Whatever your job may be you are likely to face disruption and change in the workplace both now and in the future. As we move into 2018 you should think about whether or not your employer is prepared for the challenges ahead. In a fast moving world of technology, there are a myriad of things that can disrupt the market. New and innovative competitors will appear, and customer behaviour and expectations are likely to change. As an employee this becomes important for you because a company who isn’t pioneering and forward thinking can hold your career progression back.
Unfortunately, not all companies are innovative enough to keep up with a changing landscape, as our CEO Alistair Cox puts it:
“Sadly, my experience is that in many companies, innovation is still nothing but a buzzword…many of the corporate innovation initiatives I see today are either half-hearted or engineered for PR attention.”
To ensure that your own career progression is in the best possible hands, it’s worth thinking about how your employer is likely to meet the challenges that lies ahead, and if this organisation is the right place for you.
Are they proactive?
Before you look forward, cast your mind back. Has your employer kept up with new trends and technologies in the past, or were they scrambling to catch up when it was too late? Did they plan ahead and was prepared for big changes or industry disruptions? There are a myriad of examples of companies failing to understand the market, resulting in financial loss or dissolution. Take Blockbuster for example. They were offered to buy Netflix in 1997, however they turned down the offer. Not anticipating the impending change within their industry resulted in disaster for the company.
Do they take risks?
If your employer sees a potential disruptor, are they willing to take a risk to combat it? This doesn’t mean they should jump head first into unknown territory, however innovative companies that are willing to take calculated risks are more likely to survive and profit. This can include anything from investing in chatbots to ensure better customer service, or expanding their product offering to keep up with an evolving market. Taking risks like this can be a big financial investment, but can also result in long term financial growth. If your employer is not willing to take a chance, you could be taking a personal risk by staying with them.
Do you have visibility?
If a business is going through a big change it is important that everyone within the organisation is aware of the long term goals and plans. Without everyone understanding the objectives and strategies there is little chance of any transformation being successful. In order to succeed the workforce needs to be aligned. Are you aware of what big changes are coming up for your employer in 2018? And more importantly, do you know how this fits in with the business long term strategy? If your company is truly prepared for 2018 and beyond, the senior leaders within the business should be in a position to bring their employees up to speed.
Do they invest in you?
Even if you feel like you know what is going on in the wider business and know what your organisation’s future agenda is, it is also important to understand how your career progression fits into this. If the business is preparing for change, are they also preparing you? Will you be able to upskill as the company is changing?
This could mean getting more training on certain tools and processes, or learning more about new products and services. It could also mean getting a mentor who can guide you through a business transition. It’s worth recognising that these are things your organisation should be offering you anyway, not just when they are going through a big change.
We live in an age of constant digital disruption, where it becomes increasingly important that you work for a company who is at the top of their game, and is willing to invest in the future. It’s worth taking some time to evaluate how prepared your employer are for the challenges that lies ahead. Should you realise that your company is in fact not ready for what the year may bring, it’s worth thinking if you should take the risk of staying.
For more information or to discuss your employment needs, please contact your local consultant.
About this author
Pam has been at Hays for over 20 years and is the Director of People and Culture working across EMEA. Prior to her current role working across Europe, Pam held a management role within Hays running a large commercial region in the UK. Having benefited from gaining first-hand experience managing teams in a busy sales environment, Pam is now passionate about sharing her experience; providing the best support to our business and ensuring that our workforce is able to adapt to the changing world of work.