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Getting practical about the future of work

The model of future work

By 2030, up to 30 to 40 percent of all workers in developed countries may need to move into new occupations or upgrade their skill sets. Skilled workers in short supply will become even scarcer. Any company that doesn't join the early adopters and doesn't address its underlying talent needs may fall short of reaching its goals.

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Getting practical about the future of work

Getting practical about the future of work

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/getting-practical-about-the-future-of-work

mckinsey.com

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Key Ideas

The model of future work

By 2030, up to 30 to 40 percent of all workers in developed countries may need to move into new occupations or upgrade their skill sets. Skilled workers in short supply will become even scarcer. Any company that doesn't join the early adopters and doesn't address its underlying talent needs may fall short of reaching its goals.

Employers should lead the way

The pace and scale that technology disrupts is a social, political and business challenge.
Employers are best placed to make a positive societal impact, for example, by upgrading the abilities of their employees and equipping them with new skills. Employers will also reap the greatest benefit if they can successfully transform the workforce in this way.

Talent is the largest barrier

Talent is the largest barrier to the successful implementation of new strategies.

Many leading businesses realize that it is quicker and more financially prudent to look internally and develop the talent they already have. Yet only a third of global executives report that their organizations have launched any new reskilling programs.

Supporting the future of work

Successful and continuous transformation of the workforce involves 3 broad phases that at first might seem common.

  • Scouting: Looking at the future needs, the company needs to identify the most important skill gaps. Then assess the organization's readiness to deliver.
  • Shaping. To redesign work for the demands of a more digital future, creating upskilling programs together with employees, and developing the infrastructure to enable the deployment of talent.
  • Shifting: Moving the organization's suite of talent-related activities onto a bigger scale.

Capturing the full opportunity

The company needs to asses if they are capturing the full potential of new technologies to generate new revenues and not just trying to cut costs.

Many small individual initiatives within organizations don't see the urgency and end up falling behind, never realizing the magnitude of the opportunity in front of them.

Shaping phase

Companies should gain a clear understanding of the way each employee and team do their present work and involve them in redesigning their roles and ways of working. It will spark better ideas and ensure pain points will get addressed early on. It will also create stronger skill matches and smoother transitions.

When organizations introduce new work, outside-in analytics and expert input can also help to find answers.

Talent accelerators

Digital strategies are creating entirely new, mission-critical tasks. The redesigning of work is far more than changing existing roles. They need to identify the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experience required, then look inside to find the best-fit talent.

Sometimes, employees may be identified that can already fit the requirements, and other times training and support should be provided to build new capabilities and skills.

‘Offboarding’ with sensitivity

Workplace transition demands enormous sensitivity. Some employees may fall short of acquiring the skills needed to make the transition to new areas of work, while others may prefer to seek new employment.

Many companies are forming partnerships with new, tech-savvy outplacement firms to help prepare employees for fresh opportunities by encouraging them to acquire new skills and encouraging growth mind-sets.

Accelerating the skilling engine

Companies will need to measure the return on their investment in employee skilling

For instance, the cost of giving employees new skills compared to the cost they would have spent on hiring. The expense should include the opportunity cost of waiting to hire.

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Talent and opportunity

Talent may be evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. It could take some time and cumulative action to build a more diverse workforce, but sometimes the simplest of measures can add up to major changes.

At Shopify, for example, the company rethought the requirements on their job descriptions. On each job post, it encourages job seekers to apply even if they don’t necessarily meet all the requirements that are listed.

Using your brand to tell authentic stories

One of the most helpful things you can do for your employer brand at the moment is to help employees and those interested in joining your company see beyond just your value proposition, to your actual values.

In the future, this will become even more important as companies continue to recognize the importance of taking a more empathetic, human tone in their messaging and telling authentic stories that reveal their company’s values and purpose.

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Make space to create meaning

Provide digital self-assessment tools and the types of personal exploration exercises that facilitate reflection.  

These mechanisms can help employees identify personal sources...

Provide the right amount of structure

Formal employee programs and activities, such as rotational opportunities, innovation labs, reverse mentoring and milestone experiences, can help employees build deeper, more diverse relationships while promoting growth.

Build strong teams

Deepening relationships is a key source of fulfillment.

Shared experiences help employees come together in ways that build meaningful connections and trust. Activities that provide a common purpose — such as an escape room game or a hackathon — are especially effective.

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Personalized Career Pathing

As more workers move into the gig economy, they will need to self-direct their learning and decide what knowledge they’re missing, where to acquire it, and how to fit learning into daily rou...

The Shifting Nature Of Education

The demand grows for a new learning ecosystem that offers cheaper and more accessible learning when compared to the traditional educational programs. 

Workers are demanding “plug and play” platforms that enable access to smaller bites of just-in-time education throughout their careers. 

The Modern Workplace

The workplace is changing at an alarming pace, and so do the skills needed to keep up in most jobs. Also, the emergence of the gig economy is reshaping the traditional employer-employee relationship as more contractors fill roles once reserved for full-time workers.

It’s key for employees to get training and develop new skills throughout their work life in order to keep up with changes in the workplace.