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The outdated workplace trends we need to leave behind in 2019

Out with the old, in with the new. (Source: Getty)

Businesses are waking up to the fact that they’ll have to make some pretty big changes to the workplace if they want to retain top talent and keep customers.

According to consulting firm Synergy Group chief executive Galia Cornish, there are some old business practices that well and truly need to be left behind, especially as millennials enter the workforce and bring in fresh perspectives about what work should be like.

“We know change is needed,” she told Yahoo Finance.

“It’s up to us to change the workplace, and in return, change the way professional service firms deliver work to their clients.”

Here are three workplace trends that are now behind the times:

1. Business vs people

“For years culture was considered a 'soft' business metric, but as a people business we know that our commercial success relies on the success of our people,” Cornish said.

If businesses take culture seriously, companies can reduce employee ‘churn’, recruitment overheads, and offer better value to stakeholders by attracting – and keeping – the best talent in the industry, she added.

2. Strategy vs creativity

Strategic thinking – and a focus on numbers, figures, data and the bottom line – has often taken precedence over creativity. But as PwC chief creative officer and advertising executive Russel Howcroft explains, creativity is actually what drives profit.

“It’s time we view creativity simply as strategic thinking – or approaching a problem in a different way,” added Cornish. 

Workers should be inspired to think differently, and to do that workers need to work differently. One example could be having meetings outdoors, which might lead to a more creative, collaborative environment, she said.

3. Homogeneity vs diversity

Leaders can’t be ‘boys’ clubs’ any longer, said Cornish.

“It’s no longer acceptable for businesses to be led by one group of the population – indeed, younger generations expect to see a diverse mix of people represented in their colleagues and mentors," Cornish said.

“By employing, empowering and promoting people from diverse backgrounds, businesses can set themselves up for the future by offering staff and clients different viewpoints and an inclusive work environment."

report from Deloitte earlier this year pointed out the advantages of hiring people with dyslexia for their different way of grasping problems and to plug skills gaps, and Richard Branson has written about how dyslexia has given him an upper hand in the business world.

A new report by KPMG also listed ‘leadership capability, accountability and stability’ as a top 10 concern keeping CEOs up at night.

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