Category Archives: Future of Work

Are You Planning For Your Future Workforce?

Accenture’s strategy group has published an interesting look at the workforce of the future:  Harnessing Revolution, Creating the future workforce. At an easily consumable 28 pages, it focuses on three primary areas of emphasis for organizations wanting to get a competitive leg up in the hyper competitive talent markets:

  1. Accelerate reskilling people
  2. Redesign work to unlock human potential
  3. Strengthen the talent pipeline from its source

If you’re starting to discuss talent acquisition, development, and retention strategies with your C-Suite, you’re a little late – and this report will be helpful in scoping out the known and unknown challenges barreling down the pike.

The report is full of good news like data presented that show workers being optimistic about the impact that technology will bring to their work life:  “…instead of resenting technology, 84 percent report being excited about the changes it will bring. A full 87 percent are downright optimistic, projecting that it will actually improve their work experience in the next five years.” So that’s some good news we’ve haven’t seen before.

As an advocate for humans and humanity in the workplace, I was especially pleased to see an emphasis in the report on the value that human skills bring to the enterprise:  “our model shows fewer jobs will be lost to automation if people are able to reallocate their skills to tasks that require more ‘human skills’ such as complex analysis and social/emotional intelligence.” The following figure shows that perhaps the gross fears of automation and job eliminations may not be grounded in fact:

The challenge of job loss due to automation is clearly real. But as this report shares, reallocation of skills will significantly decrease job loss. Accenture’s research shows that investments in reskilling the workforce will “dramatically” reduce job loss: “Estimates for Europe show that a one percent increase in training days leads to a three percent increase in productivity, and that overall productivity growth attributable to training is around 16 percent.”

The section on focusing on reskilling people is short and sweet:

  1. Reskill at the top of the house
  2. Keep building on what you have
  3. Change the mindset to “learning as a way of life”
  4. Use digital to learn digital

While, paragraphs 2 – 4 are expected, paragraph 1 is not. Accenture’s research points to a lack of technology skill and experience in the boardroom. And from a leadership perspective, leading in horizontal rather than hierarchical ways will be foundational. Investing in additional skills at the top of the house could make or break your workforce planning outcomes.

There are lots of nuggets in this report. It’s a pretty quick read and the data sources include Accenture, of course, and the likes of the World Economic Forum, Manpower Group, ILO, OECD, Harvard Business Review, Pew Research Center, INSEAD and many others. Citing these sources is one of the reasons I really like the report. This isn’t the usual white paper.

If you’re really getting into the weeds of planning for your future workforce, this is a strong addition to your data sources. Not only is the report useful, but the list of source material could keep you going for weeks.

 

 

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Filed under Accenture, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Future of Work, Generations at work, Gig Economy, HR Data, HR Trends, Human Capital, Strategic Workforce Planning, Talent Management, Workforce Demographics, Workforce Planning

The Future Is Now

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Deloitte’s annual human capital report was just published. I look forward to this one every year because it’s backed by a massive amount of data collection and analysis, it’s easy to read, it always throws at least one curve ball, and there’s a TON of useful information. This may be the most on point, useful research report published for leaders each year. At 144 pages, Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age is not a quick read, but it’s a must read for every HR professional – regardless of the size of your organization. Whether you’re a department of one, a depart of 10, or a department of hundreds of thousands, the trends captured by Deloitte’s survey and discussions need to be on your radar. Period.

Each year the survey identifies the top 10 human capital trends that should be shaping organizational decision- and policy-making, investments, budgets and leadership behavior. This year they are:

Trend 1           The Organization of the Future:  Arriving Now

Trend 2           Careers and Learning:  Real Tim, All the Time

Trend 3           Talent Acquisition:  Enter the Cognitive Recruiter

Trend 4           The Employee Experience:  Culture, Engagement, and Beyond

Trend 5           Performance Management:  Play a Winning Hand

Trend 6           Leadership Disrupted:  Pushing the Boundaries

Trend 7           Digital HR:  Platforms, People, and Work

Trend 8           People Analytics:  Recalculating the Route

Trend 9           Diversity and Inclusion:  The Reality Gap

Trend 10         The Future of Work:  The Augmented Workforce

As you look at these trends, don’t you think to yourself, “you could write a whole book on each topic!”? Well, I did. But the good news is, after the introduction, there is a whole chapter on each trend with data, analysis, heat maps, graphs – all the goodies you’d expect.

But here are two graphs from the Introduction, Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age, that sets the context for everything that follows. If you’re like me, you’ll do a bit of a head smack when you see these and say to yourself, “Yep. That’s exactly how it’s working. Or not.”

deloitte-hcm-trends-2017-fig-1And,

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These make so much sense and really underscore HR’s role in leading all organizational leaders to consider the broader context of what technology can – and must – mean in the coming years.

I don’t want to give away the store here, so I won’t share more of the research and conclusions. Read the trends analysis yourself. See how you would prioritize the 10 trends and make a plan. Time to roll up your sleeves! Remember that old saying, that the future is now? Well, in this context, it’s true.

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Filed under Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Deloitte, Future of Work, Global Human Capital, HR Data, HR Trends, Human Capital, Workforce Management

Zombie HR

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The Future of Work, a new report from the SHRM Foundation, is a quick study on, well, the future of work.

Everyone talks about the future of work like it’s the next scary thing coming for us after the zombies have left. And that may be true (well, not the zombie part), so this short report can help you frame what you should be concerned about.

Working with the Economist Intelligence Unit, the SHRM Foundation identified 5 trends that their research shows are impacting the world of work:

  1. Demographic shifts
  2. Loss of middle-skilled jobs
  3. Skills gap: disconnect between educational standards and organizational demand
  4. Eroding physical barriers and increased globalization
  5. New models of work: crowdsourcing

Taken individually, none of these trends are surprising, right? But taken together, they create a set of concerns that keep most C-suite leaders, as well as their HR colleagues, up at night.

I believe that the most impactful of the five trends is number 3:  the skills gap. The growing disconnect between employer skills needs and output from the global education system is already impacting small, medium, and large employers everywhere in the world. The other four trends just make things even more challenging.

Take a look at the report. It’s a quick read and will put the whole “future of work” discussion into a helpful context.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Economist Intelligence Unit, Future of Work, HR Trends, Randstad, SHRM Foundation