Employees are becoming the centre of the decision-making process with regard to choosing the kind of work they want to do, specifying the amount of work they want, deciding on the time they want to work and also when to move out.
This change is largely due to the technological evolution that has been sweeping the entire global workforce and it has impacted the traditional ways in which we look at the Employer-Employee relationships. With evolution of digital technology, the impact on organizations is significant and demands a change in organizational structures, functions, decision making process, communications, among others.
We are living in the world where jobs are now migrating to where talent is. The definition of ‘I work FOR an organization’ has changed to a relationship that signifies partnership i.e. ‘I work WITH’. Individual capital has become more important than collective bargaining. That points out to the power shift that’s taking place from the employers to the employees.
Since we are evolving at a very fast pace with technology, we cannot fathom the concrete trends which are going to affect the organizations in 2025 but we can pre-empt the early indicators of such trends which might impact the way relationships will evolve in 10 years down the line.
Since flexibility at workplace is emerging as a huge trend in the work culture today, the traditional employee job contracts are all set to change. The employer will now only decide or tell employees about the outcomes that he wants to achieve, but how to do that, how much hours one works for a project and from where the project gets done will completely depend on the employees. Skill sets will evolve and organizations will need to upskill the employees continuously too along with the mental models of the business leaders. The organization should proactively work on instilling this dynamic work culture in their own businesses. Looking at the multiple ways in which we are going virtual in our work cultures, the pertinent question for organizations concerns the ancillary businesses that can be contracted out? And what core business we are going to hold on to? For example: AirBnB, Uber don’t let out their core businesses which is analytics/tech in nature. Since casual workers are going to be the most important workforce of the future, building an employee engagement program for them is going to be a trend. Organizations should not single out freelancers/casual workers as just assisted workforce, but they should be incorporated as part of their employees. In India, per-hour culture will emerge as one of the most important trends in the coming years. Per-hour work culture is already a trend in the US, and is soon going to change the landscape in India as well with casual workers demand going up.
With flexibility of workforce, when employees have the power to work for two or more organizations, the challenge will be to take care of the dual/multiple employment strategies. How will the organizations create a work ‘culture’ is in itself a huge challenge. Changing the mindset of the business leaders is also going to be challenging since the organizational structures are evolving. Creating employee engagement programs for the temporary and permanent employees another challenge that the organizations will face.
(This article is based on the Panel Discussion on ‘Organization 2025: Leading or lagging? Changing dynamics of employee-employer relations’ at the TechHR16. The session was chaired by T K Srirang of ICICI Bank, and the experts at the Panel were: Amarjit Singh Batra of OLX, Sanjay Jorapur of Hero MotoCorp, Varun Bhatia of Growth Outcome, Premlesh Machama of CareerBuilder India).