Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at www.thevertexfighter.blogspot.com.

Monday, February 5, 2018

digital workspace/ workplace loyalty

Oct. 13, 2017 "The importance of building a dynamic digital workspace": Today I found this article by Michael Murphy in the Globe and Mail:



The digital workspace is no longer “the workspace of the future,” it’s reality. Many companies have adopted mobility and flexible work policies, meaning mobile technology is an essential component of today’s workspace.

While it’s easy for companies to talk about committing to mobile work, how far have businesses come in transitioning to a digital workspace?

According to Building the Digital Workplace, a study conducted by Oxford Economics for Citrix, Canadian companies take the lead in many aspects of preparing for digital work.

Seventy-five per cent of Canadian organizations surveyed make data securely available to all users using file sharing, compared with 59 per cent globally, and 77 per cent provide training to all employees for tools, software and services. And it’s expected that even more progress will be made over the next three years both in Canada and globally.

At the same time, while companies have invested in technology, many have not made the broader changes necessary to fully adopt the mobile movement. In fact, just one-fifth of Canadian executives surveyed said their company has a cohesive, integrated mobile strategy in place.

Maximizing the value of digital workspaces is more than just offering employees a day to work from home, giving them a smart phone to work on or increasing the IT budget.

Comprehensive mobile strategies are crucial to capitalizing on the new way of working and require the collaboration of departments beyond just IT.

So, what needs to be considered when building an effective digital workspace?

Firstly, companies must rethink core processes and policies around digital work to accommodate new ways of working. This requires an overhaul of the current business model, security procedures, employee work flow and expectations and even the physical layout of the office.

In developing mobile-first business processes related to enabling offsite environments, flexible work schedules and mitigating burnout of constantly connected employees, companies can maximize the digital workspace. As a result, they are also likely to see an improvement in employee performance, productivity and company profitability.

The second key to building an effective digital workspace is to embrace a flexible, digital corporate culture that maintains open lines of communication between managers and employees and clearly conveys expectations around after-hours and remote work.

While an increasingly connected work force can raise the concern of employee burnout with the blurring of lines between personal and professional time, it is important that companies enforce a culture that promotes healthy work-life balance.

Organizations should be encouraged to allow employees to choose their own hours and location (when and where they can be most productive), or to conduct personal business during work hours, as long as regular work is completed. Business leaders can encourage employees to disconnect after work hours and set the standard by disconnecting themselves.

Companies can even use the physical office as a vehicle to promote effective corporate culture. For example, through openlayout offices that are accommodating to on-the-go workers and include quieter spaces for independent work, businesses can support a culture that is flexible and collaborative without sacrificing productivity.

Business leaders can also identify new metrics to assess employee performance. This means shifting away from a focus on the number of hours clocked while physically in the office, toward a more holistic evaluation of his or her contribution.

Finally, but most importantly, security needs to be at the top of the priority list.

With the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks, companies need to implement every safeguard possible to prevent a potential breach. A digital work environment can reduce security risks dramatically. Remote access of company data can pose concerns for IT professionals; having the proper, secure IT infrastructure and policies in place can safeguard information.

For example, companies can host all company apps and data through virtualization solutions while providing virtual access to employees regardless of their location or device they’re on. This allows companies to avoid security threats in case of lost devices or virus-infected devices. This also removes the burden from individuals to ensure they’ve applied security updates and patches on their devices, apps and OSes, since all updates can be virtually done from the data centre.

Overall, digital workspaces deliver unique advantages for both employees and organizations. The Oxford Economics survey found that digital work helps employees solve problems more creatively (96 per cent), provide better customer service (87 per cent) and collaborate more effectively (90 per cent).

Process efficiency, customer experience and profitability are also identified as top payoffs of digital work. Not to mention, it can help companies address talent gaps and widens the pool of available workers from different geographies or other limitations.

