Creating a Future-proof Workforce

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By: Beroe Inc -- Beroe Inc

04 September, 2020

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Creating a Future-proof Workforce
ARTICLE

Introduction

Businesses today need to keep pace with changes in technology, business process digitization, and shifts in employee expectations.

Future work planning

  • Workforce planning needs to be one of the top priorities for corporate leaders in these times of chaos and excitement. This will help organizations become future-proof and prepare employees for upcoming changes and opportunities.
  • Disruptions can come in any form and change the way industries operate. New technologies may optimize the existing core business processes, whereas new labor trends may force employers to upgrade to newer recruitment methods.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 showed how an unforeseen crisis can deeply affect multiple sectors.

Measures to future-proof the workforce

  • In recent years, organizations of different sizes have witnessed dramatic changes in the way businesses operate owing to factors such as digitalization, changing work expectations among employees, and factors beyond the control of any organization.

Key facts

  • 74% of employees are ready to learn new skills to stay employable in the future, according to a survey.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Experts suggest that artificial intelligence and machine learning will help in better workforce planning in the future, and that companies that recognize this trend and its potential impact will be able to plan better and succeed

How to future –proof your workforce

Steps to future-proof your workforce

  1. Building a flexible workforce
  2. Engaging in employer branding
  3. Reskilling
  4. Encouraging employee diversity
  5. Using new workforce tools
  6. Engaging with an HR company

Building a flexible workforce

  1. Recent times have shown us that, going forward, flexibility will be an integral part of business in the future, especially considering the nature of work and employee preferences.
  2. Important points to note in order to build an agile workforce:
  • Conversation with the top management to stay ahead of the curve in terms of resource arrangements
  • Focusing on contingent labor and freelancers and how they can help in achieving more agility
  • Is the infrastructure in place to shift to an alternative work environment if the need rises?

Engaging in employer branding

  • Employer branding is seen as an opportunity to show what a company can offer to employees, both permanent and temporary.
  • Clearly defining the job role and meeting employee expectations should be a constant area of focus to attract employees with skills that are in demand and who can help the company thrive in the future.
  • Employees looking for important job roles such as cyber security specialist, UX designer, and cloud solutioning should definitely consider the employer’s brand as a factor before joining.

Key facts

  • 85% of companies believe that they need a substantial agile workforce by 2025.
  • 72% of leaders believe that employer branding does have a significant impact on acquiring top talent.

How to future–proof your workforce

Reskilling

  1. Any organization with plans to prepare its workforce for future challenges and opportunities will need to consider reskilling as a vital component of its strategic plan.
  2. Businesses that were deeply affected by the pandemic most acutely felt the importance of reskilling. For example, in the airline industry, companies such as Scandinavian Airlines had to retrain their cabin crew staff as assistant nurses. This helped them retain employees and expand their capabilities as individuals to stay employable in such tough times.
  • Measures to re-skill and up-skill employees for the future:
  • Analyzing the current skillsets
  • Figuring out the talent gaps against trending skills to keep employees flexible and relevant
  • Organizing targeted upskilling programs for existing and new employees, and adopting new learning technologies

Encouraging employer diversity

  • Companies that emphasize inclusion and diversity are likely to add better talent to the pool and be more prepared for the future of work. Workforce inclusivity can be increased through employee training, building a diverse workforce, and encouraging elements of inclusiveness.
  • Job descriptions should be designed in ways that appeal to a wider range of applicants and attract different mixes of talent to choose from.
  • Important ways to improve diversity at work include raising awareness about cultural diversity, creating employee forums, welcoming blind applications, displaying the commitment to diversity on websites and showcase pages, and maintaining a diverse culture at the top level of management.

Key facts

  • 40% of workers struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic (mainly in the Asia-Pacific) because of a lack of updated skills.
  • 33% profitable: Companies with better ethnic and cultural diversity

Using new workforce tools

  • Human resource technology has witnessed continuous evolution in the recent past and is expected to only grow further. In order to maintain relevance, organizations need to identify the potential value that can be derived from these tools for their workforce.
  • Technologies such as robotic process automation that help human resources save time, as well as virtual systems for interviewing, have been effective in recent times.
  • Many workforce tools have gained popularity owing to the changes in working style, such as Slack, Google Workspace, Zendesk, DocuSign, and Zoom.
  • The top human resource technologies adopted during the pandemic were video/online interviewing, workforce tools, learning and development platforms, virtual recruitment events, and employee feedback and engagement systems.

Engaging with a human resources company

  • Engaging with a human resource partner is an effective way of future-proofing your workforce. Such partners can help you with workforce planning and give access to a wide talent pool, which will help a company choose the optimum mix of talent to meet its organizational goals.
  • The partner will make sure the company has the right ratio of permanent and temporary labor, ensuring there is no shortage of required skill and that cost efficiency is taken care of.
  • The partner will also keep a check on the labor market, making sure the organization is aware of the skillsets that are relevant and can take appropriate measures to succeed.

Key facts

  • 57% of companies believe that technology investments helped them with remote working during the pandemic.
  • 50% of companies fail to make workforce plans a year in advance and only 13% have two-year plans.



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