The world of work has changed significantly since I joined the workforce a million year ago! For good and bad we are increasingly becoming a 24/7 culture. Working outside the office has never been easier. Global connectivity and technology allow us to work remotely, at our own pace and on our own terms. But how do we harness the benefits of flexible working while still ensuring we get the best out of employees, and give the best to our employees? As CEO of a global executive search firm I’ve spoken to leaders from all over the world to find out how they’re adapting their approach in order to retain talent, attract new hires and create an agile workforce that can thrive in today’s globalised digital age.
The pandemic revolutionised how we work
That’s no surprise to anyone, we still here the ‘new normal’ conversations daily, but recently we’ve also seen a lot of noise around returning to office working. In todays very tight labour markets, at all levels flexible working can be a key way to retain and attract talent, but it’s also an opportunity to create a culture of trust and accountability.
The pandemic has forced us all to look at our working lives with fresh eyes, which is why we see so many firms making major changes in how they operate. This isn’t just about flexible hours or remote working; it’s about creating a culture where people know what their role means for the company’s success.
Global and regional differences
To be successful, leaders need to understand how culture affects people’s work and wellbeing. They need to understand the role of technology in shaping our lives, and what its use means for future generations. For companies operating across borders it’s important to recognise regional differences in work culture, and communication styles. It is important that leaders foster a global environment where employees can thrive – one that encourages flexibility and accountability.
It is also important they lead by example. If trust is the cornerstone of any successful organisation then you have to believe in your employees to do their jobs and to give them autonomy – this will allow them to perform at their best, which will ultimately benefit your business overall!
The role of leaders
Leadership is more important than ever. We have all seen the impact of leaders who are not inspiring, motivated and skilled in their role. As a result we have also seen many companies fall into decline when their leadership has failed them. Dare I say Tesla?
So why does leadership matter so much? The answer is simple: because it makes a significant difference to performance and results. Leaders need to be able to influence others, motivate them and inspire them enough to make major changes happen in their work life – even when they don’t want those changes! They must lead change management programmes through difficult periods when people’s attitudes towards change are negative at best or downright hostile at worst (and they often are!). Leaders must be able to manage conflict and misunderstanding between different stakeholders within the organisation. Emotional intelligence, and clear, honest communication have never been a more critically important skill set and trait for a leader
Flexible working is here to stay
When it comes to flexible working, there are no barriers. There’s no need for an office or a desk or even on occasion internet connection. You can work from anywhere and at any time. Flexible working is here to stay, and it’s great for employers and employees alike.
A flexible working culture can help increase productivity by removing distractions (like the constant buzz of emails coming in) while also reducing stress levels by getting everyone out of the office and into their own environments. It also helps retain talent by giving them the option to work remotely if they’re traveling or just want a day away from their desk without feeling like they’re being punished for taking advantage of that option too often! Finally, having an open-door policy promotes better communication between management teams as well as increased engagement among employees who feel more valued when allowed greater autonomy over how they do their jobs.”
How to get the best out of employees.
To run a successful company or team, you need to start with the right people. (As CEO of an executive search firm you’d expect me to say that, but I’m far from alone in that belief). After all, if your employees aren’t happy in their roles, it doesn’t matter what project management software is being used or how many ping pong tables are dotted around the office – your business will suffer as a result.
So what makes an employee successful? What makes them want to show up for work every day and do their best? According to HR experts at Forbes and Glassdoor , there are three things that help create the right culture for success: trust, accountability and flexibility. And at Hyperion Executive Search we get the same feedback from clients and candidates alike.
In short, we can say that the current working culture has been and is continually being transformed. The old concept of “working hard” is no longer valid, as people work more effectively in different ways and from different places. This means that our organisations need to be flexible and adaptable to new forms of collaboration, which will lead them to be more agile and innovative. Most of all it requires strong leadership, honest communication, a culture of trust, and a great hiring and retention strategy. Something we can certainly help you with.