With digital innovation touching all aspects of the business world, it is the companies that are focused and strategic in their approach, where C-Suite, IT and HR work collaboratively, that will become leaders in the mobile movement.

https://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-globe-and-mail-bc-edition/20171013/282033327420905


Oct. 21, 2017 "Is workplace loyalty dead in the age of the millennial?": Today I found this article by Merge Gupta-Sunderji in the Globe and Mail:



As workplace demographics shift, with boomers and generation-Xers increasingly leaving the work force and more millennials entering, the common belief is that employees are no longer loyal to their employers. Young people are regularly maligned for being self-absorbed and entitled; not willing to "pay their dues"; and impatient to get the promotions and compensation they feel they deserve.

As a result, the unfortunate, widely held sentiment is they cannot be counted on to stick around for the long haul, nor ever be loyal to a company.

But this point of view is flawed. The millennial generation can be very dependable and reliable, but "loyalty" has a different meaning than it might have had 20 or even 10 years ago. Younger workers have grown up in a world where layoffs were common. They've seen their parents, aunts and uncles get terminated from companies with nary a nod to their years of service. So their frame of reference is different; they think of being tied to an organization in terms of months, not years.

Workplace loyalty is not dead. But if you're going to hire and retain a sustainable employee base, then your perception of loyalty may require a significant shift in mindset, if for no other reason than to maintain your sanity.

Career employees are no longer dreaming of the day they retire with gold watches at the age of 65. Today's employees are thinking of themselves more as free agents in a sports franchise.

To successfully attract and keep employees in this new age of loyalty, you'll have to do two things. One, build a franchise in which players want to sign up for the season. And two, create a working environment that compels them to renew their contract repeatedly. What can you do to attract the best players and then keep them for repeat seasons? Here are three proven ideas.

Provide variety

Tedium is taboo. Today's reality is that most young workers have grown up in an environment in which they've been constantly occupied. With soccer camp, science club and saxophone lessons, there has been relatively little free time in which to get bored.

Engage and excite your employees by changing things up. Modify responsibilities frequently, or rotate staff in assignments more often. Send them on work-related field trips such as visits to customers or to off-site locations. Provide abundant opportunities to learn. Make work fun.

Offer flexibility

Work-life balance is key. More and more, employees see work and play as simply two sides of the same coin. Whether it is shinny hockey on weekday evenings or the much-anticipated Bruno Mars concert, they're equally as important as the paying job.

While this may sound completely irrational to some, it's worth remembering that the give-and-take goes both ways. If you extend flexibility to your staff whenever you can, they'll happily roll up their sleeves and willingly pitch in when a deadline is impending or a major company objective is at stake.

Give feedback often

Two-way dialogue is essential. Most new entrants to the work force have grown up in a highly connected environment, accustomed to receiving instantaneous feedback from parents, teachers and coaches.

Besides, it is not a bad thing when employees want to know how they're doing; it means they want to improve and make a positive impact. So tell them. Frequently. In fact, a June, 2016, Gallup poll showed that employee engagement was highest for those who met with their manager at least once a week, or more often.

The new age of loyalty means that you can't assume that your employees will be with you forever; most of them won't. You'll do much better to take the "while we have them" outlook.

Think of them as the really nice house guests whom you want to stay, but you know will eventually leave. Or if you're a parent, as the kids who will eventually grow up and move out of the house. Ironically, if you regard them in this light, they will probably stay longer than you expected. And who knows? Just like adult children who nowadays are often prone to moving back home, maybe your departing employees will return once again for an encore stint with your company.

Merge Gupta-Sunderji is a speaker and consultant on leadership, based in Calgary and Vancouver.

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/is-workplace-loyalty-dead-in-the-age-of-the-millennial/article36675517/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

Here are 23 comments:

vanizorc
3 hours ago

Loyalty goes both ways, and employers have nary shown it to their employees. The rise of temporary workers and contract work without benefits is a testament to this growing trend (I've been at my contract job for 2 years, with repeated extensions. No raise, no benefits, no security, no growth opportunities on my team. This is a "white collar" position at a multinational bank).

