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Rethinking The Traditional Workplace and Its Relationships

Among employees in businesses, large and small issues of power and purpose are driving a reset in how organizations will do business in the future.

Reflecting on how the pandemic has changed society (permanently in many ways), we’ll see a notable shift in influence within the workforce.

Dissatisfaction with the organizational cultures in many businesses has led many employees to leave their jobs. A lack of vision, clear communication, poor relational etiquette, and support rank high among their reasons for leaving.

In an earlier article, I posed the possibility of “What May Be on the Horizon.” I wrote, “We’re already seeing a reassessing of how leadership and management relate to employees who work with them. Is a wave of restructuring in our future?

If so, we may be reevaluating:

  • How effective is our onboarding process

  • How well we train our employees

  • Our accommodations, incentives, and promotion policies

  • How we integrate our onsite and remote employees” (1)

The Balance of Power Has Shifted

Commenting the Powershift, John Daymond says, “It’s the ability that we all have, but people have to learn to navigate it.” The awakening in the workplace brought about the realization that everyone has a degree of influence that they can use to negotiate a more cohesive work environment.

A New Tier of Influence is Rising

I have no doubt this awakening to influence makes many leaders and managers uncomfortable, not that they feel threatened but unsure of how to navigate these uncharted waters of “shared responsibilities.”

It’s possible that insecure leaders and managers who, being position and control-oriented, will have the most difficulty adjusting to a new “power sharing.”

Business Relationships Are Changing

Many CEOs, leaders, and managers accept that relationships with their people have changed. There is no doubt that the future of business includes variations of a hybrid model.

Forbes contributor Mark C. Perna says, “More than ever, employers need to understand how they can meet employee’s expectations for what they want in a job—especially in an increasingly hybrid world.”

There will always be leaders and business owners who resist change; this shift, however, is different. To resist the change in this culture of employee empowerment, some experts estimate that those organizations might lose as much as 40% of their employees.

Hybrid work and the flexibility it offers is the work model of the future.

I sensed in 2020; changes were on the horizon for the standard in-office/remote workplace model. I did not see the business culture shifting to managerial negotiating and employee autonomy to the level it has.

Speaker and writer Michelle Ray noted, “Few could have predicted that the greatest health crisis of our time would yield so much change and reactivity as employers and employees come to terms with new realities.” (2)

In Conclusion

With the advent of the hybrid model, leaders are challenged to be more intentional in developing and maintaining closer relationships with team members in multiple locations.

Hayden Brown, CEO of Upwork, notes, “I can’t tell you the number of CEOs I talked to who are thinking, ‘I have to solve the diversity challenge in my business, and remote work is one of the key tools… We have to let go of this very office-centric culture and incorporate people who are in a lot of geographies.”

End Notes

(1) “The Great Awakening”

(2) The Great Reawakening: Why Employees are Reclaiming their Purpose and Power

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co. ***


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