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72: What Trends Will Dominate 2024’s Workplaces? (Part 2 of 2)

Part 2 of our predictions series!

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This week, we’re looking back at our predictions for 2023 (were we right?!) and looking ahead to 2024 asking, what trends will dominate our workplaces?

This is Part 2 of a 2-part episode so be sure to subscribe!

To bring you the most up to date and accurate insights, we’ve engaged a bumper panel of expert guests.

We’re thrilled to welcome Isabel Berwick of the FT and “Working It” podcast, Mridula Pore from Peppy Health, Organisational Psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, workplace health specialist Amy McKeown, Ruth Handcock, CEO of Octopus Money, and Martin Lindstrom, a New York Times bestselling author.

Join the conversation as we ask:

  • How will Gen Z’s influence reshape the corporate world in 2024?
  • What unexpected cultural shifts might we witness in workplaces?
  • How could empathy become a key element in workplace culture?
  • What role will social mobility and diversity play in future leadership?
  • Are there any potential surprises in store for the future of work?


Connect with Isabel:

Connect with Amy:

Connect with Professor Sir Cary Cooper:

Connect with Ruth:

Connect with Martin:

Connect with Mridula:

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The Transcript

⚠️ NOTE: This is an automated transcript, so it might not always be 100% accurate!

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[00:00:00] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: And I’ve talked to a lot of coaches who work with top CEOs and leaders, and they are a mess. But we don’t hear that. And we hear a lot about sort of, you’ve got to be vulnerable as a leader. I’m not entirely sure what that means in practice. It’s a little bit of a guff word. But I think if we were able to be more honest about the need to be people as well as workers in the way that they are in Scandinavia, maybe the leaders wouldn’t be modeling such bad behavior.

[00:00:31] Leanne: Hello and welcome to the Truth, Lies and Workplace Culture podcast brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. My name is Leigh Anne, I’m a business psychologist.

[00:00:44] Al: My name is Al. I’m a business owner.

[00:00:45] Leanne: We are here to help you simplify the science people and create amazing workplace cultures.

[00:00:49] Leanne: And may we say listeners, friends, happy new year. Is it new year already? It’s new year. It’s 2024.

[00:00:57] Al: We’re trying to pretend we’re recording this in new year where we’re actually recording a little bit before. How was your Christmas Al? Oh, it was, it was spectacular. My favorite bit was the present you bought.

[00:01:06] Al: I didn’t think I wanted a freshwater turtle, but you found one. You sent it to me. You gave it to me for Christmas. Yeah. Last Christmas. You gave me a tortoise the very next day I gave it away. But this year to save you from tears, you gave me a freshwater turtle, which I’m very pleased about. I’m not quite sure where the freshwater turtle came from.

[00:01:26] Al: I’m a little bit distracted because Leanne’s taken a cardigan off because we’ve just recorded two episodes back to back. And she said to me, and she said to me, well, look different. And I’m like, well, I look exactly the same. I’m still wearing the same blue t shirt. You’ll be seeing all the rest of them.

[00:01:38] Al: So So for the opposite of continuity, I’m going to, if you’re on YouTube, you’ll see I’m now wearing a yellow post it note, which shows that it’s a different week. So that way. So we know it’s completely, definitely did not sit down and record these back to back. Absolutely not.

[00:01:54] Leanne: Absolutely not. Now my Christmas was lovely.

[00:01:56] Leanne: Thank you for asking. Sorry. How was your Christmas? It was really good. Yeah. I really enjoyed all the jewelry that you bought me. It’s very generous.

[00:02:04] Al: I think I might need to go to Amazon or go shopping tomorrow,

[00:02:08] Leanne: but yes, anyway, if you are listening to this happy new year, hopefully we’re still here and didn’t have some horrible accident or drive back to the UK.

[00:02:14] Leanne: Can you imagine that’d be weird?

