Beyond the hybrid model: How the workplace experience is changing

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Beyond the hybrid model: How the workplace experience is changing
84 per cent of HR professionals in Australia and New Zealand rate ‘employee wellness’ as a key priority.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

When the future of work is discussed the focus is on how a hybrid model of in-office and remote based working will disrupt the status quo.

This is just one of the many ways that workplaces will change in the years to come. It’s important that organisations are prepared not just for a move to a different operating model, but that we are ready to respond and adapt to an entirely new way of working.

When it comes to a future of work there are three key factors that leaders should be considering: generational shifts, evolving skill sets and employee wellbeing as a recruitment tool.

A different workforce with millennials and Gen Zs

By 2025, Millennials and Gen Zs will form up to 75 per cent of the workforce. This changing of the guard will require employers to reconsider how they configure their workforce to adapt to changing priorities, beliefs and attitudes. There are also different macroeconomic challenges facing each generation with concerns about financial wellbeing and housing affordability a concern for many younger workers.

Younger generations may also want to be recognised for their contributions in a different manner to their older peers. This isn’t to say that they need to be recognised any more or any less than other generations, it is about the manner in which they are recognised for their contributions. It’s a challenge for many organisations with the recent ELMO Employee Sentiment Report revealing Gen Z and Millennials were the least likely to feel recognised for their contributions at work. Organisations will need to understand how their younger workforce want to be recognised for their efforts if they are to reduce turnover rates.

Upskilling for a digital world

In the last ten years the world has experienced enormous technological and digital progress. From the iPad to new social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, the technological landscape is constantly evolving. This will undoubtedly have profound implications for how organisations manage their people.

According to our HR Industry Benchmark Survey, a study of 1,800 HR professionals, upskilling, crosskilling or reskilling workers is one of the top challenges anticipated for the year ahead. To manage the changing digital landscape organisations will need to adapt their learning and development initiatives much faster than they have before. New technology will require a new set of skills and workers will need to be receptive to routinely evolving their skills sets.

While elevating the importance of digital skills, the changing nature of work will also make interpersonal skills more valuable. Having a workforce that is extraordinarily proficient in their use of specific technologies or tools is great, but it’s all for nought if they cannot work together as a team. HR professionals will need to help organisations manage the equilibrium between technical know-how, emotional intelligence along with teamwork in their hiring policies.

Employee wellbeing as a recruitment tool

According to our Survey, 84 per cent of HR professionals in Australia and New Zealand rate ‘employee wellness’ as a key priority. It’s an insight into how many organisations are viewing their relationship with their existing workforce and how they differentiate themselves from other employers. The skills shortage facing many Australian industries will not be resolved overnight and will force many organisations to find new and innovative ways to compete against their peers. While salary and incentives may be one front of the talent battle, wellbeing initiatives will certainly become another.

Employers that recognise that spending on wellbeing initiatives is actually an investment will be better placed than their peers to secure and retain top talent that help their business grow.

Monica Watt – Chief Human Resources Officer, ELMO Software.

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