With technology advancing at a breakneck pace and the future of many industries uncertain, what’s the one thing that will always stay constant?
The answer is the people.
Even with many jobs becoming automated, the core of any company is the individuals that work for it and strive to make it better. Therefore, when moving forward, companies should endeavor to build strong and adaptable teams that will always perform well regardless of the circumstances.
While the maxim of “build a better team” may seem like an obvious business objective, the truth is that finding an ideal staff is fairly nuanced. Recently, the B Team conducted a workshop on careers and leadership at the Women’s Forum For the Economy and Society Global Meeting. Business experts outlined the need for a “human” workplace in an age of machines.
The basic idea behind this approach is recognizing that, for all of its benefits, technology can dehumanize a workplace or company. While technology is often brought in to improve decision making and drive profits, a strong leader must recognize that an organization is ultimately a collection of people working toward common goals.
The first step to building a better workforce is to facilitate better communication. Often, companies are heavily divided by profession, a relic from times when digital communication was not as prevalent. Connecting individuals between these silos and encouraging collaboration can lead to more comprehensive perspectives and better learning.
Similarly, creating a work environment that encourages fluid involvement and gives all employees input in the workplace is critical. There’s always a lot of talk about the finer points of company values, but every member of a company should have the ability to speak up and help define what a company stands for. Some companies encourage roles instead of jobs, giving their employees the freedom to work on any projects that they are interested in.
Another key component of a human workplace is an emphasis on continued learning. With industries constantly changing, the need for strong soft skills is more important than ever. Beyond that, knowing the changes occurring in relevant industries is vital for keeping employees at the bleeding edge of their roles. Technology can offer some solutions when it comes to continuing education, but even experts within the company can take the initiative to teach others.
Programs like these can be greatly beneficial, but it is up to company leadership to be in touch with any such initiative to ensure that it is genuinely helpful to employees. This goes beyond continued education; it is not enough for a company to simply have culture. Instead, they must groom it and ensure that it grows in a way that will be conducive to future development.
There’s no stopping the advance of technology. The reality is that any company that fails to adopt it will fall behind. However, this just means that leaders will have to work harder to keep their workplaces connected and their teams informed. Cultivating a strong team gives your company something to rely on even in an uncertain future.