[00:02:16] Al: We recorded this and then we would, I can’t say dead, can I? It’s going to get us banned from. YouTube

[00:02:23] Leanne: trigger warning. Um, yeah, no, but hopefully we’re fine. Um, drop us a message on LinkedIn, Instagram. Just make sure. Um, but yes, if you listened last week to our last episode of 2023, you would have heard part one of our predictions episode.

[00:02:37] Leanne: If you’re just joining it this episode, go back. You’re a fool. Go back. We like rule breakers, but not that type of rule breakers. This won’t make sense to you.

[00:02:48] Al: You missed some really, really good ones in part one. Uh, we have, we explained in part one that we made our own predictions this time last year. Um, there was about eight predictions.

[00:02:57] Al: Leanne made four, I made four, about three of Leanne’s four came true, but one of my four came true. So we decided that, or I decided, let’s put these episodes together. There was no point. In, in, in us trying to, or me trying to make predictions. So we went and found some experts. So we have some experts.

[00:03:12] Al: Leanne, do you want to quickly run through who we have on the pod today? It’s the same people from last week, but just in case you need a reminder, here’s our Graham to recap.

[00:03:21] Leanne: It’s our Graham with a quick reminder. If you don’t, you know. Our first guest, we are welcoming back Isabel Berrick. She is a Financial Times journalist and host of the Working It podcast.

[00:03:33] Leanne: We also have Maduro Pule, co founder of Pepe Health, a startup revolutionizing the healthcare sector for workplaces. Next up, we have the awesome, the man, the legend, Professor Sir Kerry Cooper. You know who he is. We also have Amy McCowan back on the show, a regular guest and friend, and of course, an expert in workplace health.

[00:03:55] Leanne: We are also joined by Ruth Hancock, who is CEO of Octopus Money and an all round amazing human. And finally, Martin Lindstrom, New York Times bestselling author of books such as Biology, Brandwashed and Ministry of Common Sense. Last week, we covered our first few predictions for 2024 and today we continue our list.

[00:04:16] Al: So let’s go and find out what we’re going to find out this week. Let’s go find out what we’re going to find out what we found out last week that we’re going to find out more about that.

[00:04:23] Leanne: Yeah, let’s find out.

[00:04:26] Al: So let’s get stuck in moving on to prediction number four. If you’re a regular listener, you will know Leanne’s favorite word is managers.

[00:04:34] Al: It’s her favorite subject. Um, Managers and leaders. Our fourth prediction. We predict that you are going to have to step up your game in 2024.

[00:04:42] Leanne: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. You should have stepped up in 2023. You really should have stepped up in 2022. And actually think about it. The pandemic was a pretty good time to step up your leadership.

[00:04:51] Leanne: But hey, here we are 2024. If you train your managers. Oh, if you just do one thing, if you train your managers, your business will thrive. Train your managers to have empathy and genuinely care about their teams. Then you’ll more than likely remove 80 percent of any problems in a workplace. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping managers and leaders become amazing managers and leaders.

[00:05:18] Leanne: And you

[00:05:18] Al: can tell how passionate she is because she was banging the table there and you could probably hear it through the microphone. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a nice editing nightmare for me. Thank you, Leanne. So Professor Sakari Cooper knows what a great manager looks like, and he suspects that about 60 percent of managers haven’t really got the right skills yet.

[00:05:35] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: And if you’re a good manager and you’re walking the talk, then you’re going to hear all sorts of rumors, you know, chat from employees about other employees. You know, Fred’s a bit strange these days. He’s not really part of the team, all of that. That’s what you have to look for. But to do that, you have to be socially sensitive person.

[00:05:58] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: You have to really be a manager. That’s what a manager should be. A manager is not just somebody who says, here’s our priorities, hit the bottom line. A manager should be somebody Who just looks at everybody in the team individually. The good news about the pandemic was I think more managers then knew more about their subordinates and their direct reports than ever before because the.

