Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

The way we do business will be different going forward. With most of us now connecting virtually, what should we expect once the proximity restrictions are removed? What are our expectations about rejoining our organization’s physical community? 

In the 1980’s, author John Naisbitt (“Megatrends”) introduced the concept of “High Tech – High Touch.” Its premise is that the more dependent we become on technology, the greater will be our need to gather, to experience human touch. Feeling insecure and vulnerable amplifies this yearning. 

Technology enables connection, versatility and productivity, but it can’t replace the very human need to belong, to feel and to be loved. Nor can technology be a substitute for personal discipline, commitment and responsibility. Enduring relationships and the cultivation of culture are built on trust, and trust requires intimacy and authenticity. 

As our reliance on technology continues to grow, so will employees’ longing for a stronger emotional connection to their company, its culture and its leaders. People want to feel that they are part of a successful and important team. They want to make a difference, engaging customers and fellow employees on a higher, more meaningful human level. Only if they feel appreciated and respected will they willingly contribute to the necessary changes yet to come. As the new world of work evolves, there must be balance between high-tech capabilities and the high-touch activities that keep people healthy, creative, and energized. 

Boosting high-touch skills to preserve equilibrium with high-tech progress remains vital for building enduring customer relationships. Customers don’t buy products or services – they buy outcomes. It’s high-touch sensitivity that enables your people to see the world through your customer’s eyes, to grasp the source of their pain, and to propose solutions which eliminate it. It’s your high-touch competency that helps customers be more comfortable sharing their challenges and aspirations, and makes them more open to hearing and accepting your solutions. Customers want to work with other businesses that engage on a human level to produce results through positive methods. 

Welcome to the new world of work.

What do your customers need and expect? 

What do your employees need and expect?

And what are you going to do about it?