WellbeingRewards & BenefitsEmployee BenefitsThe ever-changing demands and needs of a workforce

The ever-changing demands and needs of a workforce

As the workplace landscape continues to evolve and thrive through the age of digital transformation, HRD Connect examines the ever-changing demands and expectations of workplaces in today's age. 

With new technology finding its way into the workforce, and more generations working alongside one another, there are many changes the companies must make to keep engagement high, and turnover low. 


Connectivity and communication 

In recent years there has been a huge demand for companies to increase the number of their digital collaboration tools, to boost productivity and engagement. Businesses are only just beginning to understand the true benefits of spending time and resources to aid this cause.

“Businesses must not lose sight of what makes them successful – their people. The fact that only 14% of employees feel connected to their business HQ, dropping to 3% when referring to the C-suite, highlights the need for organisations to put employees at the heart of their businesses,” said Julien Codorniou, VP of Workplace by Facebook.

“This is where workplace collaboration tools come in. By shifting to collaborative platforms and encouraging cooperation, businesses can invest in employees to empower them and encourage them to be part of their communities.”

Digital collaboration tools enable employees to stay connected, build relationships and to have the opportunity to share new ideas regardless of job function, physical location or the technology they’re using to access information.

As many businesses begin to use automation and artificial intelligence, the power of human connection and voice will always remain paramount. Providing a platform to enable employees to collaborate and communicate in the way that best suits them is critical. The most agile and forward-thinking companies are dedicated to giving everyone a voice, to help drive change and promote a positive culture within a company.

While collaboration and communication tools are critical for the workforce of today, they can also vastly increase productivity “They can be integral to nurturing company culture in the modern workplace.” said Stuart Templeton, Head of UK, Slack.

“The best workplace collaboration software helps bring teams together, by allowing people to create more meaningful connections and bring their whole selves to work no matter where they are based.”

Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional Intelligence is a term that is increasingly becoming popular amongst businesses, and understanding its impact on a workplace could be crucial to maximizing the potential of their workforces. A survey by Lee Hecht Harrison Penna found that trustworthiness, flexibility, confidence, and resilience are more important in staff than experience or education levels.

“The results of the research identify that the emotional intelligence of employees, and managers themselves, is becoming ever more important in creating a thriving and collaborative workforce,” said Burak Koyuncu PhD, Workforce Solutions Director, Lee Hecht Harrison Penna.

“This story has been at the heart of everything we do for some time, as our workforce transformation, leadership and career management programmes are all geared towards developing these soft skills in people at work that are so crucial to their development and productivity.”

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Aligning Work to Future Value

For many employees, career development and progression are key. The introduction of AI and automation could continue to transform the talent market, with 66% of companies looking to automate more roles in the next year. With many workers being aware of this, they may prefer more defined responsibilities and career paths in their roles to secure their future in times of uncertainty. The challenge for HR is to build an integrated people strategy and leverage the right talent analytics to inform decisions on the future size and shape of organisations.

Employees need to be inspired by their company’s direction and remain committed to the organization during workplace changes. This means putting a few stakes in the ground and aligning resources to enable focused execution. Having clarity on the actions that companies can take today to deliver enhanced value is key to leading through talent changes.

In today’s climate of uncertainty, employees seek stability. Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends study finds that job security is the top reason employees in the UK joined their company, and also the main reason they stay. Yet, close to one in three employees are concerned that AI and automation will replace their job. Employers can help employees to feel secure by fostering human connections.

Workforces growing demands and expectations could prove to be a challenge for many organisations. Meeting all these expectations in such a short period of time could be complex for businesses to adapt to. However, with the expectations and desires of workforces increasingly coming to light, it could only be a matter of time until we see more organisations and HR professionals looking to adopt and implement these new strategies.

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