The Future of Work

Managers want motivated, engaged, high performing employees. Yet it’s not always clear how to bring out the best in workers. Demographic shifts are spurring researchers and organizations to look for new ways of connecting with employees. 2016’s Imagine Your Workplace Conference addressed the future of work and the massive changes in organizational culture that are unfolding in the workplace today. Demographic shifts, including an influx of millennials and exodus of boomers, as well as rapidly evolving technology, are causing us to look for new ways to understand and connect with workers and help them optimize their performance. Traditional performance management tools are outdated and organizations are now harnessing the powers of social media and big data to build relationships with employees.


Social shifts are changing the face of human resources and workplace interaction, says Elizabeth Williams, Director of Brand and Communications at ADP Canada. Thanks to social media and the mass adoption of mobile devices and apps, employees now have the freedom to work from anywhere and collaborate with others across the globe. Williams states that we should embrace these changes and recognize how these tools are actually creating more engaged, collaborative, productive employees. She identifies three social shifts that organizations can benefit from:

  1. MOOCS: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are transforming workplaces for the better. MOOCs, such as those offered on and Coursera, allow large numbers of people to take educational courses at minimal or no cost. These courses are often accredited and delivered by recognized organizations and educational institutions, including universities and colleges. The widespread availability of MOOCs is changing the way businesses are training their staff, giving workers at small businesses access to the same instruction as those at larger organizations. Many larger companies are even creating their own MOOCs, allowing them to provide their employees with information most relevant to their organization and ensure that there is consistency in what they are taught. They can also save time and money by avoiding lost work time and the travel expenses related to more costly in-person training.Another characteristic is their emphasis on collaboration and connectivity. MOOCs provide a platform for students to interact with each other to discuss course material, organize study groups and collaborate on assignments. Making connections can provide an invaluable benefit.

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