You want to know what the next big thing for business is going to be? Of course you do, we always want to know the next big thing. Right?
But this time it’s serious. I’m serious.
The next big thing is cohesion.
When we talked about the future of work being human, we were almost there. But not there enough. I’ve been writing on this site for seven years, talking about being the need to be more human focused, but it isn’t quite right. We’ve been distracted by debates around AI and technology and missed the main point.
The future is something much bigger and much more important.
In my forty-four years, the political, economic and social environment has never felt more fragmented, more fragile and frankly more perilous.
As organisations, as employers we have an obligation to bring something to the party that is greater than the simple exchange of labour for money. We have an obligation to bring something that creates more than we extract. That binds and helps communities to heal.
This isn’t simply about corporate responsibility, used by too many organisations as a social-conscious healing makeweight. This is about endeavouring to change the existence of the communities in which we operate through our work, our practice and our existence.
This is about creating workplaces that are safe, both in terms of physical and mental wellbeing. Where individuals are respected for who they are, regardless of similarity or difference. That the rules of tolerance and respect are adhered to by all.
This is about building long-term and meaningful partnerships with employees, either individually, collectively or through their organised representation. Ensuring that decisions are made for the benefit of all stakeholders.
This is about developing skills and education for the long-term, both in the workforce and the community – recognising that we have a power to teach and to give, even to those who may not work for us.
This is about looking after those that work for us, on a financial and emotional footing. Ensuring that people are fairly paid for their labour, that the pay is representative of their skills and their contribution, not their gender or their race. That they need not worry in times of sickness or difficulty.
This is about ensuring that we are commercially successful so that we can invest back into the infrastructure that supports employees, creates new jobs and allows us to share that success both directly and indirectly.
And it is about leadership that recognises the importance of every single individual that works in an organisation and genuinely respects the roles and the participation of everyone.
Cohesion is going to be the next big talking point in the world of HR. Don’t forget you read it here.