Workforce development strategies are all about building and boosting your company’s workforce for the future. Of course, looking forward to and recognizing the kind of workforce your firm will require in the future makes producing a strategy more challenging and, more importantly, it isn’t any longer simply about developing one or two permanent skillsets. Of this, you can be most assured.
Keep reading to learn the key components of a workforce development strategy and how to create a plan that works specifically for your company.
What does the future look like?
Obviously, no one can foretell precisely what it will look like, but we know technology will perform a key role in shaping the way we will do business. In a matter of a few years, the skills that will be necessary to perform work will be hugely different as a direct result of these rapidly emerging technologies.
Moreover, it implies people must learn how to adjust to working in partnership with smarter technology. Yes, innovations in tech have the capacity to boost our efficiency, but they also produce a distinct challenge. How equipped are your present employees for the future of work and the up-to-date skills required to be successful once it arrives? And, if your response sticks to the common trend confronting numerous companies by simply not being very ready, what can you do to reinforce your workplace?
The World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group described some potential expectations for the workplace of the future. These consist of factors such as the ever-growing global workplace, large scale mechanization of employee duties, a bigger segment of the workforce transitioning to remote jobs and an enlarged quantity of high-skill areas redeploying into high skill jobs. Simultaneously, employees are required to work in agile work circumstances and be flexible, with numerous roles demanding relearning skills.
It’s a future in which humans will assume more and more fast-paced roles that frequently include managing computerized and robotic chores, while having to be adaptable to changes in technology. Employees will also be confronted by coworkers and customers around the world employing virtual meeting and communication tools.
Design the correct strategy to ensure success
Be sure your workplace is adjusting to the future of work trends so you can reinforce your company, hold on to your vital employees and make sure your company attracts the best talent within your industry. Here are several of those strategies.
Recruit for the future — At the very least, a certain portion of your workforce will no longer be with the company in the next 5 to 10 years, so you should consider succession planning now. Studies have indicated that many new hires will leave the company within 2 years. In addition, waves of current long-term employees are already beginning to retire. Recognizing these realities of today’s business, it certainly pays to consider how you’ll fill your ranks moving forward.
Producing an effective workforce will also demand that you hire people who can deliver future skills. Keep in mind, occupational skills are but a part of the puzzle. Along with job-specific skills, future workers will require the leadership skills necessary to navigate the workplace of the future.
As physical and organizational restrictions continue to be less clear, teams will regularly work together across time zones and cultures. As technology continues to speed up, as companies learn to adjust at lightning speed, future leaders will have to harness top talent for peak performance in an ever-changing marketplace.
Talent retention has never been more important – No doubt, you need to recruit for the future, especially if you have looming retirements, but employee retention should be as big a priority as employee acquisition. Let’s face it, long-term employees know your business and are better acquainted with the particulars of your products and services. If your company adjusts to the times and offers work structures and the benefits workers require to build a secure career for themselves, they’re much more apt to stay than search for another opportunity elsewhere. You can concentrate on talent retention by highlighting:
- Employee health and safety
- General well-being and two-way communication
- Training and internal promotion opportunities
This final point allows you to keep employees longer by promoting from within and supporting the right skillsets that will help your company long-term, particularly in the future when there are certain roles that have yet to be defined within the company.
If your company is also hiring new employees, begin their experiences with your company by focusing on applicants with flexible skillsets. They can adjust well to changing conditions and will be a great fit for your company in the long term, especially in a future when there are roles that haven’t yet been identified within the company.
Make use of resiliency – Resiliency is an increasingly critical element of workplace culture. Rigid policies and failure to get ready for unexpected emergencies or changes in procedure aren’t simply disruptive for business, they place a lot of stress on employees who might react by seeking a calmer work environment elsewhere.
Rather, address resiliency by (1) generating contingency plans that allow you to respond to the unknown, (2) training employees to respond to issues with passion and (3) making sure they have sufficient resources to work from home or on their own.
Offer hybrid work and flexibility – During the pandemic, a significant number of employees adjusted to working from home rather than going into the office. Far from just making do, many employees blossomed under the unique arrangement and companies witnessed a subsequent boost in both productivity and profits.
If you are compelling your employees to go back to the office, particularly when they have already demonstrated they can effectively achieve their work from home, they can and will look elsewhere. Rather than forcing a return to the traditional status quo, your company should provide more flexibility:
- Remote work: For jobs that do not require in-office involvement, allow employees to work from home.
