• Roger Grant

FUTURE OF WORK Adaptive Organisation White Paper

Updated: Jun 17



FUTURE OF WORK Adaptive Organisation White Paper PDF. Download


“How can organisations attract and retain engaged individuals?”


CONTEXT


An organisation’s success is almost entirely dependent upon its people. Your employees determine what gets done, how well it gets done, how much your organisation makes and how fast it will grow. However, research shows that employee engagement is low. In Singapore, out of ten people, at most one is engaged. What are some of the causes?


Overworked employees



“Companies are so busy measuring they forget the original intent of what they are measuring. They become lost in the metrics”


More often than not, organisations get “lost in the metrics”. Highly siloed functional teams and individuals focus on their key performance indicators (“I ran 20 roadshows this quarter!”). This puts pressure on employees to increase productivity—to “do more with less”. It’s not surprising to find employees taking on multiple roles or multi-tasking. The line between work and personal life has blurred. How many of us answer emails and take work calls beyond 6 pm as well as weekends?


The focus on the numbers also has a side effect—turning individuals into faceless figures, building a perception that they are easily replaceable.


Employees are becoming customers


The balance of power in the employer-employee relationship has shifted, making today’s employees more like customers rather than subordinates. It has never been easier to switch jobs. Websites like LinkedIn and monster.com are matching individuals to new job opportunities at a massive scale.


“People come to work to fill three buckets: Extrinsic, Reputation, Intrinsic. These buckets are different sizes for different individuals. Not one size fits all.”

Employees motivation have also changed. Today, there are more employees, particularly the Millennials, who have a greater focus on the “intrinsic” bucket. They want to create a real impact, and do it fast.

For other employees, it’s about survival, they have a bigger “extrinsic” bucket that needs to be filled, and if it is not filled, it creates a distraction or worse, dissent. Everyone’s buckets come in different shapes and sizes, it is not one size fits all.



“72% Of Millennials consider having a job with impact to be very important.” (2012 Net Impact Talent Report)



Today’s fast-changing business dynamics and volatile workforce require organisations to adopt new strategies to attract and retain engaged individuals. So how do we engage employees, with their unique dreams and motivations, and still meet the organisation’s objectives?


INSIGHT


Adaptive organisation


Because one size doesn’t fit all, we believe in the concept of an “adaptive organisation”. The purpose of an adaptive organisation is to help align the purpose of the organisation with individuals.


Leaders need to provide a simple and effective rallying cry to drive behaviour towards the organisation’s purpose. The rallying cry is one that employees will rely on to guide their small daily incremental decisions, which ultimately drive the overall business.


Today’s fast-changing business dynamics and volatile workforce require organisations to adopt new strategies to attract and retain engaged individuals. So how do we engage employees, with their unique dreams and motivations, and still meet the organisation’s objectives?


One of the stories shared was of a visitor to the McLaren F1 racing team’s headquarters. As he was admiring the gleaming racing masterpiece, he noticed a man sweeping the floor next to it, and asked: “What do you do here?”. The man pointed to the car and replied: “I’m here to help that car win the race.”


What we heard from participants of the worklab was unanimous: The future of work revolves around the concept of an “adaptive organisation” and “self-organising company”.

A rallying cry drives concrete behaviours.


What is a rallying cry?

It has to be meaningful and provide context to the company’s goal. It is adaptive to empower employees. It gives employees the freedom to exercise their creative confidence to do what’s right for the organisation and the customer, above and beyond what is expected of them.


This applies to all jobs, including lower-autonomy jobs. For example, a hospital cleaner seeing his work as a means to help ill people rather than cleaning space, by entertaining the patients with song, dance and jokes, proactively making his guests feel more comfortable.


What it’s not? It’s not one-size-fits-all. It’s not a standard operating procedure.


FUTURE OF WORK Adaptive Organisation White Paper PDF. Download



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PERSONNA is a leadership development company focused on the people side of transformation. We hold a simple belief that everyone is an extraordinary and powerful force for positive change. When you make work personal, naturally you become a better leader.


We’re here to help people become better leaders, build highly-effective teams, and create a culture of trust & collaboration in their organisations. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. If you are curious to learn more drop us an email to hello@personna.me.

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