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The Future of Work is Here: 7 Things Leaders Need to Know to Be Prepared

The Future of Work is Here - Now Suck It Up, Leaders, and Let's Do This

by Sara J. Baker, Ed.D.

You’ve heard it’s coming. You’ve heard there are changes on the horizon and the old guard speaks of it with dread.

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but you have probably noticed that the world of work has shifted tremendously in recent years.

You might have thought that the future of work would be described with stories of automation and robots, but, you know what, it’s actually a pushback to a more human time.

Here’s what the future of work looks like and what you need to do to catch up.

People want to be treated like adults.

We aren’t kids, so stop setting rules, making up nonsensical operating procedures and organizing play dates for our non-work hours.

Treat me like an adult. Not sure what that means? Here’s a hint: Adults are autonomous. We can think for ourselves. We don’t need to be coddled or told what to do every step of the way.

The Future of Work is Here - Now Suck It Up, Leaders, and Let's Do This

We don’t tolerate people yelling at us or acting like jerks. We expect to be able to have a voice in our work and to be respected as a human being.

Adults are also interdependent. We know that we can’t do everything alone and we are perfectly capable of asking for help when we need it.

What this means for you:

The future of work is about trusting people to do their jobs and respecting them enough to give them the autonomy to do it their own way. It’s about understanding that we all have different strengths and weaknesses and that’s what makes us a team. It’s also about ditching the micromanagement and letting people actually get their work done without constantly looking over their shoulder.

People want balance between their personal lives and work.

This is a big one. For years, we’ve been sold the lie that we have to sacrifice our personal lives for our careers. We’ve been told that working long hours is the only way to get ahead. We’ve been told that if we want to have a successful career, we have to be available 24/7.

Well, guess what? That’s all a load of BS.

The future of work is about finding a balance between our personal and professional lives. It’s about understanding that we are human beings with needs outside of work. It’s about recognizing that when we are happy and fulfilled in our personal lives, we are happier and more productive at work.

The Future of Work is Here - Now Suck It Up, Leaders, and Let's Do This

We don’t want to sacrifice our personal lives for our careers. We want to be able to have families and hobbies and friends and still be able to advance in our careers. We want to work reasonable hours and have time for our lives outside of work.

What this means for you:

The future of work is about creating a culture of respect for employees’ time and energy. It’s about understanding that people have lives outside of work and that they need time to recharge. It’s about flexible work arrangements and being understanding when life happens. The future of work is about making sure that employees have the flexibility to manage their own time and work from home when they need to. It’s about offering paid time off for people to take care of their families or themselves. It’s about being understanding when someone needs to leave early for a doctor’s appointment or stay home with a sick kid.

People want purposeful work.

We don’t just want to show up to a job to collect a paycheck. We want to know that our work is purposeful and that our time spent helps to make someone’s life better, somehow.

What this means for you:

The future of work is about creating a clear vision for the organization and making sure that everyone understands how their job contributes to that vision. It’s about setting goals that are ambitious but achievable. It’s about supporting employees in their professional development so they can continue to grow and evolve in their careers.

The Future of Work is Here - Now Suck It Up, Leaders, and Let's Do This

People want REAL people as leaders and managers.

We’re done with the days of cold, detached leaders who don’t care about their employees. We want leaders who are human beings, who care about us as people, and who are interested in our development and growth. If you aren’t comfortable with authentic leadership, now is the time to get comfortable.

You’ve heard the saying that “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” Well, it’s true and your team won’t t give a hoot how smart you are until they trust that you see them as real people that are worth investing in and that you do actually want them to be successful as individuals.

What this means for you:

The future of work is about being a human being first and a leader second. It’s about caring about your team and their well-being. It’s about setting the example and being the kind of person that you would want to follow.

People want honest feedback and opportunities to grow.

The Future of Work is Here - Now Suck It Up, Leaders, and Let's Do This

We don’t want sugar-coated praise or false criticism. We want honest feedback that helps us to improve and grow. We want to know where we stand and what we need to work on.

