Hey there! How are you today? My expectation is that you are enjoying another terrific weekend. Sorry if you are not.
It’s again time to talk about human capital related matters today. I have said over and over again that human capital is critical to your business success. So, you can’t blame me for coming back to this human capital thing so soon. Can you? Of course not I believe. If you try blaming me I will most likely deflect it back to you. Putting that aside, today I intend to approach this topic from the angle of workplace trends, or rather, current changing trends in the workplace. Today’s workplace is changing rapidly, and so are enterprises and the entire world.
If you are an employer, you will realize that some of these changes are directly impacting your workforce already. Today’s workforce desires to spend less time in the office glued to the desk. This has given rise to blended workforce with a mixture of fulltime and freelancing workers. Again, the generation Z ladies and guys are extremely high-tech and love IT gadgets including social media like never before. This implies that the hours spent on a desktop might not realistically translate into productivity. Team performance instead of individual performance is being emphasized.
Additionally, the workplace is becoming more casual. Workplace liberty, wellness, work-life balance, and additionally other creative approaches to attracting and retaining staffs are becoming the order of the day. By the way, I’m not saying these to start a revolution in your enterprise if you are still 100% stuck in the ancient working place. Ok? My sincere intention is to provide for you some tips that may be useful in managing the rapidly changing workplace of today. So, what the hell are these tips anyway? Let’s get going now.
- Blend liberty with achievement of goals and targets. The day that your staffs start focusing on goals and targets instead of clocking time, you will not even feel their absence from their desks. If you have one person who fulfills his or her one week’s target in three days, why can’t he or she have some days off anyway? As current workplace trends change and people’s dislike for the 45 hours’ week and eight hours desk increases, simply benchmark them on the goals and targets. Don’t you think so? This is why Warren Buffet, the man from Omaha, writes only a single letter to his CEO’s in a year. You can indeed write a single letter with expectations and accompanying rewards and penalties, and leave the rest to those guys who find the desk hot, to perform. Can’t you? Quite a good approach I think.
- Let your staffs assess themselves. Another tip in managing current workplace trends involves throwing back performance assessment to the staffs. What I’m saying is this; allow your staffs to set key targets and other performance yardsticks (of course you can modify or agree with them on all that), have an understanding with them how they will be assessed, and provide for them the resources they need. They can even determine their rewards for achievement of the goals and targets. I’m assuming that you are dealing with serious people here, not jokers. This acts like a performance contract that commits staffs. If you have that very high level of commitment coupled with expectation, you should be able to go to bed and relax, knowing that your modern workplace is turning the wheels of activity and progress towards corporate goals. Do you understand what I’m talking about here? Trust me. The lazy ones will not survive in such an environment. They will prefer to clock hours in another idle place.
- Be generous with gadgets and systems. As I mentioned before, generation Z has increased appetite for IT gadgets. You could easily have many people working remotely for you with these, accessing resources in your server located in some place with an unpleasant or not-easy-to-remember name. Of course, I know you will tell me that not every nature of work fits here. I agree. Before machines replace the majority of workers you had better get people working. Full deployment of IT resources is another very good tip for managing current workplace trends. Don’t mind the fact that they might still use the same resources to Whatsup, Facebook or whatever you will like to call it. The idea is that you get your work done; you have a team of happy and satisfied people dashing around with high-tech gadgets, moreover with trendy social media access as a bonus. Again, it’s easy for you to detect those that spend the whole day gossiping. The smart gadgets can indeed be smart.
- The virtual office is no longer a mystery. Now, I mentioned the issue of remote working in my point above regarding deployment of IT. While managing current workplace trends, you should also understand that many roles and responsibilities in modern business can be performed in virtual offices, and not only at that location you call your office. If you do business in a big and very congested city, you are going to have staffs that spend about four hours a day on the road. Will such employees really be very productive in the interest of your enterprise? Flexibility and virtual offices are the solution. Even if you need to see their faces around to make you happy, they could start their workday at home and then zoom to office during times when the roads are pretty clear. Don’t you think so Mr. Entrepreneur?
- Ensure staffs buy into your vision and mission. Remember that there are millions of organisations in the world today, which are run by people that have bought into the mission and vision of the long gone founders. In fact, if the original founders could resurface from whichever world they moved to, they would be perplexed at the great following and success they have today. Getting results in the current workplace requires that you get senior people that entirely buy into your mission and vision. These will ensure the rest of the staffs are in good shape to help achieve that mission and vision. The rest of what happens in your enterprise will be history. There will certainly be an effective and efficient team and systems that create and deliver value to the market, very diligently – come rain, come sunshine. However, if you can’t succeed in getting people to buy into your vision and mission, you will fail in managing the current workplace with changing trends.
- Consider attitude, passion and expertise when recruiting staffs. Attitude normally determines altitude. Passion can keep someone awake at odd hours, and is also powerful enough to yank them from their beds. Expertise has value when combined with good attitude and passion. This is another tip in managing current workplace trends. You might have guys who don’t like your traditional office set-up and religiously followed office routines, but their passion, attitude and expertise gives them an edge to blend into your entrepreneurial machine. Why not? Who really cares if they get things done from the beach while sunbathing, or in their balcony? You might still have your seriously suited CEO negotiating deals in your office if you like, but the real engine will be working pretty hard with passion far away from the office.
- Be open to your staffs. By the way, I know that some of you entrepreneurs are so secretive that you will mentally fight this point about openness. For some of you, the accountant will hardly see the business cheque books. I’m not lying. The staffs have no clue about how the business is performing, simply because you hold and hide information like it’s the breath of life. Have you considered the benefits of keeping your staffs informed of key issues regarding your enterprise’s status and performance? Another tip for managing the current workplace filled with very knowledgeable and highly educated generation Z is openness. Your staffs can easily get a clue of what needs to be urgently done if you keep them informed. Even managing around important things in the business requires an informed people, otherwise you will have lots of pretenders and busy bodies milling around the place but achieving very little. Are you with me? Come on, you will operate secretly at your own peril, while your staffs are on Facebook and Instagram, simply because they have no clue about critical current issues to address.
OK. Let me make a hurried exit now. I’ve tried to keep it short and sweet (KISS), so that you stay tuned as you wait for my next post.
The Wise Entrepreneur