WORK is changing
My field of play is the changing area of work. When my dad was at the beginning of his career – in the 60’s – his employer gave him a home, to ensure that he stayed with the company. In those days employers took care of their employees. Going all they way….. Offering them a home, healthcare, a proper pension and a job for life. Nowadays this seems surreal. We take care of ourselves and chose the job that fits us – for now. And on the side we may have another job or a passion that we want to pursue. We expect our employer to be supportive and not to stand in our way. Being a ‘slashy’ is becoming more common. You are a slashy when – if someone asks you what you do – you give an answer like this: “I am a communication expert, a yoga teacher & jazz singer.” Basically, you are not just ONE thing. As a slashy you are – and do – several things.
This changing era of work has impact on society, organisations and individuals. It means our education system needs to change. Also, the way we are organising work is changing. Because most actions can be automated. Whatever we have left that requires human effort, is becoming more complex and also we want people to be as productive as possible. Although this in itself is a wrong phrasing. Being productive reflects on work on a production line, while the work of today is quite different from that. It is the creative, complex problem solving and communicative work that we need our people to work on. On top of that, instead of being productive, focus should be on adding value. Making the shift from costcutting to optimizing value is a completely new way of thinking.
In our society and in the organisations everything should be aimed at enabling our slashies to add as much value as possible for the purpose at hand. Our government should facilitate this, as should the HR departments and the managers within the organisation.
For individuals it’s all about knowing who we are (strong sense of identity), how we can add value and learning to manage our ‘slashie’ business. Also everything that our ’employer for life’ used to arrange for us, is now on our own plate. Most importantly our own development. Continuous learning, in order to be able to add value today and tomorrow, is now our own responsibility!
Challenges and opportunities
These changing times present us with many challenges. As a communication expert with a vision on where things are heading with regards to ‘WORK’, I apply communication as my instrument of choice. To support society and organisations in creating awareness and realizing progress in their changing role. But most importantly this is a PEOPLE thing. Engaging people, helping them to understand what’s going on. Face the challenge instead of being paralysed by fear, and seek the opportunities that are there for everyone. Seize these opportunities with curiosity and excitement. Experiment, learn and improve.
Communication is a valuable instrument to help people ‘know’, ‘feel’ and ‘do’ in the promising progress regarding WORK.