Is your workforce adaptable?

updates + insights » Is your workforce adaptable?

The debate around the future of work is signalling to organisations that they need to redefine work, redefine workforces and redefine workplaces. The challenge for leaders is recruiting employees who have the skills that their company will need going into the future. Although is your existing workforce more adaptable than you think?

A recent Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group project titled ‘Managing the Future of Work’ has revealed some interesting insights that suggest that employees are focussed on the opportunities and benefits that the future holds for them, rather than being challenged by change. And, more encouragingly, are eager to embrace change and learn new skills.

To provide some context, while compiling the report, six basic categories of disruption or change where identified, including: accelerating technological change, growing demands for skills, changing employee expectations, shifting labour demographics, and evolving business environment.

Interestingly, the report found that employees were able to recognise these forces of disruption more clearly than leaders.

As mentioned above, the main finding from the report was that employees were more adaptive and optimistic about the future than what their leaders anticipated. For example, perceived fears about technology making jobs obsolete proved to be a misconception among employees who viewed things like AI and automation as having a positive impact on their future, in terms of improved wages and more meaningful jobs.  

Employees were also more motivated to seek support and assistance to prepare themselves for future employment. The majority of whom felt that it was their own responsibility to get themselves future-ready, rather than their employer or the government. Where they were looking for help was around advice on training options and support (financial and time) – areas where organisations can provide real benefit.

If your workforce is indeed open to adapt, what can you do to tap into that, for the benefit of your organisation?

Create a learning culture

Instead of focussing on training for new hires or in response to new technologies, shift your organisation to a continuous learning mindset - a culture that supports an open mindset, an independent quest for knowledge, and shared learning directed toward the mission and goals of the organisation.

Engage employees in transformation

Be clear with your workforce about the need to change and the journey that your organisation will take to get there. Get them inspired about the why, what and how simultaneously.

Collaborate to build talent pools

Instead of working in isolation, who can you work with across industry to help build a talent pool into the future? Christchurch City Holdings Limited (CCHL), the wholly owned investment arm of Christchurch City Council, is taking the lead in growing governance capability within the region through the introduction of an emerging director programme. In addition to increasing the ‘bench strength’ of boards across the CCHL Group, there is a clear benefit for the wider ‘New Zealand Inc’.

Identify high potentials

Talent pipelines can also be created within an organisation through the identification, growth and nurture of existing employees – providing them with the skills that your business will need in the future.

Given the scale of change that all businesses are facing, it’s encouraging to see that your workforce is more open to change than what you may think. The challenge is how you harness that enthusiasm to drive your business forward.

Decipher Group fully understands the importance of the people strategy – we’re assisting organisations to create the right framework for their structure and people resource, to enable them to successfully execute their business strategy. Want to know more?

The Decipher Team      

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