- Hybrid work: Produce a more flexible arrangement of certain days in the office and other days at home so employees maintain control over their schedules while still preserving an in-office presence that may be crucial to your organization. Hybrid setups promote the best of both worlds and establish confidence in your employees.
The future of work mostly includes a hybrid work model and producing an environment where employees can select hybrid models is a terrific way to appeal to and retain the best talent.
Create a culture of continuous learning – Always remember that gaps in talent cannot be resolved with recruitment only. Gone are the days when employers would just hire off-the-rack employees. For fast-tracking skills gaps, there is no licensed talent pool, no immediate hiring solution. As technology moves onward to produce brand-new jobs – and make others antiquated– ongoing training, retraining and re-skilling have never been more critical.
Take an inventory of present employee skills — What’s being made use of and what’s just waiting to be utilized? Recognizing where underutilized know-how can be employed is an outstanding way to foster the essential skills and competencies for the company.
Foster active learning and concentrate on creating flexibility. Be aware that motivated employees make time to learn each day. Make continuous learning an essential cultural value and look for ways to implant this mentality into your workforce.
You could send out a survey on skills appraisals. Pay particular attention to the skills that are absent for your specific industry, as that will help to highlight the more crucial skills to deliver training around.
Be transparent in leadership – Due to continuing turmoil and uncertainty, workplaces must possess a culture of trust and responsibility. That begins with leadership. Executives, managers and team leaders all must be transparent about all facets of business that concern their employees. This includes:
- General company health
- Tendencies that may affect flexible scheduling
- Business forecasting
What are the essential skills necessary to prosper in the future?
Many employees assume that if they simply continue doing what’s required of them, they’ll have a job for as long as they want. In spite of this, with the transformations already taking place across numerous companies, that’s not automatically the case. The workplace of the future will feature a high level of automation, meaning many everyday tasks will be handled by computers, so employees will need to work harder to bring their skill sets up to date to remain relevant.
The following are some of the vital skills for the future workplace that employees will need to acquire or upgrade.
- Ability to decipher data. Data is more critical than ever before, and that tendency is only going to grow in the future workforce. Skills such as knowing how to make sense of data and make it clear to others will be priceless.
- Critical thinking. Employing data demands solid critical thinking skills, which will help employees construct indispensable recommendations. Boosting their critical thinking capacity will help employees craft immense decisions, trust their own decisions, and secure the trust of others.
- Outstanding communication abilities. Leveraging data not only entails the knack to comprehend data and think strategically, but solid communication skills as well. An employee who is able to transform reports into convincing claims can help the company craft data-driven conclusions based on clear evidence. Being concise with explanations, yet able to respond to inquiries and engage in meaningful discussions, will make such an employee irreplaceable.
- Creative thinking skills. Successful employees will utilize creative thinking to resolve problems that result from major organizational changes and new technologies. Being impartial and welcoming change will mean creativity will prosper.
- A high emotional IQ. The most successful employees will also retain a suitable amount of empathy for others and a clear-cut grasp of their own emotions. They’ll understand what prompts feelings of stress and anxiety in themselves and how to deal with those feelings in meaningful ways. Their empathy for others will also help them to bloom into successful leaders because they appreciate and are connected to the people they work with.
There ain’t no crystal ball
While it’s impossible to comprehend what the future of work will look like in your industry, the above tips can, however, help prepare your employees for remaining skilled and sustaining a valuable business. The crucial thing to keep in mind is that while it can be beneficial to have a plan, there will surely be new tech, jobs and skills needed for future success that may not have even been created yet.
We’re residing in a rapidly transforming world and, as such, the character of work will continue to change as well. Business leaders must take the time to plan for a future in which training and learning will be the center of attention, but no one knows precisely what the world of work will resemble. So, for want of those clear-cut answers, businesses can concentrate on preparing their workforce to face an uncertain future. That requires teaching today’s employees soft skills, celebrating curiosity and originality and developing company cultures that are flexible and have a solid groundwork of learning and development.
We might not know precisely what the jobs of the future will look like, but we are aware at least of a few of the characteristics our future workforce will require. Standardizing those characteristics now will help proof your company so that when the future of work appears, your employees will be equipped.