The Workplace of the Future: 4 Key Trends for Organisational Development in 2023
The world of work has changed forever, becoming drastically different to what many current business leaders were familiar with when they first started out. It wasn’t so long ago that many organisations – both big and small – had to make the massive shift from an office-based environment to at the very least a hybrid model. This was one of the most significant changes that organisations had to undergo in recent years, but the new trends don’t stop there.
While the pandemic has certainly had a knock-on impact in terms of shifts within organisational culture, things had already been changing for a number of years prior. As far back as 2017, the Deloitte Human Capital Report refenced several changes such as shifts in hierarchy, and opportunities to build skills, which would definitely become more important in years to come.
As we forge bravely ahead into 2023, these are the trends that organisations need to be aware of if they want to survive.
Four Key trends
- Digitalisation and the advent of Artificial Intelligence
The gist of this trend is simple – organisations which are unable to digitalise will not survive. There are a number of different ways in which digitalisation not only helps a company progress in the modern world, but keeps employees engaged with their work. Digital ways of working give more people the opportunity to participate – including remote workers. Just think back to the pandemic – organisations which had already embraced remote work and tools like Zoom were set up for the shift in a way that others were not.
Automation of tasks via technological solutions will have a major impact on the way organisations do work. For example, tasks which have traditionally been associated with people managers might be taken over by software. These tasks include scheduling, monitoring of tasks, and handling of expenses. In turn, this will free up managers to focus on building relationships and taking ownership of other tasks.
AI will have an impact on work too, primarily by helping organisations to make sense of large amounts of data. Before AI, a person would have to sift through all of this data and use their own judgment to make decisions. AI technology will go a long way towards eliminating human bias, and facilitating agile decision making.
- Organisational culture
Since the pandemic, workers have become more sure of what they want from an employer, and they’re less afraid to ask for it. Shifts in organisational culture will be crucial to employee retention, and the future success of the organisation.
Flexible hours, remote working, and professional development have all emerged as major factors for the employee, especially in the Millennial and Gen-Z workers. Aside from these, psychological safety is a key point which works towards employee retention. If workers feel comfortable raising ideas and issues with management, they’re more likely to remain satisfied in their work.
As more perks are introduced, organisations need to be mindful of fairness to employees. For example, how are existing employees compensated when new recruits come in on higher salaries? What do workers without children get in place of parental benefits? Does everyone have the freedom to work remotely? These are some of the questions which organisations must consider.
With company culture coming to the forefront, more and more workers only want to associate with companies that hold values similar to their own. It’s crucial for companies to have a core set of values, and stick to them. Organisational policies around issues like climate change are especially important.
- Team Work
There’s almost an endless number of ways in which organisations can structure their teams. From the traditional hierarchy with managers managing managers, to the task culture where each employee is trusted to perform their tasks based on their specific skill set.
But in 2023, leading companies will be pushing towards a more flexible model, which places the team members at the centre. Whatever the HR department might say, it’s becoming more clear that day to day work gets done in specific networks. This is why some organisations of the future will pivot towards networks of teams. The modern workplace understands that cross-team collaboration is the foundation of effective work – for example different departments like marketing and sales working together to achieve a shared goal.
The final factor here is virtual and hybrid teams. While a large percentage of workers feel that they are more productive when they can work away from the distractions of the office, organisations must find a way to encourage collaboration and productivity between remote and office-based employees.
- Continuous Development
Organisational change and development is a process – not a single event. The best way in which organisations will move towards embedding change in 2023, is to recognise this journey. While resistance to change will always exist, real development works when the organisation and the employees can find a way to reach the desired outcome together.
But continuous development isn’t only important from the organisation’s perspective. In 2023, workplace learning and professional development will only become more important. With employees needing to feel supported and valued in their current and future careers, exactly how the organisation works with them on this is crucial, whether that’s supporting learning outside of work, or providing on-the-job training.
The organisation of the future will channel a number of different trends to help drive effectiveness, solve problems and overall improve on performance. With the pandemic and the great resignation not yet quite in the rear-view mirror, organisations will be pushing to put their talent at the forefront, and to leverage digital technologies wherever possible.
If you’re interested in Organisational Development, the IMI Professional Diploma in Organisational Development and Transformation delves deeper into this topic. Now enrolling for Spring 2023.