[00:06:28] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: First of all, they got worried because they weren’t in an office, so I don’t see them all the time during the lockdowns. So what did they do? Everybody was doing, or the organization told most managers and most organizations said, Do one to ones with your direct reports on Zoom. They told him that. Don’t just have a business meeting and then forget the individual because you’re not seeing them.

[00:06:55] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: Do one to ones, but make it less about work and just ask them how they’re getting on. Now, a good line manager recognizes a change of behavior. And that’s a line manager all the way from shop floor to top floor. This goes all the way up the system. Anybody who’s in a managerial role. Okay. So that person is more likely to be, to recognize symptoms in their subordinates.

[00:07:23] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: And saying, putting armor on shoulder, Al, I’ve noticed for the last few weeks, maybe a month, maybe two months, you’ve been kind of withdrawing. Something’s troubling, isn’t it? I just feel it. Is it, what’s wrong? And because he’s an open person, he or she is an open person, Al is more likely to respond and open up themselves.

[00:07:51] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: Because open people, open people who have these social skills are people who are Prepare to admit their own vulnerabilities, which enables people they’re working with. To open up. That’s the way you do it. So, in the future, what we need is we need to recruit or promote line managers where there’s parity between their people skills and their technical skills.

[00:08:17] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: They still need technical skills. You gotta be a teacher to understand in a managerial role as a head teacher to manage the rest of the teachers. You’ve got to be, you’ve got to understand marketing if you’re a marketing director. You, you know, but you, but you have to understand that, but you also have to have the people skills.

[00:08:36] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: Therefore, if you get the right people in, and here’s the problem we have, Al. The problem we have is because we don’t have enough of them. I mean, in the years, I’m, I’m that old, which, which I can say, in all the years I’ve worked in organizations, I would say, and I had a university spinoff company manage University of Manchester spinoff company, Roberts and Cooper.

[00:08:58] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: Our work was working with lots of big companies, organizations, hospitals, public private sector bodies. Okay. I would say that if I was giving an estimate, I’d say, if you looked at the managerial pool of most organizations, 40 percent of managers, wherever they are in the hierarchy, have these skills naturally.

[00:09:20] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: You know, luckily they have the good people, social interpersonal skills. 40 percent are trainable. There is a problem that about 20 percent are untrainable. They shouldn’t be in a managerial role. They just have a personality that makes it difficult for you to train them. Right? The more we recognize that, so the problem we have in most organizations, in my view, is we have to deal with the cohort we currently have, the 40 40 20.

[00:09:49] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: 40’s fine, no training needed. 40, training. 20, find another role for them, but take him away from people, whatever you do. They’re technically maybe very competent, that’s fine, but don’t give them a managerial role. Find a vehicle to put them into, uh, a part of the organization where you can benefit from their technical skills, but get them away from human beings.

[00:10:15] Leanne: Isabelle, our Financial Times journalist and podcast host, completely agrees.

[00:10:20] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: You know, right at the top in this country, you know, CEOs are appointed. You have no experience at all in their sector. During the pandemic, all sorts of people were appointed to NHS task forces who were not experienced. I find this extraordinary.

[00:10:34] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: I think it’s because Management and leadership have never really been core to what we think of in British business, and it affects productivity, and it’s particularly bad in small businesses. And I think there are lots of organizations trying to tackle this, but there are all sorts of You know, issues that make us as Brits particularly prone to these problems.

[00:10:57] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: And also, I mean, part of the thing about being British is it’s great. You know, we don’t take ourselves particularly seriously. It’s funny, but there does come a time when you really do have to say, you know, I’m not just going to bish bash bosh this management thing. I do need a little bit of training, qualifications, you know, care.

[00:11:14] Al: Ruth from Octopus Money goes one step further and she suggests that we need to redefine what being a leader actually is.

[00:11:23] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: I don’t think people look to leaders to direct them anymore. I think people look to leaders to inspire them. And I think that’s a gigantic opportunity. Um, and it, and it builds on all those trends that we’ve all talked about for years, which is how do you empower people?

