Rapidly escalating changes in new disruptive technologies is being mirrored by the rapid rate of change in the human workforce. Traditional relationships between companies, leaders, and employees is being replaced by concerns over automation and short term gig contracts. This lack of long term commitment and stability in the working life is concerning those who are seeking to build strong, resilient companies that can respond with agility to a changing landscape. For leaders who want to buck the trend of short-term contractors, and develop a resilient, engaged workforce, several factors can help.
Mentors and Mentorship Programs
For employees at all levels, from those just entering the workforce to those in new leadership roles, mentors can provide a guide to the subtle, sometimes treacherous world of corporate culture. Mentors can focus on those who are diverse in the workplace, those who have special needs, or those who have specific career goals. Some interesting mentorship programs allow people to seek out and engage mentors within the company; others allow mentorship relationships to maintain through promotion and career change.
The resilient career is marked by both formal and informal education. Lifelong learning is the new catchphrase to describe learning both inside and outside the career path, and can include open university courses, online certification programs, and other nontraditional methods of continuing an education. Reading is a skill highly correlated with lifelong learning and success, and can be supported by activities such as book exchanges, favorite book lists, book clubs, and similar.
A Seat at the Table
People at all stages of their careers particularly love the opportunity to work on their passion projects. When work projects align with those beliefs and values, offering the opportunity to have input into new initiatives and plans make even the most junior staff understand that their voice is being heard.
Flexibility built into a workplace takes into account family responsibilities. As children age, a parent’s needs for work flexibility remains, but may be different. As other family members may have needs, such as those with disabilities or aging parents, other types of flexibility is needed. Allowing a system for flexibility across the board, for families at all developmental stages, will suggest to employees that the workplace is committed to them for the long-term.
Long-term commitment is almost a misnomer in the business world today, but for many leaders and employees, the belief in a commitment on both sides is essential for true engagement. Employees can see when a workplace believes in them and wants them to be safe, productive, and happy. This includes excellent communication, a program of safety that includes reporting, and vigorous investigation of zero-tolerance behaviors, such as violence in the workplace.