- Advertisement -

Jason Averbook: Navigating the NOW of Work

Jason Averbook, Mercer
Jason Averbook
Jason is a renowned Senior Partner and the Global Leader of Digital HR Strategy at Mercer | Leapgen, with a career that spans over two decades in the HR and technology sectors. He is a leading figure in Mercer's global Generative AI strategy and services, spearheading innovative solutions in the HR technology landscape. Jason is also an accomplished author, having penned two books that delve into the future of HR and HR technology, further solidifying his position as a thought leader in the field. From 2018 to 2023, Jason co-founded and served as CEO of Leapgen, a company committed to shaping the future workplace. Now, under the expanded partnership of Mercer | Leapgen, Jason continues to challenge executive mindsets, advocating for a shift from executing technology projects to embodying a digital function. This new alliance amplifies his influence, extending his reach to a global market. In addition to his corporate roles, Jason serves as an adjunct professor at universities worldwide, imparting his knowledge and insights on HR technology and digitization. His leadership portfolio also includes senior roles at industry giants such as PeopleSoft and Ceridian Corporation. Jason's expertise lies in transforming HR organizations into strategic partners, having collaborated with industry-leading companies to achieve this. Jason's insights into the future of HR and work have earned him global recognition, and he is frequently quoted by top-tier media outlets such as BusinessWeek, CNBC, Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He is consistently ranked among the top three thought leaders in his field.

It seems silly now to talk about the “future of work.” There’s only one thing to talk about: the “now of work.”

Not so long ago, we were setting strategic priorities and planning roadmaps for 2020. Making New Year’s resolutions, buying technology, embarking on program rollouts, cherry-picking from the future of work what we might have the time, bandwidth and budget to address today.

Business was booming, the economy was at an all-time high. Overnight, all of that changed. The now of work didn’t just knock on our door; it let itself in our houses.

The only thing we can control is our reaction: What will we do now that it’s here? How will we react in a time of need? Most importantly, how do we ensure we’re creating the next future of work, together?

How the workforce looks in the now of work:

  • Completely remote in almost all cases;
  • Stretched as thin as it’s been in many decades;
  • Possibly scared for their lives and those of their families;
  • But … still figuring out how to do their jobs every day; and
  • Right now, they’re trying to figure out what’s next.

HR is on the front lines of all this, trying to help. How HR needs to look in the now of work:

  • Now is the time to be as empathetic as possible;
  • Now we have to work together as a community to create the answers. Not find them–create them;
  • Now we work together as an HR community to help leaders in business adjust on the fly, stay in business, determine the future of the business and simultaneously deal with the next phase of the unknown; and
  • Now is the time to act–to bring out the human side of HR. Not the transactional side, the human side.

Employee Experience in the Now of Work

Everyone is confused. Everyone is hurting. Everyone is shocked.

This is the time to get to work. This is the time to think about the experience we’re creating for our employees. Employee experience matters in good times and in bad. Right now, the littlest things are the biggest things: how we’re solving employee inquiries, the knowledge we’re putting out for employees, the changes we’re making and, above all, doing it with empathy.

RELATED Performance management in the time of coronavirus

Employee experience in 2020 was to be about two things: a business mandate and putting people first. That hasn’t changed, only grown in importance. Employee experience is not a nice interface or a piece of technology. It’s so much bigger than that. Now, it’s about checking in with people, hourly if necessary, just to see how they’re doing. Checking in to see if they’re able to work. Knowing they’re working with their kids learning alongside them. Understanding if they have what they need at the most basic level. Employee experience has always been about people; that point is now driving itself home in the most urgent ways.

- Advertisement -

This is Not a Stopgap

The most important thing to know about the future of work is that it’s now–on your doorstep, in your house, in your face. It must be addressed now. We’ve been working backward for some time, preparing the workforce for the workplace. Now is the time to prepare the workplace for the workforce, truly meet them where they are, truly meet their most basic needs but also their most elevated expectations.

We haven’t worked fast enough; we know that. We were already behind, putting greater pressure on us to meet the demands of the now of work when our hands are forced. We can’t say, “We’re not ready.” It’s no longer a choice. But I beg you, do not treat this as a stopgap. This is your opportunity to address what already needed to be addressed, to rise to the challenge, to do the right thing for your people and your business in a way that is sustainable and durable. This is not a stopgap; this is the new normal.

The Now of Work Digital Movement

The industry needs attention right now. If we pay attention to each other and work together, we can get through moments. All of them: good and bad. We have a ton of questions, questions we need to be able to ask each other in order to co-create answers that don’t yet exist. Events are not an option for us for the foreseeable future; so Leapgen has created a virtual environment that allows us to show each other love and care, give each other attention and co-create solutions across the globe in real-time. What do we call this movement? You must already know the only name we could think to call it: the NOW of Work.

Please take these opportunities to come together as a community. We’re all in this together; no one needs to go it alone:

We’ll see you in the NOW of Work.

Much love, Jason