[00:11:39] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: How do you create a mission for your organization? How do you communicate effectively with them? But I think we’ve really, really hit a tipping point where I think leaders that direct and control will be. We’ll create organizations that people are less likely to want to work in and leaders that inspire and give space and understand that power of how a mission can translate to someone working incredibly hard to deliver something they feel passionate about.

[00:12:10] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: The power of that, I think, will become clearer and clearer. So I think we might see that. Um, that talent flocks not necessarily to the latest definition of hybrid versus in office working, which will continue to be a conversation. It will flock to what’s the culture and leadership of the organization.

[00:12:30] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: And do I feel like I can do my best work

[00:12:32] Al: there? And Professor Sir Kerry Cooper suggests that maybe the answer lies in us looking east. You

[00:12:38] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: know why the Japanese have been very successful for so many years? Because managers role is very different from what we have in the West. By the way, I don’t think we can ship to a Japanese model, but I’ve worked in Japan a couple times.

[00:12:51] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: A manager’s role is to talk to their employees about a problem and get them to solve the problem, take the solution of that problem up to the next level. It’s not the manager to sort it. What we do is we have meetings at which we act like the employees are solving the problem. But actually, The manager has already come up with a solution, just wants validation of that solution, and probably the majority of them don’t even listen to the alternative options open to them.

[00:13:26] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: Some do, and those are the ones who are socially skilled would do. But many of them do not, and they just take it up at the next level. In Japan, the role is quite a different role. I’m not saying we should do that, but I do think we should listen to employees and try to get them to help us. They may come up with really interesting solutions.

[00:13:44] Leanne: And as the Gen X take over management positions, Isabel worries there is a risk that they are repeating the bad habits that their Boomer mentors might have

[00:13:53] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: had. It’s, it’s built into Everybody’s life that you have, you know, you can leave work at a reasonable time. CEOs leave at work at the reasonable time.

[00:14:03] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: And I think part of the problem here is it’s modeled from the top CEOs and senior management model, the long hours culture, you know, they may be suffering very badly themselves with mental health issues. I’ve seen a lot of surveys that suggest that’s true. And I’ve talked to a lot of coaches who work with top CEOs and leaders and they are a mess.

[00:14:22] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: But we don’t hear that. And we hear a lot about sort of you’ve got to be vulnerable as a leader. I’m not entirely sure what that means in practice. It’s a little bit of a guff word. But I think if we were able to be more honest about the need to be people as well as workers in the way that they are in Scandinavia.

[00:14:42] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: Maybe the leaders wouldn’t be modeling such bad behavior.

[00:14:45] Leanne: Talking of Gen Z.

[00:14:47] Al: Yep, our next prediction is around Gen Z. But let’s just summarize where we’re at so far. So, so far, our predictions are number one, flexible work will still divide the business world. Number two, employees will demand a more equitable health care plan, easy for me to say.

[00:15:02] Al: Number three, financial health care is going to be even more important in 2024. And number four, managers and leaders need to up their game. Our fifth prediction is not really a prediction. He’s actually just more of a reminder.

[00:15:13] Leanne: Yes. Sit, sit, sit down. Listen to this. If you’re doing something else while you’re listening to the podcast, just stop for a minute.

[00:15:20] Leanne: Okay. Take this in. Within the next five years, Gen Zed will make up over a third of all people of working age. Let that sit for a minute. We cannot afford to ignore them. We can’t afford them, we can’t afford to ignore them when we’re planning our workplace for the future. However, a fair number of perhaps older people in the workplace seem to think that this generation are Lazy.

[00:15:47] Leanne: Isabel explains they have misunderstood this entirely.

[00:15:51] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: Oh, no, not at all. They’re not lazy. They are picky. And that’s very different. I think when you see Gen Z coming into the workforce, what they want is connection and they want trust. And I can see it in people I know myself. And I think those are great things.

