Engaged for a human future

Organisations need qualities that are uniquely human to help them navigate uncertain times - Derek Tong highlights the importance of an empowered workforce.

Derek Tong speaking at Engage for Success event in December 2016

The CIPD’s Future of Work is Human initiative is garnering further attention as the Institute was asked to share its ideas and work at Engage for Success’s celebration event on 15 December.

Speaking at the event, Derek Tong from the CIPD’s Strategy, Brand and Communications Team highlighted that an engaged and empowered workforce is one of the critical components that will enable organisations, economies and individuals to thrive in the context of an uncertain future.

Taking place at the Thomson Reuters headquarters in Canary Wharf, the gathering marked the achievement to date of the Engage for Success movement, and acknowledged the effort and commitment of its growing network of volunteers in promoting employee engagement as a better way to work.

In his talk, Tong explained that the Future of Work is Human initiative shared a similar desire ‘to help people to be at their best.’ More specifically, in the context of ‘a rapidly changing world of work, in which the future looks uncertain and far from secure,’ the key to success, Tong said, is to look at how we can unlock and enable human capability through work.

‘Increasing globalisation, advances in technology, corporate scandals, political and economic disruptions have all contributed to an environment that has seen the demise of once-great organisations, the shortening shelf-life of careers, an imbalance of opportunities and growing discord,” he said, adding that ‘without a doubt, we are living in uncertain times.’

‘Navigating uncertainty requires adaptability, innovation, collaboration, principled decision-making — qualities that are uniquely human,’ Tong said, and ‘that is why we are putting out the call that the future of work should be human.’

‘Of course, more efficient processes, considered implementation of technology and automation for example, are significant things that will contribute to a better future of work,’ he said. But ‘it is people that are at the heart of the value creation’ that organisations, economies, and individuals need to thrive, and ‘it will be an engaged, empowered and purposeful people that will power progress through uncertainty.’

The CIPD has applied its purpose to champion better work and better working lives to questions around the future of work, and over the past year, has convened a community of business leaders — including from the Big 4, GSK, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Aviva, Vodafone and Virgin — HR professionals, policy makers, think tanks, public bodies and academics, to surface the things that must be collectively addressed. Over the course of 2017, the CIPD will continue this work and in particular, will draw the thinking into tangible actions to gather pace behind the movement.

The CIPD became a prime sponsor of Engage for Success in September 2016, recognising that a closer collaboration will create an amplified voice to influence and support organisational thinking and practice, to build more engaged, productive and aligned workforces.

Top