No matter how personally affected you have been during these last couple years of change, we all went through grief and loss. Addressing this issue involves understanding the factors causing stress; the mental, emotional, and physical impact of stress, and how to create a workplace culture that supports employee well-being to reduce the risk of burnout and build resilience.

When it comes to designing the future of work, one size fits none. Discovering success isn’t about a hybrid model or offering remote work options. Individuals and organizations are looking for more freedom. The freedom to choose the work model that makes the most sense. The freedom to choose their own values. And the freedom to pursue what matters most. We reached out to successful leaders and thought leaders across all industries to glean their insights and predictions about how to create a future that works.

As a part of our interview series called “How Employers and Employees are Reworking Work Together,” we had the pleasure to interview Dr. Toya Johnson-Moore.

Dr. Toya Johnson-Moore is an organizational psychologist and human resources professional dedicated to helping people and organizations excel. Having spent over a decade attracting, managing, training, and progressing the careers of diverse talent, she is currently enjoying her role as Director of Talent Operations at NOBL Collective. Dr. Johnson-Moore is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the premier credentialing agency HRCI and is a member of Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA). Dr. Johnson-Moore is a NorCal native, SoCal educated graduate from Phillips Graduate University where she earned a Doctorate of Psychology in Organizational Management and Consulting.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?

My pleasure! I’m an only child raised by single parents who did their best to co-parent without holding steady jobs. I’ve seen them both struggle through the years and turn to their village for help. It’s great that I had other dependable adults to lean on, but it also means that employment stability and consistency are super important for me. Growing up that way also made me a bit risk-averse. When I was in my doctoral program considering starting my own consultancy, I remember being very reluctant, but I admire anyone who has the courage to do so!

Let’s zoom out. What do you predict will be the same about work, the workforce and the workplace 10–15 years from now? What do you predict will be different?

The one thing we’ve learned about predicting the future is that it’s unpredictable. There’s consistent VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity). Workplaces will need to be clear on their vision while being agile and responsive to ever-changing environments. What will stay the same with the workforce is our desire for human connection and meaningful work. And while organizations will need to continuously change, humans will always struggle with change. That’s because change — even when it’s for the best — involves some kind of loss. Leaders need to understand and support their teams through these losses if they want to succeed.

What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?

First, hire NOBL. We love partnering with ambitious, empathetic leaders who want to prepare their organizations for the future. Besides that, employers should practice sensing and listening to what’s going on in their environment — that is, the market, their customers, their competitors, and of course, their team. Leaders must instill practices of reflection, learning, and adaptation within their organizations. Above all, be authentic and build resilience, because the future requires flexibility, patience, and a sense of humor.

What do you predict will be the biggest gaps between what employers are willing to offer and what employees expect as we move forward? And what strategies would you offer about how to reconcile those gaps?

We’re currently in an employee- or talent-driven market, so we’re seeing employers use monetary incentives like sign-on bonuses and raises to attract and retain talent. Yes, salary and benefits are table stakes, but they’re also insufficient to meet our higher-level human needs. Ultimately, employees want meaning, impact, and to work on a team with values consistent with their own. They want flexibility and investment in their career development paths. Figure out what you can offer as an employer, determine what trade-offs you’re willing to make, and follow through. Sometimes no matter how well meaning, employers can’t do everything, so I’d stress the importance of being transparent and upfront about the reality of what you can offer.

We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?

We are still in this experiment, so it’s going to take time to figure out how to make this work. It’s likely that the most in-demand talent will have more say in influencing the future of work. They will have more agency and opportunities to find employment elsewhere or start their own thing — so to attract and retain talent, we’re encouraging all of our clients to continue experimenting and testing new ways of working, to find the best solutions for their particular culture. What I think employers have seen is that the way to get the best out of your workforce is to shift from enforcing presenteeism to focusing on productivity.

We’ve all read the headlines about how the pandemic reshaped the workforce. What societal changes do you foresee as necessary to support a future of work that works for everyone?

We’re going to see a continued demand for talent, which means employees and candidates hold more power. One societal change I foresee is that as our world and workplaces become more diverse, the workforce will demand more diverse leaders. Ultimately, employers should be pushing things forward and experimenting within their organization to create the future they desire to see in the world.

What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?

