Work Culture Across the Ages - The Information & Competition Gap
Ask an old and a young person about what they think an ideal workplace culture should be like, and you're bound to get two very different answers. This is because trends in work culture have changed significantly over the years. What was once considered appropriate at work might not be looked at the same way today, or vice versa.
An organization's workplace culture is created by an interplay of a variety of factors such as the leadership, the management and its procedures, practices and communications, the policies and philosophies that the organization stands for, as well as the people and the cultural diversity in the workplace.
Change Is Inevitable
Workplace cultures across the world have seen significant changes from the time of the industrial revolution in the 18th century. The ideology behind how workplaces were laid out, the social acceptance of drinking and smoking, the strictness of hierarchies, an increase in women at the workplace and the policies related to their safety, apart from those of disabled people or minorities, all saw a change over the years.
Competition too, has seen a sharp increase over the past few decades. With new technological developments becoming the norm day by day, the sheer variety of occupations have also seen a surge. No longer are we stuck in a time where the only career options for a person were to become a doctor, engineer, lawyer or enroll in the armed forces.
We live in a surreal time in which people are inventing new careers. The idea of hosting podcasts, for instance, was unknown until just a few years ago. Today, however, it is just as legitimate a career as being a lawyer.
Today's Market Is a Tough Ship to Sail
With the introduction of these newer career alternatives, you might attest that finding a source of income is easier than ever. While it's true that today's youth have the benefit of this diversity, job availability doesn't always go hand-in-hand with population growth. This disparity results in stiff competition.
Today, more people compete for the same jobs, making it ever so important for one to strengthen their portfolio to land one. Even when one does, job security is not assured. Employees are expected to perform better, clock higher hours and take up more projects if they want to climb the corporate ladder.
Companies also look for candidates with more than one skill. Marketers, for instance, are expected to know traditional means of marketing, apart from knowing how to use various social media platforms. The information overload can be quite burdensome.
All these factors have significantly altered workplace cultures. They are diverse in themselves, but in all of them, there is a common thread: the pressure on each employee is a lot higher than before. Organizations need to find ways of reducing the workload on their employees and better managing diversity in the workplace.
An Increased Emphasis on Improving Workplace Cultures
Companies are more diligent about cultivating a more diverse, inclusive, and compassionate workplace culture. Organizations are expected to stand for something and by extension, must show sensitivity towards cultural and social diversity in the workplace and outside of it.
With the conversation around mental health gaining momentum, organizations are forced to introspect and be more sensitive to their employees' needs. Employers realize that a happier workforce is key to achieving efficient results, no matter what generation an employee belongs to.
In today's age, a lot more people consider workplace culture to be a decisive factor when applying for a job. With the extent of competition in today's landscape, organizations need to bring in concrete improvements if they want to attract and retain ideal employees across a diverse range of age groups.
This is a task that requires the effort of various departments, right from the leadership to Human Resources. Each of them has to work in sync to ensure that their employees are happy and that that they are cultivating a positive and progressive workplace culture of continuous learning, upskilling and healthy collaboration.