A brand’s identity is cultivated from the inside-out. Kathryn Minshew, CEO & Founder of The Muse has said, “you know, as most entrepreneurs do, that a company is only as good as its people. The hard part is actually building the team that will embody your company culture and propel you forward.”
Human Resources is a growing industry however with the rise of distrust in global brands we’re presented with an opportunity to review our internal processes to better the future of our businesses… for good. So what does the current human resources landscape look like and why do brands need to prioritise their people and culture?
An Evolving Landscape
Throughout modern history, there have been three known industrial revolutions; Steam (1700s), Electricity (1800s), Computing (1900s) - and we’re currently living in the fourth industrial revolution; Connected.
The fourth industrial revolution could be seen as a complete extension and optimisation of everything before it. Professor Klaus, author of The Fourth Industrial Revolution shares that, "the changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril. My concern, however, is that decision-makers are too often caught in traditional, linear (and non-disruptive) thinking or too absorbed by immediate concerns to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping our future."
In this revolution we’re experiencing various technologies driving seamless integration and efficiency in our working systems. These technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, computational technologies, extend reality (VR, AR, MR), biomolecular and biotechnological progressions, robotics, 3D printing, sustainable materials and alternative energies, interconnected devices and products, energy storage.
Every industry is navigating disruption at a rate we’ve never seen before. Looking at the issues facing employment in this momentous era we find that:
- 45% of people say lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue impacting their work performance
- We’re neglecting to acknowledge that technology is a human creation and is most often invented to solve a problem we face.
- We need to adapt and accommodate for a new generation and the ways they learn, engage, consume and contribute.
Get Your Priorities In Order
Change is inevitable and it should be welcomed. Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. We already know that millennials are choosing their workplaces because their employers are transparent, their values align with the company, and they will be provided with opportunity for growth. Not only do businesses need to accommodate for the next generation but we’re also faced with the challenge of assisting in the responsiveness of our current workforce. What do we need to do to adapt?
Culture & Performance Go Hand in Hand
Challenging and changing company culture is far from easy but when there is toxicity in the heart of a company, it’s critical that something is done. Even when there isn’t, it’s important that we continuously use foresight to improve our internal culture and processes for continuous growth.
Shahnaz Broucek, a professor of coaching and mentoring for MBA students at the University of Michigan says, “leadership sets the tone of the workplace culture and acceptable behaviour patterns. Conflict avoidance, chronic stress, and office politics can lead distracted leaders to unconsciously allow negative behaviours like bullying to poison the well.”
According to Simon Sinek building a strong foundation requires starting with “why”. Building on this foundation can only be done sustainably by ensuring your employees purpose for being in your company aligns with why the company is there is the first place. This is the core of culture, everything else is built on a brands purpose.
In the current employment market, employee retention is one of the hardest challenges businesses face. If we are to increase retention and adapt to the changes of the 4th industrial revolution, investing in education is a must.
Approximately 10% of current educational practices in the workplace are effective in training employees. Experiential learning is the immersive practice of learning through first-hand experience. In our best practice guide to experiential learning we explore the ways in which experiential learning is more inclusive, efficient and effective for employers and their employees over other methods of training.
Increase Employee Engagement
Employees are more innovative and productive when they’re engaged. It has previously been stated that “an engaged culture marked by high levels of involvement, consistency, adaptability, and a transparent mission improves sales and customer satisfaction.”
In conjunction to improving company culture, ways to increase employee engagement can be through space design techniques and implementing technologies and systems that compliment your working processes.
No matter the changes our industries face, no matter the technology, no matter the circumstance, if we prioritise people and culture we can continue to successfully adapt and foster business from the inside out.