There is also the issue of layoffs of employees in this country in order to hire workers for the same positions for much less pay in developing countries - ie. outsourcing. Employers nowadays treat employees as nothing more than a cost/liability to be minimized. Why should we employees demonstrate loyalty when employers have shown us none?
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jnextday
2 minutes ago

You mention "No raise, no benefits, no security, no growth opportunities on my team." It's often the case that employees have it no better than contractors. In fact being a contractor can be advantageous in several ways. I know many people who prefer to work on a contract basis and not be an employee.
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Alceste
57 minutes ago

There are probably many reasons people would rather "work on a contract basis and not be an employee." One is that many such people are in fact (and law) employees, but are colluding with the employer to avoid statutory deductions. A short-sighted decision for those who do it willingly.
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tip2
3 hours ago

I doubt that unless you're referring to employees who are paid with cash and have oral employment contracts. 
Contract staff have the right to become permanent after about 2 years. To avoid hiring them, employers let them go for six months and rehire them as contract to conform to the law. It has nothing to do with statutory deductions. Contract staff pay both the employer and employee portions of CPP and EI and pay incomes taxes.

Some people simply prefer to work contract since they can avoid much of the workplace politics and some employers keep a percentage of staff as contract because they prefer to have the capability to adjust their staff #'s from time to time without paying severance. And if you think they're missing out on benefits, in the workplaces I've been they always get a premium wage over the regular employees to offset that. I never witnessed any collusion. I would say some contract staff would take an permanent job if one was offered.


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jrbutlert
2 hours ago

The entire article is based on the false premise that this trend is driven by millenials desire for that variety, but as another article points out:

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/the-gig-economy-is-here-and-we-arent-ready/article36678505/

Most would prefer to have a steady job, as that allows you to do crazy things, like, say, get a mortgage. As other commenters have pointed out, the lack of loyalty is not driven by millennial restlessness, but by the lack of stable employment, you have to, always, be looking to the next gig, so that you always have a pay check coming in. And if that means leaving at an inconvenient moment, well it simply reflects employers behaviour.
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EastCoastFish
5 hours ago

Employers are going to have to change their practices as the labour market tightens with the aging workforce. They will have to focus on retention to maintain operations. This may see the pendulum swing the other way as employees gain the upper hand. The unknown factor is increased automation. This will make those basic labour-type jobs history. Maybe all that money spent on over-educating junior will finally come in handy as he will be much more valuable to employers in more complex positions.

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ctstudn
1 hour ago

I'm not a millenial (and have a profound distaste for broad sweeping generalizations about poorly defined generations), but I believe that any employee who buys into 'being loyal' is just a sucker. The last couple of decades have shown how much 'loyalty' employers will extend to their staff: none.

Workplace loyalty wasn't killed in the 'the age of the millenial', it died of a hundred major cuts as workforces suffered the caprices of an executive class overcompensated for chasing quarterly results instead of long term viability.
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The Work Farce
33 minutes ago

You don't say.
C'mon man!
Have some faith.
Canada is the best middle class paradise ever.
It's a meritocracy.
If you become really good at something folks need you'll have it made.
Funny
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SmackWhazzie
11 minutes ago

Does the author of this piece realize work-place "loyalty" went the way of the dodo 25 years ago? Give thanks to folks such as "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap and "Neutron Jack" Welch for that. Amazingly naive article. As long as employers continue to refer to employees as "headcount", NO employer deserves an ounce of loyalty. Soak up the laughable "benefits", drink as much free coffee as you can, steal your body weight in office supplies, and move on.
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Type 2 diabetic
4 hours ago

Loyalty went out the door when personnel departments became human resource departments. After all resources are there to be exploited, personnel were developed and treated like people.
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Max333
2 hours ago

Something that employers have come up with to guarantee "loyalty" is non-compete agreements. I think that is disgusting and should be illegal since it is pretty close to slavery.

  You cannot ever leave your employer, unless you decide to abandon the field where you have done all your training. It certainly makes me love my employer even more.

I work in tech where it is prevalent, but I'm hearing it is spreading. Non-compete agreements are illegal in California where tech companies certainly don't seem to suffer from not being able to enslave their workers.
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EastCoastFish
5 hours ago

As an employer, I can attest that "non-compete" clauses are not worth the money to print them. No business can take away your human right to be employed. The only thing an employer can enforce is suing a former employee that steals their customers/clients by using the employer's customer information to contact them.