[00:16:09] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: The issue is that it clashes with existing work culture. So the challenge of the next five years will be for millennial managers, Gen X managers, some boomer managers to say who’s coming in and how do I adapt? And that’s a hard thing to think because actually, you know, I’m in charge. Why should I adapt?

[00:16:27] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: But. I think the issue that a lot of managers have with Gen Z is that they are terrified. They’re terrified of being cancelled. They are terrified of saying the wrong thing. And if you just flip that around and think what Gen Z wants is to be able to trust you, is to be able to think that you have integrity and that you are going to help them in their career.

[00:16:48] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: You know, I think it’s a much easier way to look at it. And it’s much less fearful.

[00:16:53] Al: Ruth from Octopus Money says that we need to be much more agile with our planning in 2024.

[00:16:59] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: So I think we’ve come through an interesting sort of talent cycle over the last year, where we went from probably this time last year, where I think people were moving jobs more than I’ve seen in maybe the last 10 years of my career.

[00:17:12] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: And then it feels as if in 12 months, we’ve come to a stage where people aren’t moving around much at all. right now. And I think we’ll see that normalize a little bit. Um, but I think it means that having swung from a really hot talent market to a much less hot talent market. I think, uh, really the theme I think for people functions will be agility.

[00:17:35] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: Things are changing much more quickly than I saw them change over the last five or six years where we had a relatively benign economic environment. And I think people functions can often work on annual timescales and I’m going to plan my benefits. I’m going to think about what my interventions are this year.

[00:17:52] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: I would argue you’ve got to be more agile than that. I would argue you’ve got to be planning on a quarterly basis. You’ve got to be thinking much more regularly. What is really going to work as the world around me changes quite quickly? And how can I engage people given that the context has probably changed?

[00:18:09] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: From when I last thought about this two or three months ago. So if it’s one thing, I think that’s what I’d focus on. It’s shorten your planning cycle, be more agile, be prepared to change as quickly as the world

[00:18:20] Leanne: is. Martin Lindstrom, the author of multiple bestselling books and one of my personal favorites, The Ministry of Common Sense, explains it perfectly.

[00:18:29] Leanne: Yeah,

[00:18:30] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: well, it sounds fluffy and I didn’t believe in purpose until I think 10 years ago. Um. And I think the reason why I didn’t believe in Purpose was because quite often we would have a vision statement in the reception, uh, hanging up there, a bit of dust on top of it. Or we, we would, um, we would look at the annual report, it would start with some vision or some Purpose statement, and it would ring hollow.

[00:18:58] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: You would feel it would be sort of a piece of makeup put on top of something, like veneer. But what happens is that Generation Z, or Zed, Are looking at their parents now and their parents are my age and they will look at the gray hair. They’ll look at how it’s a worn down, worn out generation, which have been working the whole life, striving towards getting a higher title, more power, earning more money.

[00:19:30] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: And they would have looked at their degree of depression and anxiety. And they would have said to themselves, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be like my dad. Or my mom or my parents. And that’s where we see this generation see now. They are increasingly saying to myself, I want to go against that.

[00:19:49] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: In fact, I don’t want to collect assets like they did. The more I collect, the more happy I am, meaning consumption. I want to collect memories and experiences instead. I want to rent things. And if companies do not take that into account and they place you. Or anyone of generation C or Z in front of a screen.

[00:20:10] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: And now they have to hammer away eight to 10 hours where 65 percent is bureaucracy. You can be pretty sure the loyalty is basically zero and the new employer out there is just a link away. So what I think is really important for organizations is to build a purpose into it, which is fundamentally true and which resonates with this generation.

[00:20:32] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: And if you can do that, if you go to work and you’re not just doing it because you’re earning money, but you’re doing it because you change the world a little bit, you change people’s happiness a little bit, you make people more happy or more content, then I think you will attract a lot of people. And you better get going with this, because this is just the beginning.

