- 20th century stable and rapid growth of large organizations
- Secure and long-term employment
- Work life balance
- Things were organized and well-defined
- The rapid of IT & New communication
- Physical work space extended to virtual workspace
- Internet and Mobile inevitable part of life
- Ways of communication has changed.( impact on communications and connections with individuals)
- Modern world of work is more dynamic and complex
- Organizations need to be more adaptive and resilient to the changed business environment
Future organizations need to understand & manage the factors effectively for survival and to achieve excellence. The following are the important characteristics of organizations which lead to stressful conditions for employees:
- Uncertainty: The external environment of future organizations will be full of uncertainties and very volatile. Traditional approaches of devising strategies will not be effective anymore and managers will need to think differently for new business models for different markets across the globe.
- Complexity: Future organizations will be more complex system than ever before. They would be designed around multiple business processes/models and targeting different markets in different regions. There could be numerous interdependent sub systems working with numerous external systems. Both external and internal boundaries will become blurred and permeable. Though organizations will be flatter, ambiguity and multiplicity of organizational roles of individuals and department/work group/teams will be making organizational system more complex.
- Speed: for future organizations, time could be perhaps the most precious resource to control. High uncertainty and complexity will force organizations to shorten their long-term plan and they will need to work with a very fast pace to achieve the targets. Organizations need to review and revise their goals, objectives, and plans very frequently. Strategies designed today may not remain effective by the time they are implemented.
- Technology: Efficient technology will be the key to success for future organizations and it has to be continuously evolving, real-time relevant, and key to innovation. New technologies will drastically bring down costs and make decision-making more efficient. Only organizations investing in research and development for technology innovation will be able to survive and achieve excellence. Organizations need to invest more money on developing and using clean technologies for achieving energy efficiency, doing less damage to the environment, and making human life better.
- Virtual workplace: In the present century, geography and physics both need to be reinterpreted. Distance has shrunk and the term “global” has acquired a new significance. Work team can be far apart and may focus on achieving their goals while operating in different geographical locals with different time zones. Till recent past, when we talked of ‘teams’, we thought of individuals who are in close proximity with each other, but not anymore. Future organization will have more virtual space then physical one. Organizations could be hiring highly competent and talented professionals across the global to achieve their targets. New communication technologies, e.g., cloud computing will make virtual work space more cost-effective in comparison to traditional physical work place. Most of core business processes would be done online by several virtual teams together.
- Hyper specialization: As future organizations will be more adaptive to their environment many jobs which are dominating today’s job market will be extinct in future or could only be archival value. Future organizations will be driven by hyper specialized jobs which could be very complex but designed around very specific processes or outputs (Malone, Laubacher and Johns, 2011). Hyper specialized jobs will demand multiplicity of tasks, skills, and knowledge of special domains. Hyper specialized jobs will achieve improvement in quality, speed and cost. Possibly a future hyper specialized job would merge many interrelated jobs of today and eliminate them in future.
- Cultural Diversity: Since workspace is becoming “virtual”, a necessary concomitant is diversity of cultures within a given team the geographical spread of the organization various operations which they perform at various locations imply cultural diversity organizations need to frame culturally sensitive HR policies for effective handling of cross cultural issues at culturally diverse work places. Issues related to minority, gender, and special groups, e.g., people with disabilities; need to be special attention in HR policies of the organization.
- Communication: To manage uncertainty and complexity effectively, in the era of mergers, acquisitions and alliances, organizations will need to design better internal and external communication strategies with various stake holders. Collaborative inter-organizational relationships with other organizations will be a strong determinant of success of any organizations.
In future, people would be continuously striving to maintain their employability rather than securing their current employment. This will put tremendous stress on individuals & organizations too need to work hard for attracting and retaining “talented employees” with them, where as individuals would be working hard for sustainable career growth in their organizations.
When organizations hire individuals to work for them, they are not just hiring a skilled professional to do a specific job but a family with human needs. In future, organizations need to be more sensitive and humane for effective management of human affairs.
Organizations need to focus on issues like
- Work Life Balance: The social fabric of the society is under tremendous tension and has started showing the signs of “wear and tear”. With better qualified, younger professionals entering in the employment markets combined with concepts of gender equality, things are going to be tough for future managers. Gender roles are probably going to be the most important issue of concern for the society in general and organizations in particular and as well as all see, the IQ is having a toll on the EQ.
- Gender Issues: The composition of working population has been subject to change during the past few decades. Increasing proportion of women employees in the workforce across industries and occupational sectors has raised the need for special attention to address gender issues at workplace. Organizations need to be more “sensitive” to what gender issues in that policy especially with regard to sexual harassment, fair career opportunities to competent professionals irrespective of gender, and fair treatment of women employees on work and performance.
- Changing Legal Environment: Changing legal environment: organizations need to work on the legal framework of the country where they operate. At the macro- level, legal issues are potential sources of stress for organizations as social system. Stress in our social system percolates to individuals who are members of the system. As a sovereign country, we have had our own constitution to govern our destinies for over six decades now. It is fascinating to see how the constitutional provisions has been modified time and again to sure the external realities, e.g., UN policies, international laws take to business, and governance. In future, we have to align our regulations and laws with international legal norms, e.g., labour laws, intellectual properties, cyber laws, international climate change agreement, to name a few. In future, organizations need to be more sensitive toward the impact of their legal compliance on their employees, clients, and customers.
- Social Structure and Support Systems: it has been a social aphorism that the worst of the stress can be managed if we have the best of the support system! Not true anymore. Our support system, like traditional family bonds and traditional parent-child or grandparents-grandchild linkage are getting weaker day by day. With long-term organizational commitment, people could develop long-term friendship. The gen-Y doesn’t believe in staying with the same organization long enough to develop socially meaningful relationships. In the absence of adequate support system, the chances of breakup and breakdowns increase manifold.
- Emotional Issues / Mental Health Issues: With so much changing so fast in our social environment, technology environment, and organizational environment, we cannot think of “poor individual” going unscathed. Naturally, mental health issues are becoming more and more pronounced as the century progresses. “Keeping up with the Jonansis” has been known to the previous generation; it is now time to learn to “keep up with oneself”. There is a strong argument in the contention that stress research, especially in the organisational context, is actually represented by the interface between HRM practitioners and clinical psychologists.
To manage all these factors, organizations need to build a collaborative culture. Organizations need to design more dynamic work systems and organizational roles for individuals and teams.