Two years into the pandemic, everyone’s wondering again and still about the Future of Work. Talks and webinars and conferences are being organized to understand what organizations and people are going through. With Wave 3 (Omicron) peaking, it is pretty much agreed that the resilience of humans has ensured that we found ways to continue to operate, and economies are reflecting this resilience.
The Future of Work seems to be safe. ‘Hybrid’ is what the consensus is. But it is increasingly becoming apparent that the pandemic is in for a longer spell than we had hoped for, and the question we now have to start thinking about is – “What is the Future of Growth?”.
This question gains significance because the fresh workforce which was recruited during the last two years would have never experienced ‘pre-pandemic’ work in offices, and some of these people would also be coming up for their first role change into a bigger role, maybe supervising people remotely. But what does that mean?
We need solutions for the new problems being faced today. Many instances of “I don’t want to attend meetings” are being reported. We need to address the root of the problem (meetings were not effective nor defined with required agendas), not try to replicate what used to happen. The new joinees have never experienced in-person meetings, or workshops where they could see their colleagues face-to-face, or eye-to-eye, nor do the old KRAs/KPIs make complete sense when used for determining promotions.
There are new questions that the #futureofgrowth will need us to think about, from everyone’s point of view, the subordinates’ and the supervisors’. The realization is stronger now of the social fabric in any organization. What is the social fabric made of, what does it enable or inhibit, and how can it be replaced with wholesome and productive mechanisms.
Some questions that may have interesting answers now…
Questions From the Subordinates’ Point of View
- How will my performance be assessed?
- How will my promotion be decided?
- What is the extra I can do beyond what is assigned to me, and which will win me brownie points?
- How will I Learn by Observation?
- From where will I Absorb Tacit Knowledge
- Who are the Leaders? From the Social Media universe, Influencers are the leaders, do they become organizational “Gurus” as well?
- Interpersonal motivation – how and from where do I get it?
Questions From the Supervisors’ Point of View
- How will managers develop subordinates?
- How to assess the competencies of subordinates?
- How to identify the potential growth areas for subordinates?
- Situational Leadership? What is that going to be driven by?
- How will coaching and mentoring evolve?
Challenges For Everyone
- Many of the familiar ways of working no longer help in the new Organization Dynamic
- Mastering/Leveraging New mediums of self-expression – text, voice, video, language
- How will we learn emotional intelligence?
Many questions like the ones above are beginning to gain importance, and we will have to find new answers. It is an exciting future for sure!
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