Flexibility will be the new normal (at some companies)
With team members working across time zones and even continents, the old container of 40 firmly set hours, keyed to a specific time zone, with inflexible expectations about availability is just out of touch with the times. Many workers value—and actively seek—flexibility over rigidity in their employers. Even as some companies demand a return to the office, many others will embrace asynchronous work and find new ways for employees to work on different days and in different ways to achieve great things together. This is harder to systematize, of course. But that’s where adaptive, human-centric leadership comes in, and in 2023, we’ll see more of it.
Expect to set expectations
The key to avoiding disappointments is aligning on expectations, clearing the way for everything from work/life balance to success measures and timing for that next promotion.
Beleaguered managers, and their teams, will all be better served by updated job descriptions, SMART goals, and regular check-ins. Look for an increase in trainings, tools and requests from HR and your new hires to commit to job clarity, performance metrics, and defined career maps.
To the extent it’s all served up by one of the emerging online performance management tools, all the better for transparency and accountability.
The events of the past three years have torn asunder the workaday world that gave form and structure to our lives. Today, we’re in a rebuilding phase, one where workers demand better from their employers. Companies will do well to listen. At the end of the day, employee engagement is about meeting employees where they are. Companies that show they care about workers will have the edge. Luckily, many companies are doing just that, finding new ways to value employee well-being. They’re demonstrating that trying new ways of working, even when imperfect, can yield success. For workers, that’s good news. For the year ahead, I hope for the best.