to smart devices and the inter-networking of all electronics, phones, vehicles and software. This will lead to the proliferation of IoT which will result in a flexible work schedule. 3-hour lunch breaks, late mornings or half-day Fridays will become a frequent and usual option. The less defined work hours, flexibility in work location will ensure that the work is being done regardless of the location.
Flatter organisations, salary transparency, executive accountability and a higher commitment to social responsibility are some of the aspects the future of corporate culture is bound to experience. Brands are getting smarter about aligning their external promise to internal employee experience, and employees are getting smarter about aligning their career and personal goals.
Corporate Social Responsibility:
Consumerism is shifting towards individuals who like to invest their disposable income in different experiences rather than the future. Companies of all sizes will need to define their core values to represent a caring culture.. Millennials have a lot of options at their disposal and they will demand transparency in the future all the more. Aligning business with a relevant cause will help companies to attract better candidates who are ready to perform their duties towards society.
Since everyone will be in regular touch with each other, the desire for immediate results will also find its way into the workplace. This could manifest itself in many forms, but the one that will have the biggest impact on company culture is the need for instant feedback. Employees would want to know how they are performing in the organisation. Yearly reviews will be long gone and future employees will demand that feedback at the drop of a hat. This will ultimately foster a company’s culture of continuous self-improvement.
Diversity and Inclusion:
The future workplace culture will need to focus on inclusion to create productive work environments. Whenever organisations feel a shortage of knowledgeable workers, by tapping new regions or underutilized demographic segments, the company can find its way towards the right skill set. Teams may be more far-flung, coming from different backgrounds and have varied communication preferences. Tech solutions will have a major role to play in this cultural shift, facilitating better collaboration across time zones, providing accommodations for people with disabilities and even helping managers conquer their own biases.
Communicating Effectively Will be Tough:
Finding employees who are good communicators is a perennial challenge for companies. Even companies don’t do much to cultivate these skills amongst onboard employees. With so many apps and online tools available, people are most likely to text each other to communicate something, rather than have a face to face conversation. This communication is likely to widen with time. In addition to voice, text, and video, advances in virtual reality will change the way people meet and interact, and being an effective communicator is going to include mastering various media. Adapting and being adept at using multiple platforms is going to be essential. In fact, managing the platforms themselves in an inclusive way is going to be essential as workplaces become more diverse.
Trust Factor Will be Risky:
With the increased adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning in virtually every area of work, employers will have access to a great deal of data about employees, productivity, and work patterns. This transparency will allow employers to find ways to improve productivity, such as provide training in areas where employees are struggling. But such data will also lead to new concerns about privacy and trust. Employees will feel the need to ensure that the employees are safeguarding the data collected about them, so being transparent about how data is collected and used will be necessary to foster trust between the employer and the employee.
Workers Will Focus on Upskilling Themselves:
Technology will automate repetitive tasks and jobs that once humans did, which will also create anxiety about being ‘left behind’. Workers and employers would partner to create lifelong learning pathways to keep pace with technology and other workplace developments. Employees will look forward to knowing the level of commitment of an organisation to ‘upskill’ them so that they have a job even if a part of their job is taken over by AI. Building confidence to overcome the nagging fear about being replaced by technology will be an essential cultural strength in companies with strong retention rates.
Employee Comfort Will be Prioritized:
Culture is also affected by the spaces in which people work. Since the open-space floor plans have received critical feedback by some, it may cause companies to create more flexible, thoughtfully designed workspaces that facilitate employees’ workflow and needs. Redesigns will include more private spaces and workstations that facilitate concentration and deep work. Everything from lighting to noise levels to temperature will be optimized for employee performance and comfort. Beautiful spaces that have exceptional technology and facilitate work may even attract more remote workers back to the office on a regular basis.
Trends That Will Shape the Future of Work
Technology, demographics, flexible-work schedules and everything mentioned above is going to impact the future health of the workplace culture immensely. To adapt to these changes, the underlying challenge is to stay agile and active.
Here are four key trends agile organizations need to embrace to prepare for the future of work:
There has been a complete shift in the way information is shared in the companies today. Technological advancements have empowered employees to access information and share ideas within their organisations faster than ever before. Leaders must evaluate how their organisation interacts with the potential talent, current employees and how do they collaborate with the work to create a conducive environment in the organisation. With the onset of digital transformation in the workplaces, collaboration is going to be the key in aligning work technologies, people and boundaries. Enhancing communication to promote transparency and idea sharing via virtual and face to face methods is the top cultural priority for companies today, which includes:
- Making leaders and managers available for feedback
- Making important information readily available to employees
- Proactively soliciting ideas to improve how their organisations do business
A study by the future workplace and beyond found that 83% of HR leaders see Employee Experience as a key to the organisation’s success.
Today, the total measure of an employer is the total experience of an employee.
Employees have avenues like Glassdoor website and other review sites at their disposal, where employees can rate and review their employers based on compensation, benefits, the management or organisational culture. This has made it mandatory for HR teams to take employee experience seriously. Organisations need to be prepared and in line with the changing ways, employees are seeking experience while working there. HR needs to be very proactive in providing the best experience to its employees.
76% of employees find it difficult to manage personal, family and work commitments, according to a study by the Ernst & Young. This is a primary reason why workplace flexibility along with compensation and benefits are the top considerations for accepting a job and staying with an employer.
Most millennials consist of dual-career couples, one of whom is likely to take time off to care for their children. Not every organisation has full-time maternity/ paternity policies in place and the parents cannot forego the care of their child once their leaves get exhausted. That is why most employees have the pre-condition of flexi-time or telecommuting while taking on a job.
Even before the future of work arrives, it is important to acknowledge how the nature of work has changed over time. Work is no longer constrained to a cubicle or a desk; it is a creative construction of ideas, teamwork, and workflows. It is a total unit of productivity distributed to people, teams, and companies. Even though technology helps to facilitate this new kind of work, it remains rooted in the employee experience because the adoption or deletion of any tool or solution depends on employees’ acceptance towards it.
The future of the organisation is already on the threshold and it is high time that the organizations understand this fact. There is a revolution taking place in the workplace culture and all the organizations need to adapt to this positive change.