Exciting technological and social developments have reshaped the modern workplace. Innovative tools like artificial intelligence and data analytics software are creating new ways to generate insights and improve productivity. At the same time, shifts like the growth of remote work have altered employee interactions and day-to-day operations. These changing trends can create new opportunities, but they also present challenges that may hinder business goals.
Any successful business will use numerous approaches and skills to adapt to these changes and foster a positive work environment. Not only does this help with employee engagement, but it also helps maintain a profitable business for the future. After all, your employees are often your biggest supporters.
This article explores successful business strategies you can implement to help your organization overcome challenges and foster a strong culture.
1. Adapt to Changing Trends in the Modern Workplace
The modern workplace has rapidly evolved in the past decade. Several prominent trends have transformed how employees work, as well as their expectations about their jobs.
The Rise of Remote Work
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were forced to switch to remote and hybrid work arrangements. Without having to go into a physical office, employees enjoyed skipping the commute, extra time at home and a relaxed wardrobe. Work could still go on relatively smoothly with digital tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, which allowed employees to collaborate and meet virtually from anywhere. This brought more autonomy and flexibility into the employee experience, as people felt they didn't have to be tied to their desk for eight hours.
But for all of its perks, this shift also led to new challenges. Since they could work anywhere at any time, some employees felt a lack of work-life balance. Managers also found it difficult to assess employees’ performance and thoroughly understand the customer experience since they couldn't witness it themselves.1 It also widened the gap between blue collar and white collar workers, since many people in manufacturing, hospitality or food service have to be in their physical workspace and cannot work from home.
Despite the occasional hiccups, people continue to enjoy working remotely. And most companies agree: McKinsey & Company reports that 58% of American workers have the option to work from home at least one day a week.1 Leaders who keep this option will meet employee expectations and attract top talent with flexible work arrangements.
The Emergence of Artificial Intelligence
AI has become a hot topic in every industry, bringing excitement and trepidation in everyone from small business owners to undergrad students. AI-powered tools mimic the ways humans think, learn and make decisions, allowing them to contribute to essential business objectives for a fraction of the cost and time. Organizations can use this revolutionary technology to automate workflows, streamline key business processes and brainstorm new ideas. For example, AI can review job applications and generate marketing content.2
However, many people fear that AI could eliminate jobs by taking over too many activities that are currently performed by workers. Additionally, AI can perpetuate racism and other forms of bias when doing something like filtering resumes. These flaws make this technology less reliable and potentially harmful, especially for marginalized communities.2 The best way to combat this is to make sure you're using the right tools for your business and building in steps for human review.
Globalization is the fluid exchange of ideas, products, resources and services between countries. While many companies have been doing business around the world for years, smaller and newer businesses now can expand because of easier communication, faster travel and a better understanding of other cultures. This phenomenon has accelerated as multinational corporations and technology platforms expand across the world. Companies can leverage this trend to reach new markets and access more resources.3
However, globalization can come with its downsides. Many companies that outsource their labor to other countries cause harm by paying low wages and creating poor working conditions. The global transportation of goods has also fueled climate change.3
2. Cultivate Strong Leadership Skills for Success
With effective leadership skills at their disposal, business professionals can advance in their careers and weather the trends and challenges of the modern workplace. They then can use these skills to motivate employees and make strategic decisions when faced with complex challenges. Consider the skills below that can help business leaders thrive in all industries.
Depending on the industry, business professionals can work closely with numerous clients, employees and stakeholders—sometimes all in one day. Thus, strong written and oral communication skills are essential to ensure that they clearly convey their expectations and visions to others.4
Steps you can take to strengthen your communication skills include:4
- Attending public speaking workshops and seminars
- Asking mentors for feedback on your presentations and written materials
- Engaging in active listening
- Developing a cohesive workplace communication strategy
Effective teamwork promotes innovation and enables employees to tackle complicated projects with ease. However, globalization and remote work have made collaboration more challenging as team members increasingly work from different locations and time zones.
You can foster a collaborative environment by:5
- Establishing shared goals and values
- Clearly defining each team member’s responsibilities
- Developing a shared code of conduct
- Prioritizing regular communication
Adaptability is key to knowing how to respond to changing trends, promote business growth and embrace innovation.6 You will frequently see it noted in hiring criteria for almost any role.
These strategies can help you increase your adaptability:6
- Experiment with new approaches and tools, like AI
- Use analytics software to make data-driven decisions
- Join professional organizations to stay up to date with the latest industry developments
3. Foster a Positive Workplace Culture
Companies with a positive workplace culture recognize and value the contributions of all employees. They should also provide support and mentorship for individual employees.7
Characteristics of a positive work environment include:
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are key principles that help leaders create a fair and welcoming environment. Outside of equal employment labor laws, any business owner that values and hires people of all identities and abilities will benefit; new perspectives, approaches and knowledge areas will only push the business forward. You can promote diversity and inclusion by offering training sessions for employees and practicing transparency with salary ranges.8
A positive company culture increases employee buy-in and encourages team members to express their ideas. Some ways business leaders can foster employee engagement is by recognizing (and rewarding) their contributions, providing insightful feedback and offering wellness benefits.9
Business leaders create a positive atmosphere and show employees they’re valued by promoting a healthy work-life balance. You can help your team members lead more harmonious lives by letting them set their own schedules and encouraging them to set strong boundaries between their personal lives and work.10
Best Practices for Business Success in the Modern Workplace
Implementing best practices for business success allows professionals to flourish in the modern workplace. Here are five of the top strategies:
- Create SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound11
- Leverage innovation to achieve continuous improvement
- Practice adaptability by experimenting with new trends
- Model resilience by persisting in the face of challenges12
- Identify key performance indicators like revenue and customer satisfaction to measure your success13
Navigate the Future of Business Leadership With an Online MBA
Successful businesses don't just lead from the top down; they take stock of the current environment and adapt their workplace strategies to meet the professional and personal goals of their employees. When your workforce is happy and motivated, they'll be much more likely to connect with your mission, generate great service and exceed business goals.
If you want to learn how to become a stronger leader, consider an online MBA. As you take courses on essential business skills, you’ll also learn about the latest strategies for business performance, including how to become a confident, effective leader. Another important part of leadership is developing an entrepreneurial mindset, which is the focus of the online MBA program at Yeshiva University. With the focus and determination of an entrepreneur, you can reach the next stage in your career.
Learn more about the program and see if it fits your goals by talking with an admissions outreach advisor.
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from mckinsey.com/industries/real-estate/our-insights/americans-are-embracing-flexible-work-and-they-want-more-of-it
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/TTC-EC-CEA-AI-Report-12052022-1.pdf
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8229261
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from forbes.com/sites/harvard-division-of-continuing-education/2023/02/06/8-tips-for-better-communication-skills
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/summer2019/pages/how-leaders-can-foster-better-collaboration.aspx
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/02/07/leading-with-adaptability-strategies-for-business-growth
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542168
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from pewresearch.org/social-trends/2023/05/17/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-in-the-workplace
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/initiatives/resource-center/case-studies/engaging-employees.html
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2023/05/02/15-leadership-tips-to-boost-both-work-life-balance-and-accountability-for-teams
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from health.mn.gov/communities/practice/resources/phqitoolbox/objectives.html
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from shrm.org/hr-today/news/all-things-work/pages/why-resilient-executives-are-better-leaders.aspx
- Retrieved on August 28, 2023, from hbr.org/2021/09/kpis-arent-just-about-assessing-past-performance