I have been writing about the future of work for over a decade and am as deeply committed to the alignment between individuals as complex adaptive systems with the construct of the organizations they are a part of. You can do a deeper dive into my point of view in Strategy, Leadership and the Soul. I am writing on this Labor Day to invite all of us to go deeper into the narrative of the relationship between employees and employers. My platform is full of articles about The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting. What is missing for me in the stream is two fold:
i) the mainstream does not give room for the conversation about good work, sense of accomplishment or vocation as I believe that most people really do care to be their best at work, are seeking to carve their capability into the future and are inherent learners and this has been entirely missed
ii) the inherent need for real structural reform as the wage gap has gotten absolutely out of control.
The relationship between employees and employers is exactly that — a relationship. As we all know, relationships take work and above all conversation.
I was lucky enough to hear Bhushan Sethi’s talk at this summer’s Social Innovation Summit and deeply appreciated the way that he framed the conversations that need to take place in the workplace to strengthen the workforce relationships:
Do our workers feel incredibly empowered in our organization and are they living their best lives?
Who have we left behind?
How do we create more equity and opportunity?
To what extent are these social conversations happening?
Do we have disparities between genders in terms of opportunity?
Where are we on transparency?
These are excellent questions and they are living questions. By living questions I mean that the answer changes day to day, moment to moment. It is the dialogue that matters in addition to all the ways you in your organization collect data. If, by the way, you are looking for data, PwC surveyed 52,000 people in 44 different countries and seven different industries and you can see the results in the Workforce Hopes & Fears 2022 Report.
This is a time I call The Great Correction because people are becoming more and more introspective about what really matters and why. The deeper the questions we ask, the more we will ask of ourselves, our employers and our communities.
Onward in the rigor to have more courageous conversations, to increase our learning capability, our ability to ask for more and our ability to create structural change that addresses inequity.
Here is my #FutureofWork waterfall where I have added relevant articles for the past four years.