It was the headline of this article that really grabbed my attention and finding the content very easy to relate to, inspired this post. It’s become a bit of a cliché to link almost everything to the impact that technology and social media has had on the way we live, work and interact with each other – but there really is no denying it.
Articles harking back to the “good old days” where communities were supportive and everyone not only knew their neighbours but viewed them as friends (and not just on Facebook), where people interacted on a face to face basis (no, Skype does not count) and a job was a lifelong career, are quite prolific. The interesting thing is that these “traditional values” are no less important to the modern day workforce (albeit with a techno twist) – if not more so. The fast-track seems to have lost much of its appeal, and rapidly developing technology has created an increased demand for flexible schedules, a better work/life balance, a different vision of workplace expectations and prioritizing family over work.
It is precisely this shift that is creating waves ito the way businesses approach recruitment, talent management and retention. Most of us spend the larger parts of our lives at work, and let’s face it – You Only Live Once. It therefore makes sense to find somewhere you feel at home (that possibly also allows you to work from home) and where you identify closely with the “organisational culture”. Achieving this balance is tricky (even more so in an unstable economic climate) but how people earn their living impacts directly on how and why they do everything else. The benefits for companies that have embraced less traditional approaches are not only happier and more productive staff but healthier bottom lines.
Schneider’s article covered most of the main tips, guidelines and trends that will assist in navigating the modern and also (hopefully) post-recession career minefield, but the following stood out for me in another article related to this topic (written specifically in relation to the youth entering the job market but applicable to all ages): “The big issue is leadership. Employees don’t work for companies; they work for their direct supervisors. The importance of relationships and the quality of those relationships can’t be stressed enough. Leadership styles that include a heavy dose of negative feedback or military-style management techniques are simply not working. In exit interviews of workers aged 19 to 29 people revealed they left their jobs because of their boss, not because they disagreed with company beliefs, philosophies or culture”. The article supports the above statement with a variety of tips and actions that encourages staff retention, especially through mentoring and development. However, it’s not all about what the company can do for its employees; it’s about making employees feel that they are making a difference through what they do – ultimately the key to job satisfaction. Finding this balance can be quite challenging – something a 360 degree assessment can help with. It assists in uncovering real perceptions about employee behaviour, which will give you the opportunity to enhance trust and develop leadership in your organisation.
Here’s hoping that the trends of 2013 breathes new life into your organization and that we all find that niche that will make this popular quote a reality: Find something you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.