The Future of Work – Strategies for Employers to Stay Relevant

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The future of work is evolving rapidly and comes with a lot of challenges for both employers and employees. With technological advances and a diverse workforce, employers are grappling to define an all inclusive approach for the workplace of the future. Hiring trends and practices that were followed, up until recently are becoming a thing of the past. Employees on the other hand are moving towards having more than a single job, pursue their passion and design a fulfilling career for themselves.

Due to these significant changes in technology, workforce and hiring practices, preparing for the future of work has become harder than ever. While its important for businesses to prioritize the business goals when hiring, it has now become equally important to acknowledge and embrace this new paradigm that employees are coming from. Here are five key strategies for employers to prepare for the future of work.

Build an all-inclusive Workforce

The evolving workplace will not only include full-time employees, but also gig economy professionals like freelancers, part-timers, contractors and more. Temporary and flexible jobs are expected to become more common. From startups going with all-remote workforce to large organizations offering flexible schedules and project based work, there arises the need for adapting to new hiring practices that encompasses a diverse workforce.

To accelerate diversity in the workplace, businesses should focus on  developing leaders from all backgrounds, irrespective of the gender, age, religion or any other factor. All the awards that ogranizations pride upon today like “Best Employer of the Year”, “Best Employer for Diversity”, further reinforces the perspective of how today’s workforce is evaluating organizations. And this gets even more complex with a varied set of expectations that’s shaping up.

Offer Workplace flexibility

It is estimated that around 80% of the employees have difficulties managing their work-life balance. Add to it the fact that today a major part of the workforce consist of dual-career couples who struggle to balance career and family needs. Workplace flexibility helps such employees meet their demand through part-time jobs, flexible work time and telecommuting.

This is why workplace flexibility has become the top consideration for most of the employers. It’s high time for organizations that haven’t embraced this concept to start implementing a flexible work policy to remain competitive in the market.

By providing employees with flexibility you can improve their productivity as they tend to be happier and healthier.  And that eventually leads to accelerating business growth. As a matter of fact here is recent example of a New Zealand firm that let its employees work 4 days a week, while being paid for five. The experiment was so successful that is hoped to make the change permanent. Read the full story here

Invest in Learning & Development

With the rapid pace of techonology changes, its imperartive for professionals to stay upto date to be relevant in the workplace of the future. Through the years Employers have understood the fact that hiring new employees is more expensive than developing existing talent pool within the organization.

So future-ready organizations have taken it up on themselves to address this issue, by providing ongoing training to employees to upgrade their knowledge and skills. Employers can also let employees take time off to join a class or an online course and develop new skills that can help in advancing their career and support their personal development, which in turn benefits the organization.

This goes to show that the organization cares for their employees and inspire them that they are not just working on a job, but rather something larger and more meaningful. And that leads to happy employees who stay with the organization for longer periods and even a lifetime.

An Open Culture

Starting with Vision, Mission, Business value, work environement, workforce skills, management style, ethics and expectation shape up the culture of the organization. And that company culture determines how fast the company grows and how long employees stay with the organization.

Looking at job skills long gone are the days where an employee can just stick to his/her job and not be aware of what’s happening in other departments of the organization. Team work and cross functional team collaboration have become the basic requirement and the need for T-Shaped professionals are on the rise.

T-Shaped professionals are highly skilled in one function and can effectively collaborate with other highly skilled professionals from other functions. Having deep expertise in one skill area and a broader knowledge across other skill areas, makes one appreciate and respect each other. This builds a collaborative and open environment within the organization.

While traditionally organizations looked for IQ as an success indicator, today its combination of IQ,  emotional intelligence (EQ) and fun quotient (FQ). Right from hiring to onboarding to retaining talent, organizations need to address all three areas and build an open culture to future proof the business.

Millennial Talent

The millennial workforce demand enough time, flexibility and of course money. They value their thoughts over a secure paycheck. They want their voices to be heard and their ideas to be valued. A job title does not mean anything to them and they want to do what they are good at. They are more tech-savvy and expect more flexibility in their work. And its definitely not just beer and ping-pong tables.

Employers need to accept the fact that the workforce of the future will be more interested in taking up jobs that help them pursue their passion and building a meaningful life. Reinforce that they are part of creating a larger than life solution, prodive that context in everyday work and allow them space to address life’s little necessities.

In short, technology and evolving employee expectations are redefining the workforce of the future. As an employer, keep monitoring the trends and adapt faster. It’s the best way for your business to stay ahead of the game.

Employers

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