February 3, 2015 · 4:30 am
“New Ways of Working,” a report released last month by The B Team and Virgin Unite, offers up some provoking insights by businesses and The People Innovation Network (a group of 30+ global businesses passionate about re-defining work) on better ways of doing business, for the wellbeing of people and the planet. The report explains the key drivers that are changing the way we work, and the key changes resulting from those drivers. These “key drivers” for new ways of working should likely come at no surprise, as they are: The Tech Revolution (allowing us to work anytime/anywhere, massively redefining scale, and creating new ways to problem solve), Global Changes (population growth, climate change/resource degradation, megacities and shifting economic powers) and the Multi-Generational Workforce (Millennials expected to make up 50% of the workforce by 2020; mature workers staying in the workforce longer than ever). However while these key drivers may come as no surprise, some of the key changes resulting from these drivers (and their implications) may not be as obvious, making this report a great read for anyone interested in workplace trends and organizational culture. Let’s explore a few key changes…
One key change will be the need for organizations to adopt a “life-long growth” mentality about skills and talent vs. traditional qualification based, fixed ability concepts. The B Team describes this as a shift from a push model of learning to a pull model of learning. Where traditionally organizations have employees engage in training and development programs where skills development is “pushed,” today’s generation source skills and knowledge as needed by leveraging technology (search engines and MOOC’s – massive online open courses). For the younger workforce traditional methods of training and development will quickly seem antiquated/unnatural and future training will move towards a continuous process versus planned or remedial courses. The B Team cites Charles Jennings’s book The 70:20:10 Frame Work Explained as an example of this approach, which considers that 70 percent of learning comes from doing tasks on the job, 20 percent from other people’s feedback and peer-to-peer learning, and 10 percent from formal training.
As training and development shifts to a more continuous process, it’s likely that employees will also desire more continuous feedback, talking performance at an annual review will no longer cut it. The B Team also anticipates that the sharing economy in tandem with increasingly people-centric organizations will see mentoring as a major part of skills development in the future. Mentoring is a significant way to empower employees, and in the multi-generational workforce it won’t be traditional one-way mentoring. Young employees will mentor older colleagues (as much as the other way around), mentors may not even belong to the same organizations, and as CSR continues to increase in importance, the mentorship of students at schools and colleges by organizations will also increase.
“Tearing Up the Org Chart” is another interesting key change that The B Team’s report looks into. In the past, organizations have assumed a one-size-fits-all, top-down structure to be the most efficient but this is already changing, with the evolving workforce exposing new methods of information sharing and collaboration. While The B Team’s report cautions that we’re still not at a point where traditional hierarchical organizations no longer exist, forward-thinking companies are already changing shape and flattening out, allowing better channels for innovation, decision making, and making sure everyone’s voice is heard. For most organizations “Flattening” won’t mean removing all structure, but certainly giving employees more ways and power to communicate and make decisions across the company. The report offers a radical example of flattening – building a Holacracy, a model being implemented now by Tony Hseih at Zappos.
This is defined as a distributed authority system that uses a set of rules to knit the empowerment of individual employees into the core of an organization. Teams organize themselves by using regular task and governance meetings to identify backlogs and conflicts and employees find which projects need their support based on their agreed job role, not by their job title or by being assigned projects.
A final key change that I’ll mention from the report is “Minding the Gap,” an important point that may be considerably less discussed than others among the ways technology is re-shaping work. The workforce of the future envisions a huge demand for high-skilled tech talent, and not everyone can fill this role. This presents a troubling opportunity for the disparity between “good” and “bad” jobs to grow rapidly and leave little middle ground. It will be essential for organizations to innovate to make sure this chasm doesn’t widen. Ideas must work to not just make “good jobs” great, but to reframe roles around people versus accepting the trade-off between low prices and good jobs. The B Tem sums it up well: “As businesses get ever-more Purpose-driven, making sure the benefits and innovations they offer filter down to all levels of the workforce will become essential.”
Make sure to check out Team B’s full report to learn about more key changes in the ways of people and work and organizations.
Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Professional Development, The B Team, The People Innovation Network, Virgin Unite
Tagged as China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Professional Development, The B Team, The People Innovation Network, Virgin Unite
October 28, 2014 · 4:30 am
Accenture’s 2014 College Graduate Employment Survey compares the expectations and perceptions of 2014’s university graduates with the realities of the working world according to both 2012 and 2013 graduates. This comparison casts a focused and specific lens on the issue of entry-level talent development, and gives us some insightful data. Accenture’s survey underlines that at the end of the day, many organizations are not effectively developing their entry-level talent. When we consider that 69% of 2014 graduates state that more training or post-graduate education will be necessary for them to get their desired job, we see that organizations are likely facing a major talent supply problem. New graduates and entry level talent’s perceive that their organizations will provide them with career development training: 80% of 2014 graduates expect that their employer will provide the kind of formal training programs necessary for them to advance their careers. Despite this, the percentage of graduates that actually receive such training is low, creating a significant discrepancy between expectation and reality.
Another concern when it comes to recent college graduates is that 46% (nearly half) of 2012/2013 graduates working today report that they are significantly underemployed (i.e. their jobs do not really depend on their college degrees). This statistic was at only 41% a year ago.Accenture’s survey found that 84% of 2014 graduates believe they will find employment in their chosen field post graduation, and 61% expect that job to be full time. Again, we find a stark contrast between expectation and reality, with just 46% of 2012/2013 grads reporting holding a full-time job – 13% percent have been unemployed since graduation. How long do recent graduates stay at the jobs they do have? More than half (56%) of 2012/2013/2014 graduates have already left their first job or expect to be gone within one or two years. Is this be a reflection on the lack of development for entry-level talent? It seems more than plausible…
Recent graduates are also finding discrepancies between expectations and realities when it comes to income and job prospects. Of the 13% of 2012/2013 grads who have been unemployed since graduation, 41% believe their job prospects would have been enhanced had they chosen a different major (72% expect to go back to school within the next five years). Among Accenture’s 2014 survey respondents, 43% expect to earn more than $40,000 at their first job, however, just a minimal 21% of the 2012/2013 graduates that are in the workforce are actually earning at that level. 26% of these graduates report making less that $19,000, a concerning figure when roughly 28% of 2014’s graduates will finish school with debt of more than $30,000.
Accenture’s study does point to some silver linings, however. Increasingly, college students are turning an eye towards what they can do to be more market relevant. 75% of those who graduated this year took into account the availability of jobs in their field before selecting their major, compared to 70% of 2013 graduates and 65% of those in the class of 2012. Another positive is that 72% of 2014 graduates agree or strongly agree that their education prepared them for a career (compared to 66% of 2012/2013 grads) and 78% feel passionately about their area of study. 63% of 2014 graduates stated that their university was effective in helping them find employment opportunities, an increase from 51% among their recently graduated peers. Recent graduates are also increasing their chances of employment by being geographically flexible. 74% of 2014 graduates said they would be willing to relocate to another state to find work and 40% of those would be willing to move 1,000 miles or more to land a job.
Accenture’s study does, however, put into question many of the highly publicized reports that point to human capital/talent acquisition issues as a #1 concern in the C-Suite. If talent is the #1 issues, where is the attention to entry-level talent? Is the attention being placed exclusively on development for upper-level positions? It’s clear that there are multiple factors influencing graduates’ struggles for acceptable employment, including the rise of part-time and contingent work, but training and development is an important part of any entry-level position. The survey points to six areas in which organizations can focus on to help meet talent supply challenges:
- Reassess hiring and retention strategies
- Hire based on potential, not just immediate qualifications
- Use talent development as a hiring differentiator
- Remember that tangibles matter, even to Millennials
- Cast the net more widely
- Use talent development and other benefits as part of a total rewards and attraction approach
These are logical conclusions. But perhaps the biggest logical conclusion is that organizations are just paying lip service to the so-called war for talent and aren’t convinced that the there is, in fact, a shortage of talent. Am I wrong?
Filed under Accenture, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Human Capital, Millennials, Professional Development, Talent development
Tagged as Accenture, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employer Training, Formal Training, Human Capital, Millennials, Professional Development, Talent Acquisition, Talent Development