A healthy work culture begets healthy business returns. But not every business leader has caught up to the memo. Yet.
We shared two major workplace trends we believe will shape the workplace in 2020. Here are two more data-driven discoveries our research team made that predict the future of employee experience.
The repercussions of restructuring
When the economy is unstable, many companies look to restructure to see if they can find cost savings in how employees are organized. During downturns, most companies follow the last-in, first-out approach, laying off recent hires, which usually erases progress made towards a more diverse employee population.
When organizations overlook how frontline and historically disadvantaged groups are faring and fail to solicit their ideas, they miss opportunities to thrive.
Here's how D&I leaders can help not only recession-proof their organization, but prepare it to grow when rivals are shrinking:
- Listen and learn: Monitor the experience of employees, especially key groups on their experiences of inclusivity, innovation, fairness, and integrity. Encourage and equip leaders at all levels to ask powerful questions to understand these groups' experiences and perspectives on the state of the business.
- Build a different plan of last-resort: Layoffs can hurt more than the people being let go. But if there's no other choice to get through a recession, apply a D&I lens to the decisions. Preserving and improving equity and belonging during a downturn will prove vital to the long-term success of the company.
- Start now: To thrive during bad times—just as in good times—organizations need to have a people-first culture that brings out the full potential of their workforce. An inclusive culture ensures long-term sustainability by building resilience that other organizations lack.
Automation's impact on employee experience
You can't read the news today without seeing a story about how AI will be replacing jobs across all industries. But the fact is that employees today aren't afraid of being replaced by robots. Instead, they're fearful of being treated like one.
When we looked at comments discussing automation, artificial intelligence, and robots, we found that employees aren't expressing fears of being replaced. Instead, employees speak about fearing a loss of individuality, mounting stress dealing with rapid change, and a sense their employers don't care about them as people.
AI's impact is undeniable, everywhere, and racing. It brings tremendous opportunities for companies to prepare better and benefit from the future this technology represents, no matter what industry they're in.
A critical pillar of this preparedness is ensuring every employee is ready to create, connect, and contribute. When leaders can tap into this energy, they will be able harness the intelligence, skills and passion of every person in their organizations, positioning their businesses to move further faster into this new world.
Read part one of our 2020 HR Trends here and get the full analysis of innovation and diversity in the workplace here. To stay on top of the latest trends, like AI, research and best practices around organizational culture, sign up for our newsletter today.