How can businesses thrive in the future? Talent attraction and retention are key. If companies can find a way to upskill their workforces for the skills needed for the future, it could be a helpful asset when managing change.
“Organisations will need to re-balance their workforces to focus more on a collaboration between technology and humans, and to harness human skills, such as creativity, empathy and ethics alongside digital skills,” said Carol Stubbings, Joint Global Leader, People and Organisation, PwC UK.
“Companies that understand and act on these workforce changes now will not only have the skills but also the organisational motivation, innovation and adaptability to thrive.”
Companies can develop key skills amongst their workforce through learning & development to achieve future business goals.
“Organisations are looking towards a future in which they need to be agile and innovative through their people,” said Jo Taylor, Managing Director, Let’s Talk Talent.
“In today’s business environment change is a constant and organisations are faced with increasing levels of complexity, ambiguity and fluidity in everything they do.”
“Workforce demographics, globalisation and new flexible ways of working mean that identifying and engaging with the next generation of employees is a dynamic process.”
It’s vital for companies to tap into this pool of next-generation workers, so that employees are prepared for upcoming challenges.
Studies by World Economic Forum (WEF) revealed that 65% of businesses are investing in reskilling their workforces for the future, 39% aim to prioritise mobility and job sharing, while 25% plan to collaborate with educational institutions to fill their talent gaps.
“As business leaders begin to consider proactive adaptation to a new talent landscape, they need to manage skills disruption as an urgent concern,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, WEF.
“As the rate of skills change accelerates across both old and new roles in all industries, proactive and innovative skill-building and talent management is an urgent issue.”
“What this requires is an HR function that is rapidly becoming more strategic and has a seat at the table,”
“One that employs new kinds of analytical tools to spot talent trends and skills gaps and provides insights that can help organizations align their business, innovation and talent management strategies to maximize available opportunities to capitalize on transformational trends.”
Learning & Development opportunities are vital to retain talent and maximise growth of businesses in the future. If business leaders invest time and resources into new learning strategies, employees could appreciate the effort being put into developing them, leading to a developed and engaged workforce.
Although many business leaders acknowledge the importance of people, Jo Taylor believes that many organisations need to rethink their people models.
“Unlocking people potential has moved up the agenda but it needs a makeover for the new world of work.”
“Models that focus on high performance in current roles do not necessarily predict potential. Learning agility or the ability to take on complexity is needed to embrace the future of work. “
“Businesses need to make a change to the way they plan succession; to turn a process into meaningful conversations, to turn a static process into a dynamic and human engagement, if they are to achieve competitive advantage through their people,” concluded Jo.
Many challenges arise in getting talent ready for future skills. WEF found that 51% of business will have insufficient knowledge of the future skills and disruptive changes. Furthermore, 49% would have resource constraints.
“The prevalence of insufficient understanding of disruptive changes as well as resource constraints are the main barriers to managing change. This explains the current mismatch between the magnitude of the upcoming changes and the relatively timid actions being taken,” said Klaus.
For businesses to capitalize on new opportunities and overcome strenuous obstacles, they need to classify talent development and future workforce strategy as a top agenda.
“With all the talk about automation, many people are anxious about the future of work. Organisations should take the lead and own the story, by building a strong narrative that covers what the future of work means for the company and its people” concluded Carol.
Despite the challenges that lie ahead, studies by PwC have revealed that 74% of employees are ready to learn new skills to remain employable in the future. What’s more, 36% were confident that they would be successful in the future, while 37% were excited by the world of possibilities.
If businesses continue to have a forward-thinking approach to future skills, and constantly look to upskill their workforce through various learning methods, it could solidify their footing in the talent landscape.