Chris in Ottawa
2 hours ago

Anybody working in a company of any size over the past ten to twenty years has developed a great deal of cynicism towards their employers. This is not a new phenomenon and certainly not restricted to millennials although that group is entering a workforce (if they're lucky!) that offers no job security and no respect from employers. It is only those working for smaller organisations where everybody knows everybody else who have a decent shot at security. Even then, look at what that short seller in the US did to Shopify by dissing it in a review while shorting its stock - how is that even legal and what effect will that have on the future of the company and its employees. The balance has to move back towards the centre from the corporations and the stock manipulators.
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The Work Farce
3 hours ago

You're absolutely right.
If it's being done right, the struggle for power between workers and Big Business is a bit of a tug of war.
All you need to do is get over there on the left and pull real hard and don't stop pulling until the corporations move to the centre.
lol



Sigmatango
3 hours ago

It’s not so much a lack of loyalty from millenials, as a lack of consistency on the part of employers. The way many of our parents have been treated by employers has discouraged us from trusting employers in on implicit fashion. We know we cannot rely on employers to provide benefits or pensions, as these are consistently what companies fail to guarantee.

On top of that, upper management in many companies deal with millenials in a tone deaf, belligerent and autocratic fashion. Few millenials can put up with that for very long.
Finally, we know that we are the masters of our careers. We cannot trust employer to perform their traditional role anymore. One has only to think of the automotive factories that have been closed in recent years by major manufacturers leaving specially skilled workers in their wake often times withou tother skills in the job market. And we can look at a very recent issue, the closing of Sears, which shafted two generations out of their entitlements...
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Gizella
2 hours ago

Pandering to one's employees like this can be rough. Good luck with that.
But as for loyalty? Well, it's hard to feel loyalty when throughout your life (as a so-called millennial) you heard and saw evidence of the utter disregard of many employers, as they triggered mass layoffs often to shoot jobs over to countries where labour was much cheaper. You can certainly understand the business motivation, but the behaviour doesn't engender trust and loyalty.

A job is an exchange between employer and employee - where one gets paid and the other gets something for doing the paying. If we keep that in mind, it will save everyone a lot of angst.
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The Work Farce
40 minutes ago

LOL
Well-written fantasy.
This piece is funny enough to make a gangster apply for a job at Walmart's.
Delighted to know they've finally seen the light and started profit sharing.
What's not to be loyal about?
Funny
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LisaBak
4 hours ago

I’m not a millennial and have zero loyalty to my employer. The loyalty of the employers is and has always been a myth.


RFRobberie
2 hours ago
I have to say, from someone that has 'paid their dues' to a particular company, that millennials are the most selfish, inconsiderate, awful people to work with.
They start and expect preferential treatment from everyone and anyone. If they don't get it, they complain, write letters, write management, act as if they are management and the list goes on. It's as if high school has never ended for these folk.
It's really difficult to work with, and in private meetings, the higher ups have said they do not like to hire millennials for these reasons.
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SANCAYNE
4 hours ago
45 years ago, when entering the workforce after schooling, my father-in-law management consultant told me that I should be on my third job by the age of 30. He knew in the mid 70s that "loyalty" was a thing of the past. I overstayed my second job by a couple years but was on my 4th and final job at age 38.

The theory is that you gain valuable experiences with multiple employers along the way and learn what doesn't and does work. You can't get this by being "loyal". Companies that only promote from within are likely to fail because inbreeding of management causes everyone to think alike and leads to insanity. 


My 4th job was my own business which I sold at age 52 and retired. Do not be loyal because the feeling will not be reciprocal.


Rob in Calgary
4 hours ago
"Younger workers have grown up in a world where layoffs were common. They've seen their parents, aunts and uncles get terminated from companies with nary a nod to their years of service. So their frame of reference is different; they think of being tied to an organization in terms of months, not years."

That comment could have been written in an article in 1993. Honestly, go through the G&M archives from 25 years ago and you'll find all kinds of handwringing about unreliable Gen-Xers and a corporate culture that no longer valued loyalty.


CDalen
2 hours ago
"Work related field trips"
I know this article is targeted towards me, but it's still funny.
I might give up being an Entrepreneur for these field trips
Funny
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Heather and Tom
3 hours ago
So in other words let's continue to coddle them in the work place as they have been at home by their parents........
Disagree
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