While the business world has always been somewhat aware of the evolving nature of the workplace, the “future of work” is now a hot topic that leaders are paying close attention to. That future relies heavily on the workforce composition and culture. These nine tips can help your enterprise be ready for whatever comes down the line, next year or next decade.
1. Focus on skills and expertise rather than roles
Business leaders across all industries recognize that the skills-based workforce model is the way of the future. Talent acquisition organizations are moving their focus from roles to skills for employees and independent professionals. If your enterprise has not yet started this transition, now is the time to begin.
2. Optimize your workforce
Workforce optimization combines employees and independent talent in a strategic way. Determining the best employee/independent ratio based on high value skills offers the opportunity for the enterprise to position for future economic and market conditions.
3. Include your independent talent in learning opportunities
Key business experts assert that continuous learning is one of the keys for future proofing your workforce. As you design learning opportunities in your company, be sure to include your independent talent. Not only will you be one step closer to being a Client of Choice for high-value talent, you can be confident that your total workforce is moving forward in the same direction.
4. Go for agility
Skills-based focus, workforce optimization and continuous learning are all elements of an agile workforce. In coming years, enterprise agility will continue to be a competitive differentiator. It’s important to keep pursuing work models that increase agility.
5. Make sure you and your team eat change for breakfast
The ability to adapt to change is another key to future proofing. The rate of change in business is accelerating across the board, and it’s important that your workforce is conditioned to respond positively in such an environment.
6. Promote two-way mentorships
Tap the best of each generation by creating two-way mentorships. For example, pairing digital-native Gen Zs with seasoned and experienced Gen Xers benefits both participants. Gen X has the opportunity to learn how the younger generation innovates and approaches challenges. Gen Z can gain new perspectives and insights into navigating the workplace based on what the older generation has already learned and mastered.
7. Nail down cybersecurity
Remote work is now common in business. In addition, over 17 million American workers are taking remote on the road as they pursue the digital nomad lifestyle, and the number is rising. With the future looking more and more digital, ensuring that your systems, applications, and data are secure from outside incursions or corruption is crucial.
8. Embed collaborative communication in the culture
Speaking of an increasingly digital future, online collaboration has taken hold in the workplace, even in situations where workers are working in the same space. If you aren’t already using a platform like Slack or Microsoft Teams, now is a good time to start. Find ways to increase productivity and help team members cultivate good relationships with each other.
9. Stay on top of trends and modify your management style accordingly
As a manager and leader, it’s critical to keep your eye on how workforce models are evolving and proactively respond to changes. You may find that adjustments to your own management approach are needed from time to time, and that the continuous learning you are ensuring for your team applies to you as well.