How to develop the workforce of the future

January 19, 2017 Geoffroy De Lestrange

Given our reliance on our mobile phones and the number of people who are now on social media, it is perhaps hard to imagine our society without them. But until just 10 years ago, they didn’t exist.

This major shift forward in technology has not only created huge social changes, changing the way we live, it is changing the way we work. 90% of companies predict that their business will be totally disrupted by digital trends. If so much can happen in just a decade, how can we prepare for what’s on the horizon?

Companies need to search for their future leaders who can help drive through these changes, setting up their new employees for success and, as a result, their business.

Build up the best

Let them rise

Top performers are typically ambitious people, and so naturally want career progression. However, companies must demonstrate that progression doesn’t mean moving to another company. In fact, internal mobility was a key influencer on an employee’s happiness in our European study with IDC. Managers should encourage and support their best talent if they want to try out a new department and reward them with experience.

Find out what motivates them

In a global survey by Monster, 75% of Gen-Z respondents believe that work should have a greater meaning than just bringing home the bacon. That’s what they say, but work out how they truly feel. Some will be motivated by money, for others it’s flexibility. Regardless, managers must figure out what their key performers value in a job role. If your talent is performing well and getting their job done, ask about their ideal work situation and see if you can adapt their job role to them.   

Invest in your talent

Constant learning allows for constant improvement, and even the brightest employees need to develop their skills to become great leaders. Ensure your employees have the chance to attend training courses or conferences; while they cost money, they’re cheaper than replacing staff who leave. Most importantly, make learning fun – there are ways to gamify or vary learning formats to make employees come back for more.

Give ongoing feedback

Great talent needs to be recognised, but you should also be looking out for areas of improvement. Young people in the workforce crave ongoing feedback. The most ambitious employees will use constructive criticism to better themselves and work out how to get to their next promotion by improving their skills.

Lead by example

No employee is going to be inspired by a mediocre manager. Focus on always bringing your best self to work, provide clear direction and targets, stay fair, and try to solve problems quickly. Ensure you’re appropriately disciplining slack employees and rewarding those who perform well. After all, toxic employees aren’t helping great talent stick around.

The cost of toxicity

Research from Cornerstone OnDemand’s ‘Toxic Employees in the Workplace’ report shows toxic employees – those who won’t help others - are consistently late, unreliable and make their colleagues 54% more likely to quit, costing employers up to three times more in hiring fees. So, whilst there must be a focus on your best talent, don’t forget to track the performance and feedback on others who may be damaging to the business.

Preparing your business for the future starts in the present with your employees, ensuring you have the best and the right talent to help achieve the future vision for your business. It is your current young, new recruits who will be running the business in the future. Companies need to adjust to the new and different expectations of this emerging workforce to retain their top new talent and develop them into great leaders. 

About the Author

Geoffroy De Lestrange

Product Marketing & Communication Director EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin More Content by Geoffroy De Lestrange
Previous Article
January Job Hoppers: boosting staff loyalty before they jump ship
January Job Hoppers: boosting staff loyalty before they jump ship

Next Article
When Strategy meets culture