The world of work has evolved. Day-to-day tasks, work environments, and technology have modernized to meet the needs of today’s workforce. The people have also changed, but many businesses continue to believe that technology alone is the answer to their problems. It’s sophisticated and alluring, but what is often overlooked are the people who use the systems–the knowledge workers.
Knowledge workers are the modern employee that make up a majority of the new workforce. They are technology-dependent, information-driven employees who directly apply their knowledge, skills, and ideas to bring value to their work. iOfficeCorp and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate knowledge workers make up 36 million, or 28 percent of the labor force.
Knowledge workers comprise a considerable segment of the labor force, and it’s time for businesses to embrace the concept that people, not technology, are their most important asset. Here are six strategies companies are using to attract, motivate and retain today’s top knowledge workers:
- Set the Vision: Knowledge workers thrive on information and want to know the “why” and the “what.” Providing these insights will lead to a deeper connection, increasing their motivation and making them much more likely to provide innovative and insightful solutions.
- Align and Motivate: Get to know your employees–what’s important to them and what keeps them engaged. Understanding their unique interests, skills, and career goals will help you determine where there is alignment with organizational objectives.
- Embrace Flexibility: Often times, lack of engagement is the driving force behind many employees leaving their current positions. According to iOfficeCorp, more than two in five of those questioned in a recent study felt that inflexible work styles stifled their ability to grow. Evaluate your company culture to keep things fresh and innovative for your employees.
- Build a Community: Knowledge workers aren’t only interested in earning a paycheck or climbing the corporate ladder. They want to know they are part of a community and that they’re making an impact. Encourage your workforce to share knowledge and skills with coworkers across multiple departments and projects.
- Leverage Technology: It is critical that your knowledge workers have access to technology. With the right tools, they can track performance analytics and collaborate with colleagues regardless of location and time boundaries.
- Optimize your Work-spaces: Knowledge workers want access to critical information, from anywhere. They are looking for work-life balance and are willing to put in extra effort to make it happen. To retain knowledge workers, consider reevaluating your work-spaces to maximize productivity, and flexibility regarding remote work.
The number of knowledge workers is growing exponentially–they are more technologically efficient and information-driven and should be considered as you continue to build your current workforce.