One of the most widely-known and influential thinkers on management, Peter Drucker, on meeting with members of the US Congress in 1992, said,
“Every 200 or 300 years, there is a very short period when the world suddenly changes – the way it does in a kaleidoscope. This is one of those periods when the old solutions no longer work. One can clearly see new priorities” (Drucker, 1992).
It is now certain that in 2020 the world struck by uncertainties brought by a new revolution in technology has realized that the only way to adapt to this change is to find new solutions and to set new priorities. Many organizations have been challenged by new technology that turned out to be a two-sided coin.
What are some of the main challenges of the new technological revolution of 2020 for organizations?
I have always been passionate about the positive changes that technologies bring to ours lives on a global scale: having faster and easier connections with people, accessibility of education, and of course, work flexibility. But one can hardly argue that there are many reasons to think that “humans’ uses and abuses of digital technologies are causing societal harms that are not likely to be overcome.” (Vogels, 2020).
According to research done by Gallup, 74% of employees felt burned out as a result of chronic workplace stress caused by a change in their workplaces and communication at fully remote work, or via a hybrid work model. Those are a few things that significantly changed organizational behavior, performance, extending this list with mental health issues and rising interpersonal conflicts. One of my clients, an executive of a large international company, recognized symptoms of sudden anxiety that did not allow for him to be concentrate and manage his team. Several HRs reached out to their employees with a survey in December 2020 and revealed burnout among 80% of the workforce. Facing growing conflicts among the leadership and employee absenteeism, the company leadership was seeking an effective training solution that would help them motivate and engage the people.
While the flexibility of remote work has become very appealing to many employees, very few of them had been prepared to manage their work-life balance while working from home. A survey conducted by Gartner revealed that “ nearly one-third (30%) were most concerned about maintaining the corporate culture.” With that being said, we have reached the point when meeting the mental and social needs of the employees has become the top priority for successful companies.
Another challenge created by the new tech revolution was organizational training disruption. “Regardless of the available tools and adaptation to a remote learning environment, knowledge retention is the missing metric between engagement, content immersion, and application.” (Schwartz, 2021).
Old solutions not being able to fit all anymore, we have entered an era that will challenge us and change us in many different ways, including organizational behavior and communication. And as Drucker said 29 years ago, “One can clearly see new priorities”.
What are the new priorities in your organization brought by the new tech revolution?
Drucker, P. (1992) New Priorities. In Dancing Toward The Future. Washington, DC. Context Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.context.org/iclib/ic32/drucker/
Schwartz, L. (September 16, 2021). How Training in the Workforce Has Changed Forever. Retrieved from: https://trainingmag.com/how-training-in-the-workforce-has-changed-forever/
Vogels, E. (June 30, 2020). Pew Research Center. Tech causes more problems than it solves. Retrieved from: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2020/06/30/tech-causes-more-problems-than-it-solves/
Wigert, B. (August 25, 2021). How to Eliminate Burnout and Retain Top Talent. Retrieved from:https://www.gallup.com/workplace/353831/eliminate-burnout-retain-top-talent.aspx