As the oft-repeated saying goes – change is the only constant. The business environment is a constantly-evolving organism which, in the wake of its rapid progress, has started making new demands on its stakeholders. Technology has emerged as the biggest change architect driving not only the way working styles have evolved but also how the workforce needs to innovate.
In such a dynamic culture, it is imperative for any contemporary company to be able to attract the kind of talent that is extremely comfortable with technology. In fact, this comfort must go beyond just being able to use existing tech. The executive of today must have a driving curiosity for gaining new insights and adopting the latest technologies.
The ideal kind of questing mind-set is not limited to using technology provided by the company he or she works for – it spills into all areas of life. Meanwhile, management teams must spearhead the adoption of new and innovative technologies to enhance workplace productivity. What is needed is a symbiotic relationship between tech-enabled and tech-curious employees and management that actively encourages, fosters and capitalizes on the latest technologies.
Today's rebooted employee wish-list
Talent attraction and retention is a major success factor for firms to grow and prosper. In today's extremely competitive recruitment market, real talent is hard to find and harder to retain. No longer do prospective employees get swayed just by big corporate names and hefty pay packages.
These aspects doubtlessly still retain considerable charm. However, today's best employees want to grow to leadership positions, and they are willing and able to utilize their tech skills in any way that makes such growth possible. Needless to say, only tech-driven companies can provide such an environment.
The real movers and shakers of tomorrow - the ones who want to make a difference not only to their careers but to their organizations - aspire to grow along with their firms. Not limited to MBAs, they embrace the new technologically expanded horizons for such growth. These are the new enablers of change and innovation, and as of now they a still a relatively rare breed.
Change is not just constant – it is now a compulsion
Key skills are now extremely important for organizations to survive as the look at the future. Their survival and growth will depend a lot on how well their workforce is able to not only adapt to change but also drive change. Technology will be the key impact component which will keep organizations relevant and allow them to attract the right kind of talent.
We have moved into a proactive technology mode of working. In most industries today, the 'traditional' ways of doing business are becoming obsolete and unsustainable. Simultaneously, workforces have changed. Previously, technology or applications had to be drilled down with a 'must-use' adage to employees who were 'technologically naïve'. The new breed of workers are early adopters of almost every new tech and are constantly exposed to new trends in technology. As a result, they are actually driving the change of how tech should function and be delivered to them.
Companies can no longer negate the impact of the millennial generation – tech-savvy digital nomads who are eminently open to new experiences. These people are the x-factor that keeps companies fresh and in sync with the changing workplace trends.
The importance of this tech-savvy generation cannot be over-emphasized. While companies invest heavily in training older employees to adopt new technology, such users remain mere users and are not really the 'bouncing boards' that provide constructive feedback. This is not to say that experience has become unimportant; however, we are witnessing a rather stressful environment where the older generation of employees needs to, so to speak, run harder just to stay in place.
What modern workplaces need are early adopters of technology who are also enthusiastic users. The dividing lines of experience and age have started blurring, and every generation is bringing something unique to the work culture. However, when it comes to technology, tech-naïve denizens of the 'previous guard' cannot take a moral high ground - they need to be receptive to inputs and new ideas from the younger generation.
The tech-savvy generation is not satisfied with the status quo and is driving a much-needed cultural shift at the workplace by bringing skills honed on new tech platforms to the table. This generation also has a strong entrepreneurial streak and therefore brings a vital component of free thinking to structured workplaces - a component that fosters innovation and enables fresh business perspectives.
How tech-savvy employees add value to the workplace:
* With their unencumbered minds and lack of 'baggage', they are the true catalysts for change driving workplace trends
*The very antithesis of the corporate 'plodder', they are full of enthusiasm and seek to make their mark quickly in a driven work environment
*The tech savviness drives the IT team to develop or adopt and integrate the latest workplace solutions and applications to improve efficiency
*They are 'digital ambassadors' of the organization, creating and driving the firm's image in the digital and social media circles; thus becoming magnets for more of their kind
*Their drive for change and adoption of new tech fosters change in the overall work dynamic
*They are the best representatives of the firm when it comes to showcasing the organization's tech orientation to clients
*They reflect and in fact dictate the future direction of the firm, and are outward projectors of a firm's attractiveness to the new generation of prospective employees
Many of today's leading companies have been able to evolve with time and invested in such a tech-enabled work culture which complements decades of market experience with the tech savviness of the millennial generation. This also reflects in an ethos wherein the senior leadership and its industry relationships are linked with technology and innovative sales platforms. Such an approach helps a company stay ahead of the curve when it comes to servicing clients and using creative strategies to generate more business. This is an environment which consistently attracts the young, tech-savvy generation to drive workplace culture, careers and business growth.
About the author:
(Sukhdeep Aurora is Chief People Officer at ANAROCK Property Consultants, and was previously head of international property consultancy JLL India's Human Resources department. At ANAROCK, he currently handles a team of over 1000 real estate experts. His specialties include Performance Management, Training & Development, Reward System management, Retention Strategy, Competency Mapping, Employee Counseling, HRIS, Policy Formulation & Implementation, Recruitment & Selection and Compensation Benchmarking.)