Ten years ago, the Cloud totally disrupted the workplace. For the last five years mobile has been changing the way we work too. So, what’s next? What will the next couple of years (and beyond) bring to the workplace?
Despite all these advances, there are continuing challenges that all businesses are facing, and before moving forward, we need to assess what must evolve to finally overcome them.
An increasing skills gap is now the reality for many businesses. Not only do we need to revolutionise the way we recruit, we need to revise internal career development too. With the ever-increasing competition for talent, we need to remember the importance of both external candidates and the internal pipeline.
With the amount of technology now used in the workplace, we are almost spoilt for choice, but that’s a problem in itself. With so much technology and data available, we don’t know how to best use or interpret it all. Processes need to be simplified. Data may be key for business success, but you really can have too much of a good thing. Instead, we need to better understand what is and isn’t useful, focusing on what data really matters. Less is more, as they say.
So how is the workplace developing to tackle these problems? And can they be resolved once and for all?
Many of us already use Siri on our phones, Alexa in our homes and may have ordered a pizza online though a chatbot, but these technologies need to be appropriated and integrated into the workplace – something that Cornerstone is currently exploring. They will be particularly useful in the recruitment process. Before going to a full interview, candidates can conduct an interview with a machine, with criteria already set out. This grants a better impression of a candidate than just their written CV but also spares recruiters’ time – making the process more effective and more efficient. It also ensures candidates receive feedback, rather than having their application ignored.
An employee’s career is now so much more than just a job and we need to start re-imagining the employee experience for the needs of the future workforce. Business structures and policies also need to reflect this. Employee engagement is becoming increasingly linked with performance management; engaged employees will perform better. HR’s focus needs to be switched accordingly, from outlining performance goals to better engaging employees instead. We need to monitor, measure, and collect data on engagement, rather than purely focusing on performance.
As the traditional organisational structure disappears, we are also witnessing more mobility in the workplace. Career paths are no longer strictly linear, and employees are moving across departments and sectors to carve out their perfect career. Using more data in the correct way will support this, and embedding machine learning into your employee development programme will allow employees to identify what skills and knowledge they need to progress in their chosen career path. It can also help recommend employees for the right internal roles.
With so many employees now moving jobs and industry more regularly, it is even harder for employers and employees to keep a record of all their skills, experience and training. We are moving beyond CVs, but platforms like LinkedIn are unable to record intricate details and information, meaning much is lost. We need to create a blockchain talent market place for a transparent view of credits and debits. This virtual briefcase of transcripts with all courses, training, and other continuing professional development that an employee has undertaken and completed will be seen internally and externally, and easily transferred to an employee’s next role, within the same company or a new one.
We are already seeing new trends and technologies shaping the future world of work, and we need to start putting these into practice now. The future may not be wholly predictable, but by assessing the current challenges and looking at the emerging trends, we can make sure that our businesses and employees are prepared and ready to seize what the future world of work holds – there’s no time like the present.
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