Over the past year we have been absorbing information from business globally on the learnings from 2020 and what they mean for the future world of work. Whilst a lot has been talked about and there have been some compelling solutions, we’ve compiled what we believe are the key trends that reflect a neuroscience based brain advantage to share with you:
The key learning has been how most companies surprised themselves with how swiftly they enabled their staff to work from home which for some meant on a global scale and over a few days.
Their take-out from this was they were able to make it happen very swiftly as layers of decision making and red-tape was cut through, exposing them to the reality that needless meetings and hierarchies were a blocker to success and not as believed the safety net for risk adverse behaviour.
Another learning was that HR were involved right away putting their skills firmly centre stage and being engaged as partners and not just as a function.
The learning of transparency and simplicity is a fundamental need that our brains thrive on as it creates trust, openness and sends safety signals. Our brains function at their best. This way of working removes uncertainty, potential social fallouts and politics, reduces stress through uncertainty and creates common a purpose and therefore community. It’s pretty obvious what that means for engagement and purpose.
Following on are:
- Courage of leadership and senior teams. Situational leadership is required, genuine care and a nod to flatter structures for agility, transparency and flexibility.
- From a brain perspective, this relies on the neocortex being in full action so leaders and their teams need to balance their resilience to avoid stress or anxiety for good decision making.
- Customers now expect speed of service, extra personal custom after service and more intuitive products designed for their needs and not to just meet the company’s growth objectives. Interestingly one comment from a major international giant was that they had been adopting a growth mentality but hadn’t stopped to think why, where they were growing to or the downside of growth for growth’s sake.
- From a brain perspective knowing your purpose builds strong social relationships.
- Online is here to stay, tec. that would have slowly come in is now already being used. (2 years of development happened in 2 months according to Microsoft). This will have a ripple effect on home working, relationships and virtual meetings and delivery, etc. AI and robotics will also become part of that mix so inputting work and role design as companies expand new products and markets need to be firmly on the agenda.
- From a brain perspective uncertainty and change reduces energy and creates anxiety so understanding the neuroscience can play an important role.
- The Psychological contract has shifted. Expectations have changed and companies have taken a greater role in sustainability, mental wellness, staff care and flexible arrangements. On the employees side respecting the trust placed in them for being present in their roles, adhering to lockdown rules for health and safety and taking a part in team collaboration, engagement and spirit.
- From a brain perspective creating a collective sense of belonging and trust allows the brain to focus attention and not get distracted and exhausted