The future of work? It is already here…

The best way to predict the future is to to create it.”

Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker

Today is a very exciting day as the CIPD takes its Festival of Work online for the first time.

Not only has this allowed people from all over the world to attend and come together, but it is also showing us the future of conferences by embracing the current circumstances and creating an opportunity despite the challenges we face.

The opening keynote from Peter Cheese was inspiring and as a leader, he is not afraid to address the current global issues, not only COVID-19 and the pending recession but he paid a touching tribute to George Floyd and called out the undertones of racism the exists within our society.

As HR and L&D professionals, whilst the current climate may seem an uphill climb, we have an opportunity to change the current circumstances for the better, shaping a better, fairer and equal future for all. Diversity and Inclusion will be a strong theme throughout this year’s conference and all eyes will be open throughout, seeking opportunity to reflect, learn and establish ways to create more inclusive workforces whilst not being afraid to call out racism within our communities.

We have a purpose, the HR function is not simply a processing department, when utilised as the way the are intended, we can add significant value; creating supportive and inclusive cultures whilst driving high performance. This is critical for organisations to recognise this; as we head into another recession, the effectiveness, purpose and motivations of your people can be the difference in the business surviving or taking years to recover. As we’ve seen in the retail sector since the pandemic crisis began, we have seen significant levels of unemployment as large names closed their doors for the last time.

The emphasis of this virtual conference is very much about taking stock and accountability for shaping the future of work; how we respond and treat our people is a real test of our capabilities but given that we are facing multiple challenges all at once, now is a time to come together, share our knowledge and resources to support each other as we face these issues head on.

For me, one thing I am continuously looking for is how we can be kinder. Kindness is underrated and undervalued, so understanding how we can create kinder, inclusive and supportive workplaces is a priority to me as this is what I advise my clients on and it makes all the difference. When we are kinder, everything else falls into place.

If you’re interested in more of these hard hitting issues that impact upon your workplaces, unfortunately registration for the CIPD’s Festival of Work is closed for this year but I will be blogging as much as I can throughout which is virtually running from today until Friday. However it is obvious to me, the future of work is already here…

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