The world has changed, and so too has the way we work. Employees now want and expect faster, smarter, and more flexible modes of working than ever before. More importantly, they now have more bargaining power, with many choosing employers whose values align with their own (and not the other way around).
This phenomenon, coined the Great Resignation, started in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and has tilted the hiring landscape ever since. Notably, many organisations now face the challenge of attracting and retaining the right talent as a means of staying competitive.
So how can organisations stay relevant and competitive in this new dynamic? The answer is empathy.
Organisations that put their people at the centre of their vision have an opportunity to be world-class change drivers in and beyond their industry. By leaning into the psychological needs of their people, businesses can fuel organic PR about what makes their company a great place to work and, in turn, become a magnet for talent.
But the benefits stretch far beyond this. Understanding the motivational drivers of employees can ultimately lead to better operational and security outcomes that, combined with improved productivity, can strengthen an organisation’s bottom line.
While empathy is about putting yourself in the shoes of others, in practice it is so much more. This is especially true in the future workforce. In the future workforce, empathy is about making employees feel Trusted, Respected, Protected, and Valued. It’s a place where employees feel heard and safe in a world of uncertainty and change.
By now most organisations, particularly the larger ones, have adopted a hybrid or flexible workplace methodology. While important, this alone is no longer enough to stay competitive, especially with ‘WFH’ now considered the new norm.
There are multiple ways organisations can tap into empathy. Regular and genuine human interaction will always triumph as a means for engaging employees. In a remote setting, where isolation is a risk factor for burnout and reduced productivity, this is extremely important. Those in middle management can leverage collaborative software and tooling to connect with their employees regularly to ensure ongoing engagement.
Organisations can also use behaviour-driven intelligence to make informed decisions on how to achieve better outcomes for their people and business. This includes initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of employees to innovations that improve efficiencies and plug away at any security gaps.
Using such intelligence, however, will only ever be effective if employee privacy is respected and there is complete transparency over the data collection process.
Indeed, one massive failing during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was the adoption of intrusive employee surveillance monitoring. Sadly, this uptake speaks more to the employer’s insecurity than it does to their employees’ capabilities.
If the endgame of the future workforce is to stay relevant and competitive, organisations must foster a culture of empathy. When employees feel trusted, respected, and protected, they move from a place of needing to contribute to wanting to contribute. This applies to both their job function and as a team player, especially when it comes to securing the organisation.
This shift in mindset is a huge game changer that can have far reaching benefits. For example, if an employee genuinely wants to contribute to an organisation, they are less likely to circumvent security controls because now they see value in protecting the organisation and its data.
The future workplace is a place of empathy, and it’s a two-way street. By creating a mechanism for listening and responding to the evolving needs of employees, organisations can create a compelling point of difference to digitally transform and stay relevant for many years to come.
Contact us for a discussion on how you can tap into empathy to drive trust, productivity, and digital transformation.