Flexibility, Fairness, Trust, Empowerment Make Work Human

Originally published on SHRM.com by Stephenie Overman

The upside of all the changes taking place in the world of work is that the human element is now being celebrated.

“The new organization looks like, feels like a living organism. Embrace that human element,” said A. Sophie Wade, author of Embracing Progress: Next Steps for the Future of Work (Advantage Media Group, May 2017).

The “linear, continuous, compounding career” is over, she believes. It did provide structure, but it also assumed a uniformity that limited people.

“The good news is that careers are becoming individual-centric and self-managed,” Wade said at the recent WorkHuman conference in Phoenix.

If companies want to retain employees and keep them productive in this new work environment, employees need to be engaged and given opportunities to personalize their career experiences, she said.

But many managers aren’t prepared to deal with a more flexible, decentralized workforce, and valuable workers are missing out on information and on promotions, Wade asserted. She urged companies to develop a framework that addresses the needs of contract workers and that enables employees to move around to different jobs within the organization.

“When the composite workforce is well-integrated, individuals and teams can work effectively whatever their role or location.”

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