There has been a lot of press around the ‘great resignation’ and much of it seems to be focused on why so many people are resigning or changing careers. However, the real story of recent change in the workplace isn’t about the great resignation, an event has been happening for some time, and not just since COVID.
I think the much more interesting, and perhaps impactful change is the organisational shift towards ‘dynamic teams.’
The introduction of employment marketplaces, essentially internal job boards where employees sign up to be a part of temporary opportunities or ‘gigs’, is the next great evolution of the workplace. The standard “top-down”, work in hierarchical teams approach is being sidelined by a much more efficient, and flexible model. This seismic shift in global work culture should not be overlooked.
Perhaps the concept of dynamic teams and its elements have also been around for a long time too. However, technology in the HRIS space has only recently started to support the idea of providing employees access to work experience outside their standard job hierarchy. It is perhaps not surprising that only technology could facilitate such an arrangement.
Cataloguing thousands of opportunities varying in type, then matching them to the thousands of skills associated to hundreds of potential employees requires technology to realistically manage. Once employees are matched to an opportunity, the organisation now has a dynamic team. But how to manage this new, dynamic beast?
There is a valid concern that these opportunities offered to non-hierarchical teams distract employees from formal KPI’s, or the goals established by a direct supervisor. However, goal setting and attainment tracking software has been around for a long time. Companies and leaders can do two things at once and track the success and relative value of both activities using software.
Another concern is collaboration. However, if the COVID restrictions, including restrictions on travel and ‘in person’ meetings, have taught us anything, it is that software can overcome these limitations also. Microsoft Teams, Zoom or whatever flavour of collaboration software is the prevailing favourite has proven very effective in connecting teams across the globe and allowing for remote work to keep productivity going, even soaring.
Achieving business outcomes vs. championing job roles
Organisations benefit from this evolution in several ways. For one thing dynamic teams by their very nature emphasize achieving business outcomes rather championing job roles. Rather than having leaders assigning work based on group hierarches, employees can be part of cross-functional teams based on what needs to get done and who is able to do it. The outcome is served by assigning people with the right skills and motivation to the task, rather than to a team who might be ‘traditionally’ responsible for a similar task.
Workers can participate in activities based on the skills and aspirations they have. This leads to greater job satisfaction and in increased desire to stay with the organisation providing these opportunities. Because skills and experience are targeted at the opportunity specifically, rather than merely pulling people from a pool designated as the ‘official’ source, the outcome of the project or gig will likely be of higher quality and more successful. Employees participating in dynamic teams not only get the opportunity to flex skills not found in their formal jobs, but they also gain exposure to other leaders, teams and projects that could also be career enhancing.
Many organisations have the tools necessary to facilitate the next great industrial revolution and dynamic teams will be a core part of the change. COVID and its related impact on how we work, on the economy and on our psychology has ushered in a change that has long been needed in the modern workplace – flexibility. Employees and employers can and will benefit from this change facilitated in part with modern technology and fortunately for me, good use of sophisticated software.
This article was originally featured on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.