Why the Principles of Work Have Changed and What This Means For the Modern Workforce

Changes in the current work environment are evident, and they’ve been brought about by economic and social changes in the labor market. David Torrealba explains that people are no longer satisfied with their jobs because minimum wages just aren’t sufficient to cover monthly living expenses. Research indicates that salaries for private and industry workers only rose by about 4.3% despite the annual inflation rate coming in at 6.2% last October. Therefore, it is clear why some workers are opting to resign or are planning a career change.

Changes in Employee Principles and Convictions

 

Aside from the prospect of financial insecurity, some people choose to change their careers because their priorities changed, or their principles have changed in recent years. CNBC explored the many factors why employees stay longer in jobs, and they found that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if they invested in helping them learn. This is especially evident among Gen Z and Millennials, who claim that the lack of opportunities to learn and grow is their main reason for leaving a company. This suggests that people will not only work for money, but they will also consider potential opportunities for career development as criteria when looking for a job.

A group of zombie-like workers is walking towards a fence - the slogan “We have the power to change!” is hanging over their heads.
A group of zombie-like workers is walking towards a fence – the slogan “We have the power to change!” is hanging over their heads. Illustration by Megan Lermanda.

Most employees have experienced remote work in some form, so they are also considering the possibility of flexible work arrangements when looking for jobs. A Fortune article on flexible working hours and hybrid work revealed that 68% said hybrid is their preferred work environment, and 95% want some flexibility. Employees strongly believe that a hybrid work model allows them the flexibility to get work done while also being productive whenever and wherever they want, fulfilling their need for empowerment. In line with this, 72% of dissatisfied employees claim they would look for a new job if flexible working arrangements weren’t provided.

The modern workforce is now more empowered than ever before, making their voices heard and putting their well-being at the forefront of their careers. The sudden shift calls for proactive changes from management.

Better Work Environments Through Inclusive Leadership

 

Workplaces are not the same as before, and this will alter the way work is conducted moving forward. A Harvard Business Review article on inclusive leadership recommends adapting an inclusive leadership approach, which encourages leaders to ensure that all team members are treated impartially. The same article also found that 70% of what leaders say and do influences how included individuals feel at work. Managers can foster these positive feelings by showing empathy, upholding accountability, and paying attention to employees’ physical and psychological safety. With this, employees will feel a sense of belonging and value that inspires a greater connection with their employers.

An illustration of an office surveillance drone operated by a smartphone is zooming in on office desks.
An illustration of an office surveillance drone operated by a smartphone is zooming in on office desks. Illustration by Megan Lermanda.

In the book ‘Principles: Life and Work’ by Ray Dalio, the author argues that management can be systemized into rules and fair mechanisms. This means that understanding your people and practicing the idea of meritocracy creates a culture that is built upon honesty and transparency. It eventually leads to employee empowerment and job satisfaction because everyone will feel they bring something valuable to the table. What makes modern workplaces different from before is that they must prioritize the people and culture within the organization by detaching themselves from conventional approaches and adopting new principles and practices – or else they lose their competitive edge.

Apart from providing fair and sufficient compensation, organizations must also create opportunities for growth that will ensure talent stays. Lastly, offering flexible and remote work arrangements will allow talents in different places to remain productive wherever they are. Inclusive leadership practices and principles can help organizations keep up with the changing workforce landscape and help them become future-proof.

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