I’m really optimistic about the future of work taking into account so many more diverse perspectives on what the organization should look like, and what’s needed for each of us to thrive. Even at the individual level, the more we’re exposed to people who are different from us, the more opportunities there are to learn and grow.

Our collective mental health and wellbeing are now considered collateral as we consider the future of work. What innovative strategies do you see employers offering to help improve and optimize their employee’s mental health and wellbeing?

After almost two years of change — and, for many, months of working from home — employees want workplace environments that support their mental health and well-being. Employers need to know that it’s not about providing endless perks like snacks and happy hours. Instead, they should ask their employees what wellness means to them, and be creative about giving them autonomy to exercise balance and wellness in their own ways. That might mean paring down priorities, or allowing a more flexible schedule to spend time with family.

It seems like there’s a new headline every day. ‘The Great Resignation’. ‘The Great Reconfiguration’. And now the ‘Great Reevaluation’. What are the most important messages leaders need to hear from these headlines? How do company cultures need to evolve?

Leaders can easily go down a rabbit hole chasing the ever-changing headlines. What leaders should do is to listen to their employees. Survey them and implement changes. Begin small, reflect, adapt. It’s important to show gratitude for them giving hours of their life to contribute to the organization. Again, exceed the basics — salary, benefits — and develop a culture with a sense of purpose. Employers might also want to consider leaving the door open for employees who left to return.

Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?”

  1. Digital Nomads.

The ability to work while exploring the world has gone from dream to reality. We’re already seeing a rise in numbers excited to work from anywhere, and those numbers will continue to increase as this lifestyle becomes more desirable to beat high costs of living. Whether your company is ready to support digital nomads or not, it’s important to build policies around working remotely and to communicate your expectations to employees and job candidates.

2. Prioritizing Mental Health.

No matter how personally affected you have been during these last couple years of change, we all went through grief and loss. Addressing this issue involves understanding the factors causing stress; the mental, emotional, and physical impact of stress, and how to create a workplace culture that supports employee well-being to reduce the risk of burnout and build resilience.

3. Embedding DEI.

No longer is it enough just to have one person or department focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts for the entire organization. Leaders will need to learn how to examine, operationalize and embed DEI throughout the organization, particularly in regards to talent acquisition, performance management, compensation practices, and learning and development. The best way to support DEI efforts is through inclusive leadership.

4. Globalization and Artificial Intelligence.

The shrinking labor market is already pushing the future of work towards globalization and artificial intelligence (AI). One upside of AI technology is simplified decision-making. But if the technology’s development and use are not properly overseen, unintentional biases in the system can influence those decisions. For example, talent acquisition software may eliminate certain candidates in discriminatory ways if no safeguards are in place. Employers who don’t already have a process for regularly scrutinizing their organizations’ use of AI need to create one.

5. Learning Organizations.

Humans are in a constant state of learning, processing, and intaking information to help navigate through life’s complexities. Thus, any organization that’s made up of humans is a learning organization. Yet, that may not mean that there’s positive culture and feedback being exchanged. The future of work in learning organizations offers learning and development opportunities that help employees perform at their best, which has direct impact and benefits to the organization’s overall performance.

I keep quotes on my desk and on scraps of paper to stay inspired. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? And how has this quote shaped your perspective?

I’m also pretty into quotes. I love so many, but I would have to say that my favorite quote comes from Jackie Robinson, “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” I remember I first discovered this quote when I was in high school around the time I started volunteering. Since then, I’ve spent years sharing my time and talents working with nonprofits and people in my community. This quote has kept me motivated to make sure I’m uplifting those around me and leaving them with an impression that you don’t have to be the best at everything, just be the best human you can be.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she, or they might just see this if we tag them.

I will shoot for the stars and say Beyonce. She has such a profound work ethic, has remained true to herself, and is raising a family all while building an empire. And I don’t know how true this is, but I read that we have the same personality assessment results of being Defenders and wanting to help others. If we had a private breakfast or lunch (honestly, I’d prefer brunch), I’d ask her so many questions. One in particular would be how she balances keeping her cup full and filling up the cup of others. That’s something I’m figuring out on the daily.

Our readers often like to continue the conversation with our featured interviewees. How can they best connect with you and stay current on what you’re discovering?

I’d be more than happy to connect and continue the conversation on LinkedIn. I can be found at

Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and good health.