What this means for you:

The future of work is about giving employees honest feedback that is specific, objective, and actionable. It’s about having regular check-ins and conversations about development. It’s about creating opportunities for people to grow in their careers. The future of work is about giving employees the tools and resources they need to be successful.

People want to be treated as partners in fulfilling the organization’s goals.

We want to feel like we are part of something larger than ourselves. We want to know that our work is contributing to something bigger. But we also don’t have any tolerance for acting like we are subservient to the organization. We want to be treated as partners in fulfilling the organization’s goals. Yes, you pay me to do a job, but I choose to do this job in exchange for what you pay me. See how that works?

What this means for you:

The future of work is about creating a culture of mutual respect. It’s about valuing employees as human beings and not just cogs in a machine. It’s about listening to employees and taking their feedback seriously. It’s about treating employees as partners in the success of the organization.

People are Over All the -isms

We’re done with sexism, racism, ableism, and all the other -isms that have been used to divide and oppress people for too long. We want to work in an environment where we are respected for who we are as human beings, not judged or discriminated against because of our race, gender, religion, or any other aspect of our identity.

What this means for you:

The future of work is about creating a safe and inclusive environment for all employees. It’s about respecting and valuing diversity. It’s about listening to employees when they share their concerns and taking action to address them. The future of work is about making sure that everyone feels like they belong.

Are You Ready For It?

The future of work is here, and it’s time for us to suck it up and do this. Let’s create a culture that values people, that respects their time and their need for balance. Let’s create purposeful work with real leaders who care about our development. Let’s be honest with each other and give people the feedback and opportunities they need to grow. Are you ready for it?

The world is changing and the way we work needs to change with it. We can’t keep doing things the way we’ve always done them and expect different results. It’s time for a change. Are you ready for it?

Registration Open for New Leadership Masterclass Beginning November 1

If you’re ready to embrace the future of work, open your mind to a new way of leading and be a manager that everyone wants to work with, then reserve your spot in our upcoming Leadership Masterclass: The Future of Work is Here – Now Suck It Up and Let’s Do This. Register now and learn how to create a work culture that values people and balances their needs for work and life. In this class, you will:

  • Understand the shifts that are happening in the world of work, from the great resignation to quiet quitting and beyond
  • Learn how to create a work culture that values people
  • Discover how to be a real leader who cares about their team
  • Find out how to give honest feedback that leads to growth
  • Get the tools and resources you need to succeed in the future of work

Classes are filling up fast, so reserve your spot today! Over 4 weeks, you’ll receive weekly live sessions, recorded video lessons, worksheets, and access to a private community where you can ask questions and get support from your peers. Only 100 spots are available, so sign up now.

Classes begin November 1st.

What are you waiting for? The future of work is here – let’s do this!

Find Out What’s Included

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Dr. Sara Baker, Founder of the Leadership Reformation

About the Author

Dr. Sara Baker is an advocate for positive leadership and healthy workplaces. With over 20 years of experience leading private and public organizations, she understands the challenges that employees and leaders face every day.

Sara is the author of Toxic Workplace Survival Guide, an essential resource for anyone who wants to thrive in spite of a toxic work environment or who is ready to quietly quit. In addition to her writing, Sara provides online courses for leadership development and coping with a toxic workplace.

Sara enjoys spending time with her family and friends on her farm in Texas.

Dr. Sara Baker, Founder of the Leadership Reformation

About the Author

Dr. Sara Baker is a thought leader in the area of positive leadership and healthy workplaces. With over 20 years of experience leading private and public organizations, she understands the challenges that employees face every day.

Sara is the author of Toxic Workplace Survival Guide, an essential resource for anyone who wants to thrive in spite of a toxic work environment or who is ready to quietly quit. In addition to her writing, Sara provides online courses for leadership development and coping with a toxic workplace.

Sara enjoys spending time with her family and friends on her farm in Texas.

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