Futuristic companies like Cognizant believe that the future of work is already here. In order to stay relevant Cognizant has moved away from a sole focus on company and profits, to a more nuanced focus that spans the customer, the workforce and the company.
Workforce dynamics are rapidly changing in multiple ways, one of the most significant being that more and more highly skilled people want flexible working arrangements, and they want the freedom to work for multiple clients. Workforces are increasingly becoming more heterogeneous, with a mix of different generations, and people from completely different cultures working in one team. This reality brings with it many positives as well as challenges which companies must work with, to attract the best employees in the market. People will work from anywhere, at any time, and on any kind of device that they find convenient. Employers have to then design contracts which allow for this flexibility, so that they attract the best talent available.
This floating employee population is set to swiftly increase, bringing with it the need to protect company data. But companies with foresight and wisdom are recognizing that when the employer-employee dynamic changes to a mutually respectful one, when employees are treated as valuable contributors instead of as cogs in a wheel, when employees feel that the company trusts them, then they participate wholeheartedly in the growth and success of the company.
Outcome driven work metrics
As different kinds of employees enter the workforce companies are crafting employee engagement parameters that go beyond the mandatory 8 hour workday. Organizations are moving towards contracts that do not demand a certain time to be spent on company work. Instead, pre-defined outcomes are built into employment contracts. This is cost-efficient for companies as many skilled people can complete an assignment in half the time that a full time employee takes, and this is a way to attract talented freelancers, as long as data security is ensured.
Non-technology factors re-shaping the future of work
The workforce demographic is the most critical non technological factor that will define workplaces of the future. With increasing life spans, retirement is no longer a sacred phase in anyone’s life – more and more highly talented older people, will continue to excel at work. Globalization has made it easy for people to work in different parts of the world, and with technology platforms a project team can comprise of people from different cultures working on the same project. HR teams have to quickly learn how to manage these cross-cultural teams seamlessly.
Hacking the Hackathon
A hackathon brings together creative thinkers, ideas, skills, mentors, and investors. Typically a challenge is published and hackathon teams get 2 to 3 days to produce the best solution. Hackathons have helped solve global challenges in education and public health, and many successful business ideas and apps have been developed at hackathons. Cognizant hackathons lead to the development of products or ideas that become a part of the company’s core offering. Developers and innovators, who are completely out of the organization’s ecosystem, work at the hackathon, sell what they develop and move out. This is a new employee engagement dynamic that the company has adopted and it forms part of the new age workforces that companies are engaging with.
Learning and development
The Cognizant Academy is testament to the importance of learning and skilling to stay on the cutting edge of innovation. Forward thinking organizations map the talent landscape and redefine it frequently to understand immediate skill requirement and skills that will be required in the long term. Upskilling and learning at Cognizant is a continuous process facilitated by the dedicated team at Cognizant Academy. In order to strengthen the learning process, Cognizant collaborates with academia to design and teach courses to students, as well as to the Cognizant employees – 80 to 85% of employees in the company are well trained in digital skills.
From a future ready standpoint Cognizant collaborates with academic institutions to make sure that curriculum is industry relevant, which helps them hire employable graduates, who will immediately contribute to the organization’s goals. Internships are also a method to identify potential candidates for full time job placements.
Work Life Balance is a process of dividing one’s time and energy between work and other aspects of one’s life – like family, friends, self-care, spirituality, and other personal activities. Industry has come to recognise that this balance is critical to the individual’s well being which in turn is critical to the company’s success. Organizations are becoming more flexible to ensure that they attract and retain the best talent. Many organizations offer amenities like gyms, yoga centre, shopping facilities in order to make their employees’ lives easier. All of these facilities combined with futuristic workplace policies will help companies be employers of choice for the workforce.