There are core truths that evolved in 2022. Life is changing before our eyes in ways that will make us forget it used to be any other way. It’s not often change happens in a Big Bang, but we can now say we’ve seen some of that play out in our lifetimes. More often, change is incremental, almost imperceptible. The change we’ve been experiencing in the Now of Work is both drastic and incremental, but the most important thing is that it’s progressive. We’re not slipping back, we’re innovating forward. What a good thing.
THESE ARE THE CORE TRUTHS THAT EVOLVED IN 2022 WHEN IT COMES TO THE NOW OF WORK:
- People are the lifeblood of your business, and that’s true in any economy. This isn’t lip service you pay in a tight talent market; you have to care for people when the chips are down, too.
- People will no longer wear masks to work. When you ask for whole human selves to show up at work, you’re asking not only for their highest human performance but for their flaws, fears, and frailty. If you haven’t invested in well-being approaches to support whole humans, you’re going to start blaming “performance” issues when really you have “humans at work” issues.
- The employers who win will stop expecting people to break through barriers and will REMOVE BARRIERS for people. Please take note of 15 things every employer can do to return and retain women and other underrepresented groups of workers in the workplace. That’s just one example of removing barriers for people; there are many other underrepresented and underserved groups of talent who deserve the same championship.
- Physicality of work matters, but don’t force it. Rather, stop and LISTEN to what people want. Be willing to test and experiment, and be willing to be wrong. EY spent $22M removing barriers to lure people back to the office, and they still didn’t come. Even though they specifically identified the barriers preventing them (commute, child care, pet care). We want to be together, we think. And/but on our terms. But it’s funny how fast new habits formed. Will take some time to re-form.
- The future of DEI is the future of work. It’s not a separate strategy, task force, or budget. It’s your people strategy, and it’s tied to your business strategy. Back to #1; if you’re in business, you’re in the people business. DEI is part and parcel of what it means to attract, hire, retain, and develop them. Listen to Pat Wadors explain how to weave talent strategies together in collective support of your key people tenets.
- While the physical dimension of work is still up for grabs (we crave human connection, storm and form better in physical teams, tire of Zoom and being “always on” — but we’re still bucking the office), we know one dimension is here to stay. Digital experience is both your foundation and multiplier when it comes to workforce experience. Leapgen helps shape Digital HR strategy and deploy solutions and HR services accordingly; just ask us for help.
- Look around the corner, and you will see the deconstruction of jobs and the reconstruction of talent based on skills and capabilities. None of your current talent processes are designed for this. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Start by taking inventory of workforce skills — not jobs, not work history, not gained experience. Correlate what you find with your high performers and natural leaders. Where are you getting it right, and what is your business missing? Now start describing opportunities that way. Not jobs — opportunities to participate and create value in your workforce. Give it a title later. Resumes and job descriptions will see their doomsday in our lifetimes.
We can change work for good, but only if we’re committed to the change required to transform. The world of work was already ripe for change, even before world events threw life, business, and society into hyper warped acceleration. Sorting through chaos and advancing transformation through intentional design will be the key to leveraging change as a business strategy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jess Von Bank is an 18-year industry veteran and impassioned evangelist of the modern candidate and employee experience. As both a former recruiting practitioner and an expert in bringing TA Tech and HCM vendor solutions to market, Jess looks to broaden executive mindset to better design and deliver a workforce experience that exceeds the expectations of talent and the needs of the business.
Jess offers specialized expertise in talent acquisition, recruitment marketing, employer branding, DEI&B, brand-building, and storytelling. She is the Head of Marketing for Leapgen, a digital transformation company shaping the Now of Work. She also runs the Now of Work, Leapgen’s global community for HR, Talent, and workforce experience professionals.
Jess is an active community emcee, ambassador for women’s and girls’ organizations, and President of Diverse Daisies, a nonprofit for girls’ enrichment and empowerment. She lives in Minneapolis, where she races for free swag and raises her 3 daughters.
Leapgen is a digital HR company shaping the NOW of Work. Highly respected as consultants and advisors to the enterprise and the industry, we help our customers make HR digital. Leapgen helps leaders rethink how to better design and deliver workforce services and architect HR technology solutions that meet the expectations of workers and the needs of the business.