In most organizations all over the world, decisions are made by executives or key stockholders. Their decisions encompass everything from how work should be done, what work to do, what to wear, who to work with and where to work including technologies that will be used. The decisions are passed down the food chain to senior and mid-level managers who enforce the rules and pass them down to the employees. However, this trend is changing and organizations are forced to create working environments where employees will want to work on. Talented employees have less need for organizations but organizations need these talents.
What is the reason for this reversal?
Employees today bring with them new values, attitudes and expectations as well as ways to work in an organization. The reversal starts with the 7 principles of future employees that include:
• Flexible work environment
• Customization of work
• Sharing of information
• New ways of communication and collaboration
• Ability to become a leader
• Shifts from knowledge worker to ability worker
• Learns and teaches at will
Flexible work environment means that employees are no longer bound to an office since they can work anywhere as long as there is internet connectivity. Employees have begun to shape their career paths and choose the projects they can work on. Those who share their ideas and information will be the ones who will succeed in their careers and not those who hoard what they know. For employees, there are many effective means of communication and collaboration aside from emails. Employees are now being recognized for their contributions giving them the opportunity to become future leaders. Employees also have more ability to learn and apply the learning to different scenarios. Learning and teaching can happen inside organizations without the benefit of training because the organization can tap into the collective intelligence of the employees.
However, this reversal is not yet evident in many organizations but the next few years will be very interesting as job security and long term employment will come into question by both employees and employers. Some organizations are already starting to offer flexible work and offering new “perks” to their employees.