Reimagining Work, Workplace Design, and Employee Engagement

Perspectives from our business conversations at THE PLAYERS® Championship

Mansueto Ventures CEO & Chief Content Officer Stephanie Mehta shares her perspective on centering the employee experience with CNBC’s Frank Holland during a panel discussion hosted by Comcast Business at THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

With hybrid work and Gen Z’s growing professional influence established as post-pandemic norms, companies are challenged to keep employee engagement high across various ages, attitudes, and levels. Keeping pace with changing dynamics will involve innovations in workplace design and the right use of technology to increase collaboration and productivity. 

Employee engagement is important to employers because it leads to increased productivity and performance, lower turnover, and organizational success—all amounting to a reported 20% increase in profitability, according to a study by Gallup

Maximizing employee engagement lies in successfully adapting to the concurrent evolutions of three elements: people, physical space, and technology. These insights and more were shared recently at a panel discussion at THE PLAYERS® Championship. Speaking to business leaders, Stephanie Mehta, CEO and Chief Content Officer of Mansueto Ventures (parent of Inc. and Fast Company), said the future of work should be centered around “a better employee experience.” 

Put People First

Today’s workforce is increasingly multi-generational yet decreasingly hierarchical. While work attitudes, ethics, and habits differ across Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z, keeping everyone engaged is possible. Mehta advised companies to focus less on how to “lure” employees into the office (with, for example, cocktails or free lunches), and more on how to make the shared work environment better suit their various needs and desires. Employee engagement is, after all, a mental state that can fluctuate based on workplace relationships and events.

Create Adaptive and Conducive Spaces

Be they 22 or 62, people value offices that house a mix of workspaces that allow solo and group work, research shows. An architectural firm that has tried envisioning the office of the future found itself needing to pivot away from designing the space as a top-down exercise, to understanding the nuances of 28 different groups of employees before creating a space that responds to them. The takeaway is that companies should not be afraid to experiment with new tools and approaches to work. 

Technology is a Double-Edged Sword

While technology such as videoconferencing can connect colleagues who are working from home, it will be teams’ collective responsibility to avoid over-scheduling meetings, which can be distracting and impact productivity, according to Microsoft research.

In fact, it could be better to harness technology in other ways, such as in talent retention. For example, a major global bank uses data analytics to create a talent-matching tool that can identify internal candidates for open roles within the organization, map out their career paths, and provide learning recommendations to close any skill gaps. Mehta noted that it’s a good way to prioritize internal mobility and keep any valued employee who is thinking about making moves engaged, happy, and—most importantly—within the organization.

As today’s workforce continues to evolve and diversify, organizations need to invest time and effort into maximizing employee engagement, whether workers are fully remote, in-office, or hybrid. Physical workspaces should be adaptable and conducive to various working styles. Any use of technology must also add to strengthening a culture of collaboration while not subtracting from productivity. 

Check out additional perspectives from our conversations at THE PLAYERS® Championship.

Hybrid work and impact of Gen Z have spurred businesses to rethink employee engagement.

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