Over the past few months I have been exploring how the various facets of work are evolving and changing, specifically around behaviors. This started with two articles, the first was The 5 Must-Have Qualities Of The Modern Manager and the second was The 5 Must-Have Qualities Of The Modern Employee. Today I want to take a look at how companies themselves need to evolve and change so that they can not only attract and retain top talent, but so that they can continue to exist and thrive in the future. Here are my 5 must have qualities of the modern company.
Supports flexible work
I just don’t see how an organization will continue to exist unless it supports flexible work environments for employees. This means allowing employees to work anytime and anywhere. It requires a shift from focusing on inputs to focusing on outputs. This is already turning out to be crucial today but in the next few years this will become the expected standard. Not only do many current employees consider a flexible work environment to be desirable but new employees entering the workforce actually look at flexible work as a way to judge if they even want to work at the company to begin with. This will require change on several levels but you better believe it will happen.
Operates like a small company
We always assumed that a large company meant a better company with job security but that is no longer the case. If these large organizations want to continue to exist they are going to have to learn how to operate like smaller companies. This means moving quicker, empowering employees, changing how they manage, getting rid of ridiculous rules and processes, not letting legal stall everything, and taking some chances! There’s no reason why it should take 2 years to role out a new technology or 1 year to develop a strategy. The world is moving much quicker then it did ten or twenty years ago yet many companies are still operating the same way they did in the 80′s. The signs are there, the trends are there, and the writing is on the wall. If many of these companies aren’t around in 5-10 years then I won’t feel bad for them, they had their chance.
Prioritizes want versus need
Have you ever thought about why you work at a certain company or why your employees work at your company? Is it because they have to or because they want to? Today many employees work at companies they don’t like doing jobs they don’t want because they need a paycheck. But this is changing. The new workforce is prioritizing meaningful work over pay. Employees should want to work at your company EVEN if you didn’t pay them. Companies of the future must create an environment where employees don’t need to work there, they WANT to work there.
Focuses on the voice of the employees (and the customers)
Thanks to new technologies employees now have the ability to share and become a recognized voice inside and outside of their company. Employees can share their ideas, frustrations, feedback, concerns, and feelings but if the company doesn’t listen and act then it’s all for nothing. In the past, employees were expected to be silent, they did what they were told and that’s it. Today, the company is a living and breathing organism that must listen to what the employees (and customers) want and how they feel, and respond accordingly.
Adapts to change
Change used to happen at a much slower pace, it would take many years for something new to happen and so organizations took their time when it came to adapting. A company could easily wait a few years before something new came around and still be fine, these were the late adopters; now, late adopter means “out of business.” Change is happening at an exceedingly rapid pace which companies are not used to and thus don’t know how to adapt. This is why it is so crucial to engage and connect employees and information to each other anytime, anywhere, and on any device. These are the people who are going to help solve problems and identify opportunities, not your executives. The companies that can quickly adapt to change will succeed, the rest will end up going bust.
What are some of the other key qualities that you think the modern company needs to possess?
Jacob is the author of the Amazon best-selling book, The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Social and Collaborative Tools (McGraw Hill).