In the current digital economy, consumers drive everything. As managers, we can view employees, present, and future, as consumers who will positively or negatively respond to the working conditions we create for them. We have an obligation to provide tools for employees’ ongoing skill development. That being said, employees of this era expect their organization to be more flexible. Maybe it began with the flexible work-week, but it became more common when millions began to work from home. Employers were happy to oblige workers because they could reduce office space and source employees from wider areas. Today, employers can add workers to their teams from around the globe without financing relocation costs. With a flexible workforce consisting of personnel from the U.S. and abroad, we managers have unlimited chances for employees to learn from each other.
Imagine the Possibilities
Another way to look at the workforce is that many carers will last five years or less. Employees expect different things from employers, according to the 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Survey. “Fully 83 percent of the respondents we surveyed this year say their organizations are shifting to flexible, open career models that offer enriching assignments, projects, and experiences rather than a static career progression.” It makes sense that individuals who will stay in one career for a few years will see the limited benefit of any new learning experience. They will expect to engage in new learning in the quickest fashion, and that’s why mobile platforms are flexible enough to do the job.
New Work Teams Are Virtual
With co-locating work teams becoming more popular, managers can expect that their employees will have increased contact with diverse colleagues. At first, managers and employees may fear co-location because they don’t know what to expect. On the one hand, managers should expect a work team to experience conflicts. The members that come from different cultures must learn to tolerate different points of view and to work towards resolutions. On the other hand, managers can get employees on a work team to exchange ideas while counting on their divergent perspectives to generate new ideas. We encourage employers to get team members away from their workstations when they join collaborative work sessions.
What Will Happen to Videoconferencing?
While telecommuting employees may use a laptop or desktop to participate, for example, in video-based work sessions, their teams will become more mobile. First, ensure that all members of your work team have a smartphone. With a video-conferencing app built for shared learning among work teams, much as Slack was built for group dialogue, employees can participate in nontraditional locations. They could be walking down the street or sitting on a lounge chair by the pool. They can exchange ideas with co-workers around the world, and it doesn’t matter what time of the day or the night it happens to be.
Learning Opportunities Will Grow Through Telecommuting
While we know that many work teams already use video conferencing to communicate, there are many more opportunities for them to learn from each other. We like the example of mobile platforms for people to tune into a sales pep talk from their team leader. Imagine that you’re a field representative servicing clients in one of fifty service areas. It’s near the end of the month. You and your fellow salespeople on the “team” of 50 are not expected to reach your current month’s sales target. Meanwhile, your leader at company headquarters has a brilliant idea. He can quickly schedule a mobile video chat with you and some of your fellow reps to discuss it. You all can cover this topic early in the morning before the workday begins and get feedback from each other about how it will work in the field. The leader might have to conduct several video chats to reach everyone on the team, but the time required for each sales rep to participate is about ten minutes. This idea could change how the month’s sales numbers turn out, but talking about it on video is quicker than reading a chain of emails or participating in an ongoing Slack session on the same topic.
For more details on using mobile platforms for employees to learn from each other and to become more effective members of teams, please contact us today.