6 Strategies for Future-Proofing Your Workplace

4 mn read

Going to work today means something very different than it did before the pandemic. Employees are coming in (or logging in, if they work remotely) with new desires and expectations for what the experience of work should be like. Many companies are trying hard to accommodate these shifts to prevent workers from jumping ship. It’s critical to future-proof your workplace if you want to drive renewed engagement and loyalty among your employees. But first, you need to understand what’s changed and how it’s likely to impact your organization.

Employees are leaving their jobs in record numbers.

Many workers have reevaluated their priorities and life goals, including what they expect from an employer. And if that reassessment uncovers a feeling that they feel undervalued or stuck in their careers, they have increased confidence in their ability to find a new position. A recent Robert Half survey found that four in 10 workers were looking or planning to look for a new role in the second half of 2022, while 88% of workers said they felt confident about their skill sets and marketability.

For employers, the double whammy of low unemployment and record-high attrition rates poses a threat to business continuity, and companies are sensing the threat. In a Protiviti and North Carolina State University report on top business risks, succession challenges and the ability to attract and retain top talent jumped from the eighth spot in 2021 to second in 2022.

Flexible work arrangements are now a must-have for many employees

Workers are firm about their desire for flexibility. Robert Half found that 54% of professionals working from home said they would look for a new job if their employer required them to return to the office. Because of its appeal, remote working — whether full-time or hybrid — is now at least an option for businesses that are able to offer it. Companies recognize the new reality: allowing flexible work arrangements gives them a clear advantage in a tight job market.

6 Strategies for Future-Proofing Your Workplace

6 strategies for future-proofing your workplace

Now that you understand what’s going on, how can you adapt to these monumental shifts in the workplace?

  • Turn the demand for remote work to your advantage

Remote working is here to stay, so incorporating it into your workplace culture will increase job satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately retention. Added benefits? The ability to hire skilled workers from virtually anywhere. This gives you wider access to people with in-demand skill sets.

  • Reassess the role of the office

Both remote and in-office working offer advantages, so you should aim to provide employees with the best of each. Start by prioritizing what you want to accomplish when employees are in the office, whether that’s training, special events, or brainstorming. Then identify and solve practical challenges. Take team meetings. These are straightforward when all attendees are either onsite or working from home. With a hybrid workforce, you could maintain this homogenous experience by asking everyone to log in from their own machines, whether they’re at home or in the office. If you prefer “hybrid huddles,” make sure your meeting spaces are equipped with the right video conferencing equipment to accommodate remote workers who will be dialing in.

  • Don’t ignore professional development

While remote work is the most prominent, it’s not the only thing workers now expect of a company. Robert Half’s research shows that one in three professionals cite more opportunities to advance as a reason for changing jobs. In particular, Generation Z workers (born late 1990s-early 2000s) consider growth opportunities their top job search priority.

At the same time, technology has caused many jobs to evolve and created new roles requiring different skills. The Protiviti-North Carolina State University report predicts that by 2031, the top concern among executives will be the need to upskill and reskill their workforces to cope with the adoption of digital technologies. That’s why employers need to focus on professional development now.

  • Take on an expanded role in supporting your team members

Today’s managers must recognize and accommodate the full scope of workers’ needs, whether they are workplace and schedule flexibility, professional development, spending more time with family or better benefits. Connect more often with your team to also offer emotional support and help them better focus on health and wellness, now a greater priority to many. Find out how their goals may be changing and let them know how critical they are to the success of the business by citing specific examples of where they’ve made a measurable difference.

  • Make sure you’re offering the most popular perks and benefits

If you’re struggling to match your competitors on salary, consider what else you could offer to attract and retain top talent. Extras that help employees improve their work-life balance, such as paid time off, paid family leave, and even four-day work weeks, are particularly popular in 2022. Take surveys to find out what your workers value most, and don’t assume you know what’s best for them.

  • Upskill and reskill, again and again

Jobs evolve and new roles are continually being created, all demanding new skill sets. So, look inward to ensure that existing employees are receiving the training and support they need, including mentoring, job-shadowing, and fee reimbursement for professional certifications and college courses. Also, consider recruiting workers who may lack the expertise you prefer, but have the potential and bandwidth for gaining the needed skills and growing into the role — and beyond.

Workplaces are evolving as employees strive to achieve their ideal work-life balance against a backdrop of technology-driven transformations. You can future-proof your workplace by not only adapting to these changes but by embracing them wholeheartedly.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Leadership, Talent Management

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