Interview with Edie Goldberg Part 2: Today’s Workforce Trends

Click here to watch Part 1

In this continuation of our interview with talent management and organization effectiveness consultant Edie Goldberg we see how sometimes disruption is necessary to make progress. According to Goldberg, “MyWorkChoice is one of those innovations that is helping organizations rethink their approach to hiring talent and to staffing organizations in a way that disrupts the way we’ve always done it in the past.” Now it’s time to look to the future and recognize the community, flexibility, and customization of MyWorkChoice as the means to optimize the workforce.

Speakers: Edie L. Goldberg, Ph.D., President, E. L. Goldberg & Associates

1. Why are you passionate about the benefits of giving workers flexibility?

Edie L. Goldberg, Ph.D.: We have a very diverse workforce today and they all have their own personal needs and desires for what they want from work, so we need to develop new approaches that allow employees to define the options that really work for them. Historically, companies have held all the power in the employment relationship. But given the new technologies that we have available to us today and the talent shortages that have existed, we’ve really experienced more of a democratization of work, that is, the power has become more equal balanced between employee and employer. And when we democratize the work, we give employees more control of where and when and how they work. And it turns out that that just leads to better employee retention and better employee engagement. So while our recent downturn in the economy because of the COVID-19 pandemic may mean that there are fewer talent shortages in some areas of companies, there’s still a lot of companies that are desperately trying to hire, whether it be warehouse people or delivery employees. And the technical skill shortages that we have had in the past have not gone away. So when you give workers flexibility, they show up because it’s their choice and I think that’s really great.

2. What lessons can we take from the white collar workforce, and apply to the blue collar workforce?

Edie L. Goldberg, Ph.D.: I think I would refer to two different things here. One is that all employees want purpose and meaning and their work. So connecting your employees to the purpose of your organization is really important. When we look at a lot of work that’s going on today, there are a lot of warehouse workers, cashiers, delivery people that are really responsible for helping get food or resources that families need to survive and live through the crisis that we’re dealing with today. When employees understand how their work serves a larger purpose, that motivates them and connects them to that work and really results in them working a lot harder because they really understand that this isn’t just a task, but this is serving a purpose. So that’s one. The other, I would say, is that all employees really want to learn and grow. So to the extent that you can provide employees with opportunities to opt in to assignments where they get to learn and grow something new and different, that really helps each individual, and it will help your organization not only up-skill employees to do more in the future, but those employees are likely to stay around longer because they are learning in your organization and they really value that opportunity.

3. Is there one final message you want to give to our listeners/customers?

Edie L. Goldberg, Ph.D.: There’s a quote from Clayton Christensen that I think it’s really important for all business leaders to really think about, so I’m gonna read that to you. “The reason why it’s so difficult for existing firms to capitalize on disrupted innovation is that their processes and their business model that makes them so good at their existing business actually makes them bad at competing for the disruption.” Companies need to reevaluate their current business model and their talent management practices to ensure that they are redesigning their processes to help them thrive in the future of work. My book, The Inside Gig, provides ideas for how companies can change their approach to work to help work become more agile and help organizations to rapidly shift talent to where they need it to be to meet their current and future of business needs. MyWorkChoice is one of those innovations that is helping organizations rethink their approach to hiring talent and to staffing organizations in a way that disrupts the way we’ve always done it in the past.