Digital doesn’t just create new worker needs. It also spurs an urgency around some traditional worker needs, like transparency, relevance and inclusivity.
Transparency and trust
With digital analytics, companies can not only better gauge how on board their people are, they can also see more clearly how work is being done. From which teams to assemble for top-notch innovation to how to better support workers for better outcomes, leaders are afforded a window into what makes their company tick.
In the most advanced companies, culture supports workers helping to shape a strategy, rather than just being participants in making it a reality. This radical level of transparency ensures they are not passive recipients of something handed down from “on high” and instead, feel ownership of where the company is headed and their part in helping it get there.
From workers to executives, companies will need to create a culture that embraces “new skilling,” helping workers learn the competencies that will take them into a post-digital future.
Beyond any one competency, companies will need to partner with governments, educational institutions and workers themselves to better enable lifelong learning—a must in a new world where business changes quickly. Middle-skill workers—those who have more than a high school diploma but less than a university degree—are at a particularly high risk for displacement. Globally, we’re seeing a hollowing out of middle-skill jobs already.
From accessibility to working styles, cultural preferences to avoidance of stereotypical norms, workers who feel respected are able to commit more fully to delivering value. As companies serve an increasingly diverse consumer base, their employees need to reflect that consumer base. Studies show that companies with policies that encourage the retention and promotion of diverse workers across race, sexual orientation, and gender, are more innovative and release more products.
Digital technologies allow formerly disenfranchised groups of workers to do things and contribute in a way not previously possible. More than one billion people need assistive products to be independent and productive, but only one in 10 have access. Adults with disabilities have twice the unemployment rate of those without, but technology—and enlightened leaders—can change this situation.