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The relationship between employers and employees is changing rapidly in the future of work. The traditional master-follower relationship is now passé. Thanks to the advances in technology and the changing structure of the organization and the organizational culture, employees are now being seen in a new light by their employers. Organizations and employers now understand that care, concern and positive bonding with employees lead to greater efficiency, productivity, output and profits.
Employers have realized that they have to treat their employees as customers who will stay with them if their expectations are fulfilled; otherwise they will move onto where their talents are better appreciated.
There has to be a change in mindset
Employees have a vast array of jobs and assignments that they can pick up so if organizations have to retain them, there has to be a change in their mindset. When that happens there is an enhancement in the organizational effectiveness, productivity, customer delight, in the recruiting and retention of talent and in employee loyalty.
Treating employees as brand ambassadors increases the organization’s reach – for its products and also for attracting talent – research and common sense tells us people trust the recommendations of people they know. Engaged employees bolster company performance, disengaged ones either perform below par or quit altogether. A positive relationship with employees thus translates to a happier work environment, higher efficiency, greater loyalty, higher sales and a stronger company image.
Employees seek a work-life balance
In the future of work, employees seek a work-life balance. In other words employees desire a life where the personal and the professional lives merge into one another and bring forth a happy, fulfilling existence. They want to be their “true self” in the work environment as they believe that this enables them to maximize their contribution to the organization. Companies therefore need to change their thinking and adapt in a few ways to incorporate these requirements of employees.
Company culture and company policy need to support employees, not just in thought but in action. It is only when employees feel secure, taken care of and accepted that they can realize their full working potential. Current policies in most companies are fairly restrictive and do not inspire confidence in workers. Companies have to put in place progressive policies that give employees confidence and faith in the organization.
Technology is the big enabler
Today, technology is the big enabler that drives organizational performance and employee involvement. It is technology that links employers and employees and helps them build and sustain a working relationship that is beneficial to all. Employee-driven internal and external social media communication is a case in point. Remote work arrangements are another outcome of technological advances.
Companies that invest in appropriate and powerful technology see a direct positive effect on employer-employee relationship and in organizational performance. Companies need to put old, obsolete technology to bed and invest in the technology of the future – it will pay rich dividends.
Finally, companies have to rethink and redesign their relationship with employees. It has to be founded on mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual benefit. The old system of the company calling all the shots is no longer tenable. Employment contracts in the future of work have to address issues of alternative commercial relationships, intellectual property rights and the legal rights of both parties. Then and only then can employees and employers work in harmony to build and grow the business together