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3 Keys to the Future of Workplace Culture

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Thu Mar 21 2024

3 Keys to the Future of Workplace Culture
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Workplace culture is always evolving, but perhaps the most seismic shift is still occurring in hybrid work and a changing workplace demographic. With more than half the workforce predicted to be made up of millennials and Gen Z by 2030, expectations of what today’s employees want from workplace culture have also shifted. Any scroll through Instagram about working in corporate will bring back hundreds of satirical videos mocking workplace culture expectations versus reality. It’s not easy for HR professionals in today’s workforce to find the right balance of a thriving workplace culture with the evolving expectations of employees.

Especially when most employees crave straightforward benefits like flexibility, upward mobility, and less burnout. How can HR professionals ensure they’re building and maintaining the workplace culture of the future? It can be simplified by focusing on these key areas today’s workers crave.

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1. Flexibility

Over the past four years, workers have gained more flexibility than they ever had before. Formerly in-person roles shifted to virtual, some have never come back to in-person, and many have settled into a hybrid environment. It’s critical that employers are giving their employees flexibility when possible. Much of this comes in the form of trusting employees to do their jobs successfully from wherever they may be. But HR must also be flexible and adapt in how they deliver the same kind of support and opportunities to employees, whether in-person or remote. This means workplaces must have digital tools to replace outdated resources that aren’t flexible in meeting workers where they are. They must deliver the same benefits that support comradery and engagement to the workers not physically in an office. Workplaces that aren’t investing in digital tools and resources for their changing workforce will be scrambling to understand why good workers are leaving and hiring is a challenge.

2. Upward Mobility and Skill Development

All other fun employee engagement programs and perks aside, employees who don’t feel they’re given opportunities for advancement and skill development aren’t going to stick around. With rising costs of living and economic concerns, employees are looking for higher-paying roles and job security. They know this can be achieved through career advancement but need to be given consistent learning opportunities. This is an area where employers can invest in their talent, increase retention, and achieve high ROI on employees who develop new skills and move up within their organization. Offering employees digital resources, like a digital library of professional development tools uniquely matched to their roles and interests, is one of the simplest ways to show employees you value and invest in their growth and development.

3. Whole Employee Support

This is where wellness benefits come into play and are still of extreme value to your workforce. But it must go beyond physical wellness challenges and the like. Employees today are placing more attention on their mental health and striving to avoid burnout. A 2023 Gen Z and millennial Survey by Deloitte found that while work is still central to Gen Z’s and millennials’ identities, there’s a strong desire to achieve more work-life balance.

Forward-thinking organizations must support the whole employee. Providing resources to support employees’ lives outside the office will positively affect their work-life contributions. Burnt-out employees are more likely to leave the company or even become resentful. It can be as simple as providing resources on subjects like financial wellness, parenting, meditation, physical health, and personal growth that your employees can access for free and on their own private, personal devices. But the key is showing employees you value them beyond their job.

While HR professionals have a particularly challenging task to ensure they maintain a strong workplace culture in an increasingly virtual environment, it doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. The strongest organizations will be the ones that adapt to these changing demographics and work styles. Those who invest in digital tools to support flexibility, upward mobility, and the whole employee won’t be scrambling to adjust when it’s too late.

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Start simply with a tool like an OverDrive digital library of personalized e-books, audiobooks, and magazines that are uniquely crafted to match your organization’s employee preferences. Change is easy when you’re prepared.

Looking to learn more?

Download OverDrive’s Six Steps to a Stronger Workplace Culture, and visit company.overdrive.com/professional-libraries.

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