As a future of work consultant it is my job to always seek ‘patterns’ and there is a pattern I am seeing as to why some leaders are struggling with the workers market reality.
In a recent Zoom call with a group of leaders – we were meeting to prepare for an upcoming event where I would be the outside expert, keynote speaker on the future of work.
The group on the call consisted of leaders in a traditional industry and who were tasked with ‘future of work’ research within their organization.
I shared my approach to delivering the future of work message, the strategies and takeaways and why I believe that my job is to bring provocative insights based on research and inspire audiences to lead the change to create the future.
When it came time for questions one of the leaders asked me a brilliant question which was, “In your experience what is the biggest ‘pushback’ you’ve gotten from leaders when you deliver your research and message?
I thought it was an excellent question is because the answer helps identify the patterns of roadblocks that leaders can encounter within their organizations when working to drive change.
The reason why some leaders are struggling with the workers market reality- a future of work researched trend is because of a few things which include:
- Some leaders often will react to the workers market as a short term reality and believe that it will return to an employers market eventually
Some leaders are literal in that they will hear research and immediately push back with what won’t work based on their view of ‘how’ the company has been successful in the past
Some leaders will deny that workers today hold the power because of the leaders own values mindset shaped by generational factors and personality factors
Some leaders have blinders one based on their internal focus towards the organization and do not have external perspectives to help expand their overall perspectives
Some leaders have unconscious biases around the ‘right way’ for a workplace to operate OR a bias around what constitutes ‘hard work’.
I have empathy for all leaders at this time – never before has being a leader meant being a better human, being a psychologist and having to adapt at the speed of change to the new demands of a hybrid workplace.
The opportunity for leaders is to view the workers market as an opportunity – and opportunity to:
- Upskill and reskill and to be a lifelong learner – this means evaluating skills against future ready skills and making a plan to elevate skills quickly
Challenge their leadership thinking and specifically to hold themselves accountable to when they default to status quo thinking
Create a ‘me to we’ mindset that helps to shift the focus on self and own goals to self goals, others goals, organizational goals etc.
Rather than see workers who are quitting their jobs or who are demanding more from their employers as a challenge see workers as being sources of incredibly value insights that can help leaders to improve their leadership as well as help the organization to set up workplace structures that benefit ALL workers.
Elevate EQ (emotional intelligence) to mastery levels so that leading the ambiguities of a hybrid workplace is easier and less stressful
Welcome the workers market as an invitation to innovate and pivot at the speed of change
If all of the above feels overwhelming its important to know that not all change is big change – often its the incremental daily personal development progress that cumulates to a big leap in leadership effectiveness.
Lastly, its important to know that when we struggle with a reality its an invitation to deeper self exploration.
When I coach leaders I acknowledge their struggle and their discomfort and help to bridge that to a shifted perspective.
From there we focus on how we can leverage a leaders existing success strategies to strategies that encompass the ever changing dynamics of a fast changing workplace.