The Future of Work Requires Changes To Management Culture

Image credit: iStockphoto/Chaay_Tee

Value propositions are increasingly shifting from traditional product sales to providing relevant services and great experiences. Of course, the technology you use to support that will matter, but employees will continue to play the central role in whether that technology works well.

Hence, the need for greater employee engagement becomes critical. Why? Because higher employee engagement enables better customer experiences, as companies like Nissan have learned.

At the same time, in a post-pandemic world, we will see the emergence of an office + anywhere hybrid workforce that can undermine traditional top-down management and the presence-based office culture.

The degree of employee engagement, meanwhile, is affected by the quality and type of corporate culture. Here is why:

Management culture shapes corporate culture

An innovative management culture provides a strong purpose, creates diverse and cross-functional teams, focuses on the customer as the center of business activity, and embraces transparent communication with the organization.

Culture affects the struggle for talent, as well. Encouraging self-initiative, creativity, and passion for one’s work requires a corporate culture that values these characteristics, and only leaders who value them as well will do that effectively. In other words, management culture is critical for fresh thinking and breaking with conventional dogmas, driving diversity of thought, integrating different opinions, and strengthening cultural intelligence.

Nothing less than the redefinition of leadership is at stake

Managers will continue to be responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, and leading. But managers will also need to communicate clearly why and how transformation affects the future of work inside their organization. They need to infuse more interdisciplinary skill sets into the mix and broaden their hiring and skill-selection horizon beyond traditional management grades and digital skills.

A cross-functional organization and team-building capabilities are critical aspects of the cultural transformation process. Managers need to deal with different levels of education, expertise, goals, viewpoints, and mindsets — all sources of potential culture clashes. Managers also must learn to give employees more autonomy and to empower them. In leading organizations, the manager’s role is, therefore, gradually transforming from a classic top-down, instruction-based command-and-control management style to a coaching style.

Management culture is an important stake that will define the future of work. To learn about the forces shaping the future of work and how IT and business leaders can prepare for the coming changes, download The Executive’s Guide To The Future Of Work here.

This post was written by Dan Bieler, principal analyst at Forrester, and it originally appeared here.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of HR&DigitalTrends. Image credit: iStockphoto/Chaay_Tee