Today's organizations are undergoing rapid transformation due to an influx of Millennial and Generation Z workers who are determined to build careers and companies differently, and due to societal implications resulting from the chaotic political environment.

Leaders of established companies must embrace these changes if they want to attract and retain the talent they will need to sustain and grow their organizations.

Leaders of emerging companies will naturally implement these shifts as they work to build organizations that reflect their value systems and desired company cultures.

Here are the 4 big ways organizations are changing:

Values-Based Leadership

The focus on values-based leadership is unprecedented. Employees look to their leaders to take strong stands on social issues, amendment rights, and fundamental core values. They are emboldened to use social media platforms to express how they feel about their own positions, and how they feel about their organizational positions. Silence is no longer acceptable, and separation of personal & professional conduct is no longer tolerated.

Customers also make buying decisions on where organizations stand in specific issues. They watch closely to see how their favorite brands speak up for or against specific issues. They are able to research how much organizations have donated to specific causes and political leaders.

Specifically, we are seeing:

·       An increased emphasis on empathetic leadership. Leaders are practicing more mindfulness, and are making efforts to connect on a more emotional level with their employees.

·       Leaders have a heightened awareness of the impacts of their own values, behaviors, and decisions. They can no longer operate in a silo, separate from the rest of their organization. They are always being watched.

·       Leaders taking definitive stands on social and political issues. In the past, these topics were considered off-limits. However, as social media has permeated organizations, leaders can no longer separate their personal viewpoints from their professional positions.

Equality-Based Environments

The calls for an equality-based workforce have never been louder. The number of women that ran and were elected to public office surged following President Trump's inauguration, bringing the total number of women holding congressional seats to 105, statewide executive offices to 71, and state legislature seats to 1,875.

There has been a surge in HR claims related to sexual harassment in the workplace. 1 in 3 women between the ages or 18-34 report that they have been sexually harassed at work, and 81% of women have been verbally sexually harassed.

Specifically, we are seeing organizations taking sexual harassment claims much more seriously, and we are seeing efforts to proactively retain and promote women leaders.

Employees Taking Ownership for their Success

Today's employees are more empowered than ever to take responsibility for their career paths. They have access to unlimited learning resources and communities. In addition, they expect their organizations to invest in their development, and reward them accordingly. They are just as committed to their own personal growth as they are to their organization.

Employees are also paying close attention to opportunities and factors within their organization that are within their control. They are getting involved in multiple aspects of the company, they are taking advantage of contributing their voices to important organizational conversations, and they are staying educated on trends within their industries that may impact their career paths.  

Dynamic Growth

The one word to describe the organization of today and tomorrow is agile. Technology has empowered organizations to be able to respond to market shifts and pivot more quickly than ever before.

They stay laser-focused on their core competencies and outsource other functions to experts.

They embrace the fact that workers today only stay an average of 3 years before moving on. The concept of employees for life is a thing of the past.

They seek out versatile talent that embrace the idea of not being pigeon-holed, welcome the opportunity to move from project to project, and seek to continuously develop their skills.

They also seek objective outsiders in the form of coaches, advisers, and mentors to stay abreast of what's happening outside the organization so that they can respond accordingly.

Decades of employee loyalty are a thing of the past. The organizations of tomorrow will provide unprecedented opportunities for employees to contribute their voices to essential conversations, and build professional lives that reflect their personal values.