[00:20:51] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: I fundamentally believe that companies in the future cannot survive if they’re not supporting the environment, if they’re not supporting equality, if they’re not having a purpose. Those factors are not ticked. They would be all dinosaurs just fading away slowly.

[00:21:07] Al: So our fifth prediction is a reminder Gen Z are literally the future of our workplace.

[00:21:13] Al: What’s number six, Lee?

[00:21:14] Leanne: When I was researching Ruth before our chat, I noticed that she talked a lot about social mobility and the impact this has on diversity. And the more I looked into this and thought about the implications of the cost of living crisis, I realized this is something we’re just not talking about enough.

[00:21:31] Leanne: So I asked Ruth to explain what it is and why it’s being overlooked.

[00:21:35] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: Yeah, I, for those who don’t, um, who aren’t very familiar with social mobility, it’s really the extent to which your background, the family you grew up in impacts your long term prospects. So one way that workplaces increasingly measuring social mobility is asking employees, what was the occupation of the main earner in their household when they were 14?

[00:22:00] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: And they use that as a measure of, did you grow up in a professional home? Where your parents were perhaps slightly higher earners where you had access to different opportunities. You may have been privately educated Or was your background different from that? Did you um, did your main Um earner not have a professional role your household income may have been lower Um, and what we’re tracking is the extent to which people change their outcomes So the extent to which if you grew up in a household where you maybe didn’t have much money The extent to which you’re able to change that over the course of your career The reason I think it’s so important is because we are, as a nation, in a worse position on social mobility than we have been for 50 years.

[00:22:43] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: This is getting way, way worse, rather than better. And there are lots of economic reasons for that. But, um, one of the main ones is that we aren’t seeing a huge amount of economic growth. So really the main way that many people accumulate wealth is from their parents. And as long as the main way that you accumulate wealth is from your parents, that means that the situation you grew up in determines your life more than it would otherwise.

[00:23:09] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: Um, I think this is a, you know, I think it’s a massive issue. For many, many, many reasons, you know, it’s the very basis for me of whether we live in a fair society or not. Um, is whether you can create your own opportunities. Um, but I think it’s important for employers for a couple of reasons. We’ve talked a lot about ESG over the past 10 years, and I think we’ve focused in on Um, on environmental on climate very closely when I talk to people who run listed businesses as an example They’re getting far more questions now about how does your business have a positive impact on society?

[00:23:47] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: So that s in esg and I think that will continue to be a theme and social mobility is a big part of that I think it’s a real problem when you look across the diversity of senior leadership teams. So if you believe, as I do, that you’re going to build a better, more valuable organization if you have a diverse leadership team, social background is probably the sort of hidden diversity characteristic that you haven’t looked at yet.

[00:24:12] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: But in financial services, where I work, depending on what stats you read, about 89 percent of C level executives were privately educated. Again, 6 percent of the population that are. Now that is staggering. How can we say we’re creating products and services that work for everyone if the background of people leading those organizations is so narrow?

[00:24:34] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: So most people aren’t measuring it. Most people aren’t putting in place positive interventions to try and change it. And I would love to see that change. I think it’s a, um, a huge theme that will grow and grow over the coming years.

[00:24:48] Prof Sir Cary Cooper: Clearly

[00:24:48] Al: Ruth is very passionate about this and I would encourage you to go and Google her, look on YouTube, find out the interviews she’s done around social mobility.

[00:24:55] Al: She did a, I will believe it was a webinar about a month ago, which was all about this. She, she just knows it. And also what’s interesting is it’d be something we are going to be talking about over the next five or 10 years. She’s definitely a pioneer in this subject. We have talked about diversity quite a lot on the podcast and how important it is.

[00:25:13] Al: We also have told you that we’re not experts. We’ve got, we’ve brought in experts for you in the, all the episodes that Leanne mentioned and look in the show notes, because we’ll link to those as well. They’re far more qualified to talk about equity and diversity than we are. But one thing that both they and us have noticed is that.

