As business leaders, HR professionals and people managers, we are all searching for an effective and sustainable solution to maximise the potential of our people. Wellbeing and positive working cultures are high on our wish list, alongside the undeniable need to optimise performance and productivity.
However, employee expectations of ways of working are evolving rapidly, and existing management practices are often seen as outdated and inconsistent. With the rise of technology perpetuating a 24/7 culture of “always being on”, employees experience long hours, intense pressure to deliver, a need to appear busy at all times and more and more they are no longer enticed by the work hard/play hard ethos. Keen to avoid burn-out, stress and relentless pressure, the modern workforce is demanding a more holistic culture that enables them to bring their whole self to work.
Who are the modern workforce?
Whenwe set our minds to creating change or introducing innovative strategies there is a tendency to view the modern workforce as the younger generation coming up through the ranks. Businesses try to respond to what they believe this younger age group will be looking for, to engage them, and keep them focused and committed long term to the organisation.
In reality, the modern workforce is multi-generational; in fact for the first time we are able to identify five distinct generations in the workplace:
1. Gen Z
3. Gen X
Whilst there are most certainly differing drivers that motivate each of these generations, one thing we can be sure of is that expectations have shifted across the board. There is a greater need to be able to connect with our employers on a more human level, and to be able to bring our whole self to work.
Blend not balance
Many businesses have tackled this head on with large scale macro initiatives, e.g Fruit Friday, gym memberships, and pool tables, and whilst these have their place, what we are all really asking for is to be seen and heard on an individual (micro) level. We need to be able to talk about what really matters to us in both a work and home context. BUT, the familiar concept of Work/Life balance is no longer relevant, the word balance brings with it negative connotations, depicting what is essentially a juggling act between competing forces. Imagine if instead you could blend the key elements of your home and work life together to create a single-minded view of what matters most. AND, be able to articulate that clearly with your manager to receive the right level of support you need.
A recent survey carried out by Open Blend revealed that 80% of employees see their relationship with their manager as key to managing their stress and therefore happiness at work. However, ensuring there are consistent, meaningful conversations taking place is proving a real challenge. There is huge pressure on managers to support their teams effectively – yet many managers feel unprepared and inexperienced to have the right conversations.
The power of a good conversation
One way to approach this challenge, is Open Blend - an online tool that enables and develops people managers to have effective coaching conversations in one to ones, focusing on wellbeing, key drivers and performance. Underpinned by rigorous coaching methodology, this technology enables organisations to address employee engagement at a truly individual level, and delivers sustainable learning and development for Line Managers. The unique insight provided by the Blend tool provides a measurement of an individual’s ability to manage stress, their confidence levels, and their overall happiness. Making a simple, but powerful conversation possible, enabling both parties to talk about what’s really important and enabling the organisation to provide relevant support for their workforce as a whole.
Anna Rasmussen, CEO & Founder of Open Blend, will be co-hosting a roundtable at Mad World on 9thOctober with Karen Williams, CFO, Avios.
Engaging the modern workforce: an opportunity to discuss the mind-set of work life balance and the impact on wellbeing and productivity.
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