New Work: Happy employees mean happy customers

New Work zufriedene Mitarbeiter high five
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Whether Work 4.0 or New Work, the way in which attractive and successful workplaces in the digital age should look is still a trending topic. It’s not just about how you, as a company, can stand up to the pressure of innovation, but also about how, with the help of the right corporate culture, you can ensure that everyone involved works happily and well. Be it a question of time, the right tools, or the right rooms.

This connection of people, space, and technology forms the basis for turning trends into innovations to create added value for the business as well as for users. And users, not just the customers, partners, and suppliers, but above all, employees. What it takes to make »could’ve, should’ve, would’ve« also be a successful corporate practice, and which organisational and team concepts are increasingly prevailing, we’d like to briefly introduce today.

New Work: Scrum, the most well-known agile method

Of all agile methods, Scrum is most commonly used in project development 85 per cent of the time. In addition, other approaches like Kanban, Design Thinking, and Lean Start-up are becoming increasingly popular.

But despite growing enthusiasm, companies should be aware that the use of Scrum and other methods won’t perfect everything or even a guarantee for the success of the project. Most agile methods not only describe a procedure but above all a basic attitude.

It’s therefore essential that the principles and values that come with it, such as commitment, focus, respect and flexibility, as well as the willingness to learn constantly, not only be understood but also practised and internalised.

New Work as a mindset

Especially in the early stages of an agile project, there is often an increased amount of coordination with new methods, which understandably causes scepticism and dissatisfaction at the executive level.

Kick-offs, sprint reviews and stand-ups shouldn’t be interpreted as new, prettier versions of classic meetings, where one person, according to tradition, gives a lecture while the rest fight against falling asleep. Here, it’s up to project managers to convey the right understanding of brief meetings and their purpose from the beginning – the rapid exchange of necessary information.

Creative sessions based on the model of design thinking or design sprints, in which employees from different teams should be able to take on their own responsibility, can overwhelm some colleagues at first.

For this to work, it’s essential to create a corresponding feedback culture. Anyone who stifles initial ideas of employees and colleagues by mocking criticism will most likely never be able to witness their genius. Mutual appreciation and encouragement for common thinking are a prerequisite for success in projects that innovate.

It may take some time for all parties to have the same level of knowledge and mindset. It’s therefore very risky to use agile methods that have not yet been tested for the first time in a project whose success may decide the existence of a company.

Instead, it’s best to first carefully use each method as a test in smaller projects to ensure that the approach fits a team and intended goal. Because an agile project procedure is not always meaningful. Immutable deadlines and the achievement of previously defined goals are indispensable, particularly in departments such as financial accounting.

New Work is a part of digital DNA

New Work is more than a trend. Behind the buzzword hides a successful combination of people, space, and technology.

If a company succeeds in establishing a culture of cooperation in which all employees feel comfortable, in which they themselves can decide how and where they can best work, the company succeeds in being successful in the long term. Because happy employees mean happy customers. How to establish such a corporate culture, what circumstances a meaningful contribution could be made, that would be done, should be done, could be done, is shown in the current trend book Handelskraft 2019 »Digital DNA«.

In addition to New Work, this guide, exclusively available for retailers, manufacturers and publishers, also discusses facts and best practices for AI and Future Retail, as well as provides industry insights and up-to-date facts and figures for brands in the digital age. Even more info about the 2019’s digital business compass can be found here.

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