[00:25:29] Al: Some companies just use it as a little bit of a buzzword.

[00:25:33] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: There’s an academic called Grace Lorden at the London School of Economics, who uses data and behavioral science to show what works in terms of building inclusive workplaces. You know, I think we’ve all been on training courses where we’re all in zoom breakout rooms and we all have lots of Lovely words about diversity, but Grace and her team at LSE are looking at what works, how long term change can be affected, and what stands in its way.

[00:25:58] Isabel Berwick, Financial Times: I mean, I don’t think there’s any other way to go forward.

[00:26:01] Leanne: Yes, diversity and equity is so important. And when you add the problem that leadership still skews towards bend, it’s even more important to ensure your team is made for people from lots of different backgrounds. Ruth from Octopus Money explains this beautifully.

[00:26:18] Leanne: You know, I

[00:26:18] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: hope we’re on an improving trajectory and I think that Diversity is one of those things where you can hit a tipping point. So we all know that, um, someone said this to me in a brilliant phrase, if you can’t see, you can’t be. We know the importance of role models. So the more you see people like you in leadership, the more you think that’s something you can achieve and the more it’s something you strive for.

[00:26:44] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: So logic says you hit a tipping point that when there are enough women in leadership, more women believe they can get there. And given that we’ve made some good strides in improving, um, gender diversity and leadership, clearly not enough, but we’ve made some good strides. You hope that that will become reinforcing and that more people, more women, more people from minority backgrounds will see people like them.

[00:27:10] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: And that doesn’t mean you’re from the same community. You’re from the same gender necessarily, but someone you can identify with, which are way more likely to see in a diverse leadership team than in a less diverse one will make you believe. And I think individuals who have come through that also develop a much greater sense of responsibility to mentor people who they see.

[00:27:32] Ruth Handcock, Octopus Money: Um, perhaps experiencing some of the barriers they did. So that should reinforce itself. And I hope we’ll see a continued improvement. But we all know we’ve, we’ve got an awfully long way to go and it’s still moving relatively slowly. So these

[00:27:47] Al: are our six predictions from our expert panel in 20, for 2024.

[00:27:51] Al: Leigh, do you want to go first?

[00:27:52] Leanne: Yes, 2024, the office versus remote versus on site debate will continue. And number

[00:27:59] Al: two is that the health care needs are gonna make a much more niche and bespoke in 2024 for the workplace.

[00:28:05] Leanne: Number three, financial well being will really ramp up in terms of conversation and particularly what we can do to improve the financial health of our workforce.

[00:28:14] Leanne: Number

[00:28:14] Al: four is that managers and leaders, we need to step up our game in 2024. Things are never going to be the same again.

[00:28:21] Leanne: Number five, nevermind holidays coming, Gen Z are coming, friends, we need to be ready.

[00:28:26] Al: And number six, diversity continues to be important, but there’s a new aspect, social mobility, which you need to know a little bit about.

[00:28:33] Al: Lee, I feel like we’ve covered those, the six. I have a feeling you might have a little bonus, number seven, perhaps.

[00:28:40] Leanne: Yeah, and I think it underpins all of the above really, so it’s not really a prediction and more of an observation. If you could only improve one thing in your workplace in 2024, I’d suggest it is empathy.

[00:28:53] Leanne: Managers are better when they are empathetic. Teams work better when members show empathy towards each other. Customers are happy when we’re more empathetic to their needs. The whole remote working argument would lose so much steam if we also showed a bit more empathy towards our fellow team members.

[00:29:12] Leanne: Here’s Martin Lindstrom to sum it all

[00:29:14] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: up. Well, it is a problem for multiple reasons. And one of them is when you remember the correlation between empathy and, um, common sense. Um, we live in a world where we don’t look each other in the eyes as much as we did in the past, whether I’m on the phone. So you don’t see people on the street or right now.

