On September 29th, Bloomberg Media convened business and marketing leaders virtually to hear from expert voices on the future of work—a topic that today combines technology, social justice and public health to impact all industries and sectors. Watch the highlights above.
The event began with a fireside chat with Roy Bahat, Head of Bloomberg Beta—an early-stage venture firm that invests in startups making work better—and moderator Scarlet Fu, Bloomberg Television’s Senior Editor of the Markets Desk. Bahat is also a commissioner on the California Governor’s Future of Work Commission and the Co-Chair of Shift: The Commission on Work, Workers and Technology, a joint project of Bloomberg and think-tank New America to understand the 10-20 year future of work and automation in America.
The conversation was followed by an exclusive panel discussion with four Chief Marketing Officers at the forefront of reimagining the workplace, including:
– Toni Clayton-Hine, Chief Marketing Officer, EY Americas
– Anna Griffin, Chief Marketing Officer, Smartsheet
– Carla Hassan, Chief Marketing Officer, Citi
– Alan Marks, Chief Marketing Officer and Communications Officer, ServiceNow
Bloomberg Media Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Colvin gave opening and closing remarks. Key takeaways include:
Be the Chief Information Officer of your own life. Becoming fluent with technological tools and understanding which work for different needs will be a differentiating skill for both executives and workers across companies, according to Bloomberg Beta’s Bahat. The expanding use of communications and productivity tech could also open up new doors for those who excel at adapting to change. “What I think will change now is that people who have different communication styles may come forward, an introvert or somebody who maybe comes from a less represented background, and didn’t quite navigate in-person dynamics in the same way,” Bahat said. “All of a sudden, now they can introduce a new idea.”
The meaning of “work-life balance” has radically shifted. With remote work expanding into former commuting time, many working parents juggling video meetings with childcare, and continuing uncertainty around returning to the office, the traditional schedule has disappeared. “It’s not just the future of work as employees, but the future of work as humans. We’re really focused on the health and well-being of our teams,” said EY’s Clayton-Hine. “And that affects not only attracting and retaining talent, but also how we interact with our clients and making sure we’re bringing our best work forward.”
Virtual experiences are creating new opportunities. “Our summer interns got access to time with senior leaders that they might not otherwise have had,” said Citi’s Hassan. “That resulted in conversations and exposure to functions that might not otherwise have happened.” The outcome was unexpected, informal mentorships that continued after the internship period had ended—and the potential for a different career path. With interns in cities around the globe, “It was a different experience, but I’m confident they didn’t lose anything,” Hassan added. “In fact, they gained something they might not have in the physical experience.”
Customer habits are informed by consumer habits. “Right now, the pandemic has brought on a new love affair with binge watching,” said Smartsheet’s Anna Griffin. “So, in a virtual event, you have to meet people with something that feels like a television experience or a binge watch.” Creating content for a new medium is more engaging than attempting to recreate the physical in a virtual way. “People are tuning in to virtual events — the reach is f-fantastic,” Griffin said. “But how long you keep them depends on how you meet them at their expectation. It’s a blessing and it’s a challenge.”
You can’t over-communicate. Hiring new employees in an all or mostly virtual environment requires a critical focus on people management practices. “You have to really deeply engage,” said ServiceNow’s Alan Marks. “Making sure you’re connecting the new person with the right teammates, having the right conversations, and following an initial onboarding plan is critically important.” And that needs to happen on a daily basis, according to Marks, in order to foster role clarity and familiarize new workers with company culture and process. That, in turn, is what helps workers do their jobs effectively. “You can’t communicate too much in an environment like this,” he added.
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