By: Susan Ruhl
According to authors Willyerd and Mistick in their recent book, “Stretch,” the number one workplace concern of people is becoming obsolete at work. In today’s fast-paced business environment, this fear is not very farfetched. Let’s face it, the work world is changing. Companies, as well as individuals, are trying to figure out how to become equipped to change with the times. The big question is what will the future look like and what are the skills, qualifications and credentials that will be in demand? Recently, OI Global Partners, a leading human resources consulting firm, conducted a survey that highlighted capabilities that will be in demand in the near future for both employers and employees. Their survey noted that in order for organizations to enhance their competitiveness and ability to succeed, they must make the necessary investments in education and training to keep pace – or better still, to stay ahead – of these trends. Below are a few trends from the employers view as well as the employees view.
Understanding the employee’s needs – It is no secret that we are working harder and faster these days. Leaders are so focused on daily tasks and deliverables that they risk losing sight of the company’s strategic, long-term goals. Many organizations struggle to find the ‘right people’ for the open positions that they need to fill; however, in order to attract and retain the ‘right people,’ they first need to know what the ‘right people’ look like and then what they want from their employer.
Self-Advocacy – At ICC, we have already begun to see more people take control of their careers and be more willing to change jobs to further their ambitions. In a world where people move in and out of employment states, people need to take responsibility for their own development rather than relying on their companies to develop them. Once their skills are developed, employees must develop the ability to persuade and influence others of their skills and capabilities, not from a sense of endless self-promotion but recognizing their value and continuously advocating for themselves.
Opportunities to Learn – Research suggests that organizations must offer learning opportunities to attract, retain and cultivate engaged and productive employees. In 2015, Learnkit conducted a study that gathered employee’s feedback on their company’s training and onboarding. This study showed that onboarding has a huge impact on their engagement. Key findings of the study showed:
- 66% of employees say they value learning opportunities over monetary compensation.
- 63% of employees said they would be more engaged if they had better training.
- According to Learnkit, better training “equates to happier employees, improved culture, better customer experiences and an overall positive impact on your bottom line”.
Employees Must Invest in Themselves to Remain Employable- For individuals who want to advance in their career, research data shows that they need to invest in themselves to ensure they are enhancing their current skills and learning new skills. Recent McKinsey research finds that up to 45 percent of the tasks performed by US workers can be automated by currently existing technologies and about 60 percent of occupations could have 30 percent or more of their activities automated. As a result, professionals should ensure they are diversifying their skills to help ensure their long-term employability. While subject matter expertise is still important, ICC’s clients are telling us that they need more people who can lead and succeed in an ever-evolving and rapidly changing economy.
Individuals and employees have to take responsibility for remaining employable. Every individual (and not only Millennials) must realize the importance of being a lifelong learner if they are to adapt to the new world of work. Likewise, organizations must help their workforce prepare for the new world of work through self-directed learning and career planning.