[00:29:32] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: I don’t see you in the eyes and you don’t see me in the eyes. Really? I’m looking at a lens. Um, so we’re losing eye contact and eye contact in meetings is a buffer. So when you sit in a meeting. And you’re 10 people and you come up with a crazy idea. There’s no way you can gather the feeling of if people like it or not.

[00:29:53] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: If it’s in a team’s meeting, if you just pause for five seconds, the first thing people will say is you’re on mute on mute. So we can’t even think we can’t even reflect it. People would say introvert can’t even attend because there wouldn’t be like a machine gun talking. Right. So. Empathy is slowly declining, and we’ve never seen such a big decline as we saw during COVID 19.

[00:30:16] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: But even before, you would have noticed that one experiment done over 10 years showed a decline among Generation C of 65%. So, empathy, the ability to feel with other people, is disappearing. We built walls. We survive and thrive in small bubbles with a self fulfilling prophecies. So that directly correlates with me working in large organizations where I basically do not have an interest in helping other people when it comes to empathy.

[00:30:48] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: I dig down in my little silo. I do my work. I do it with producing a lot of PowerPoints and a lot of bureaucracy. And then I move on. There is no feeling of, I have to help that person and let’s stick together. Let’s create a teamwork because you can hardly do it in a digital format. So yes, it is in a fast decline and it probably will continue being in a decline for, for, for many years to come, I would say.

[00:31:12] Martin Lindstrom, Ministry of Common Sense: Well,

[00:31:12] Al: there you have it. There’s eight, sorry, seven predictions, six and a bonus. Um, and we will, we’ll probably revisit those at some point in the year and we’ll tell you how accurate we were. Um, if you, if we don’t hear another follow up episode about this, we never mentioned this again. None of them were right, but to be fair, they weren’t our predictions.

[00:31:30] Al: They were experts

[00:31:31] Leanne: predictions. Yeah. I feel much more confident in this year’s predictions than last year’s predictions. Yeah.

[00:31:35] Al: I put money on this year’s. I definitely would not put money on last year’s wearable. Burnout predictor was mine out in the air.

[00:31:42] Leanne: Still a good idea. And I, and I stand by my point that you’re ahead of your time.

[00:31:47] Leanne: And if it was used for good, then we would have seen it. Um, but anyway, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, why have you not gone back and listened to the other episode first? You’re crazy. This new year’s gone to your head. So yes, happy new year. Happy 2024. We hope you’re feeling rested and recharged and ready for another 12 months and all that it will bring.

[00:32:10] Leanne: We will be here with you every week, every step of the way. Talking about everything, psychology and work.

[00:32:17] Al: Absolutely. So in the next 51 episodes, it’ll take you through to next year. Then we will help you to create amazing workplace culture cultures and simplify the signs of people. That’s what my lovely wife and co-host is here for.

[00:32:28] Al: If you’ve got a question, get in touch. Links are in the, in the show notes. You know how to find us. Even em. I bet you don’t look, but our emails in the show notes. So you can actually email Leann directly and go, Hey, what do

[00:32:38] Leanne: I do about this? More than that, there’s more than that, Al. There’s actually a link to book a call directly.

[00:32:43] Leanne: with both of us. Don’t do

[00:32:45] Al: that. I don’t, don’t book a call with me. I don’t know anything. Book a call with

[00:32:48] Leanne: her. Book a call. Unless you’re trying to sell me something. Unless it’s good. But I’ll be the judge of that. Yes.

[00:32:55] Al: You’ve been told. Have a phenomenal remainder of the first week in January and we’ll see you next week with, I can’t remember what we got on next week, but if I remember in time, then I will record it and edit it and put it in the actual edit.

[00:33:08] Leanne: It’s something exciting. It

[00:33:10] Al: is right. We will see you very, very soon. Bye. Bye bye.

[00:33:24] Al: Number two, the bespoke health place, work place and thingy. There’s another outtake. Well done.

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