Building a sustainable future of work
If there is one issue that moves people, organizations and policymakers alike, it is work. Work is a crucial link connecting these three parties–they need each other to achieve sustainable careers, continuity in business operations and a smoothly running labor market.
Today, work no longer stands for 'a stable job for life'. In recent years, all parties have had to rethink the very foundations on which careers, labor organization and the labor market as a whole are being built.
We need sustainable careers, and we need them NOW
'Flexibility', 'dealing with change' and 'adaptability' have long become part of human resources jargon. Today’s labor market shocks have made their relevance even more explicit than we may have ever intended. The coronavirus crisis is challenging us in many domains. At the same time, the crisis also seems to create a momentum when it comes to work and careers. These are now no longer the sole business of the HR manager. The impact of companies depends on the resilience and commitment of employees. The labor market as a whole can only be resilient if companies, organizations and industries work together to achieve sustainable careers.
10 years of research on Next Generation Work
What can we learn from all the knowledge that has been built up about these issues in recent years? How future proof are the insights on which organizations have been building their labor and career policies for years? What answers are emerging? What new questions should we be asking ourselves?
"Based on scientifically underpinned insights, we offer innovative, creative and sustainable solutions for employers, HR professionals and policy makers." That was our ambition when we launched the strategic R&D partnership between Antwerp Management School and SD Worx in 2011. A partnership that has meanwhile resulted in the creation of the Next Generation Work team at AMS and the SD Worx Chair in Sustainable Careers.
Insights from science and practice
Over the past few years, we have built up practice-relevant knowledge by combining scientific insights and practical experience. We repeatedly interviewed hundreds of HR managers, CEOs and executives and questioned thousands of employees about their view on, and experience of, work and career. We looked beyond the Belgian context and collected data in several European countries. Through our academic networks, we increased our knowledge and translated practice issues into international academic papers. We continuously tested our insights with participants in training programs and in counseling programs within organizations.
Advice and tools for more sustainable careers
We are proud to celebrate our 10th birthday this year. We can look back on a learning journey that has reinforced us in many areas: a range of applied research projects on topics such as sustainable careers, competencies for the future, work-to-work transition, and the new way of working, to name but a few. Research resulting in advice and tools that support employers in their HR policies, policy makers in their labor market strategies, and individuals in their career development.
Sustainable solutions for HR policies
Through this joint journey, we too have learned to be flexible and to adapt to a changing labor market. Above all, we have learned that it is precisely in these uncertain, ambiguous times that we need sustainable HR solutions that ensure that people and organizations reinforce each other. That unpredictable times call for a long-term perspective. And that collaboration and co-creation are not only necessary to realize innovation successes in work and careers, but that they are also highly satisfying.
10 blog posts for 10 years of Next Generation Work
This blog post is the first in a series of 10. In each blog post we will offer solutions from different perspectives. We will zoom in on trends and draw lessons from the past to identify pathways for the future.
In the coming months, we will both look back on 10 years of collaboration and look ahead – we will highlight relevant insights from our research of the past 10 years to build a sustainable future for work. In 10 blog posts we will count down to November 2021, the moment when we bring everything together in the celebration of 10 years of Next Generation Work. We already look forward to welcoming you there. More information will follow in the next few months.