Emerging Trends in Workforce Management

You may have felt a lot of things throughout the last six months, but it’s very probable bored wasn’t one of them. The way we work just transformed massively; companies got forced to take all sorts of measures against COVID-19 – almost overnight. It’s not like the world wasn’t changing before the virus – globalization has been here for a while, artificial intelligence, sophisticated eLearning platforms, and working from home were already on the rise before any unexpected events occurred. It’s just that the pandemic accelerated things in ways we could never have predicted – and basically, everyone can be forgiven for not being prepared for that. 

Yet, all that disruption might not have been all bad. The fact is, opportunities for progress exist if we can just recognize and harness them. Let’s look at the key emerging workforce management trends.

Digital Transformation and Automation Drive the Necessity for Rapid Soft Skills Development

Increasing digitization of tasks doesn’t just mean your workforce needs new digital skills. The transition to integrated technologies means workers need to up their critical thinking and soft skills too. That means being able to interact effectively and productively with both people and machines.

Employees working where technology and people intersect, spread wider geographically, utilizing more and more AI, require a range of new abilities to cope. Distance itself creates a need for more effective workforce management. When not working in the same physical space as peers, appropriate soft skills, and an ability to compensate with tech will prove highly beneficial. Companies that recognize the changing workplace as an opportunity to develop tailored skill sets will see rapid returns.

Recruiting for Skills and Culture Fit Rather than Diplomas Foster In-house Upskilling and Reskilling

Knowing the individuals within your workforce is an essential requirement for the new workplace. That’s not just limited to their wellbeing; it’s vital also to understand what they can do at this moment, what they want to learn how to do, and where they feel most comfortable within the organization. With the right systems in place, companies can analyze the current skill level of each employee at scale and, based on their career goals, automatically deliver the right learning at the right time to them.  

That approach can begin at the point of recruitment. Increasingly, companies are looking at the fit more than the formal qualifications. Being able to walk the walk is gaining traction with recruiters. It’s far less likely just having a diploma from college will be enough to land a job in the future workplace.

The Focus on Building Ethical AI in Recruiting and Talent Development Helps Get Rid of Biases 

Beyond the workplace, there’s a need to ensure AI evolves without bias and discrimination. That’s going to be a key requirement when it comes to opportunities in the future of organizations too. Companies will need to develop strategies and safeguards that encourage equal opportunities when data gets collected en masse, and AI gets more widely applied to recruiting new talent and promoting current employees.

AI offers a genuine opportunity to drive personal and professional growth of each employee at scale based on their unique sets of skills and their performance results while combating workplace discrimination. However, we’re going to need to get over ingrained human prejudices if we’re to achieve its potential for that. There’s no doubt significant rewards exist for companies that invest the time, money, and effort into doing so. Not only are workplaces far richer for diversity, but initiatives on that front go a long way with customers too.

Contingent Workforce Management Calls for Innovative Ways to Improve Employee Engagement at Scale

One of the most immediately apparent ways COVID-19 has accelerated the future of work is the places we’re working. We’ve observed the gig economy and talked about working from home more for a while now, but social distancing measures have suddenly made them mainstream. There’s much evidence to show we’re never really going back to the ‘old normal’ too.

Companies that increase contingent and remote worker numbers will indeed need to explore technologies for managing them. Yet, organizations that don’t adopt progressive approaches to that might well be missing a trick. Gallup conducted research that suggests employee engagement driven management leads to lower absenteeism through ill health, and employees who realize 21% more profitability on average.

It’s no doubt important for forward-thinking managers and companies to hone the soft skills of their people to make better use of contingent working and tech. When the pandemic dust settles, however, the companies that recognize opportunities to simultaneously improve systems for monitoring employee engagement may well stand out as smart companies.

Designing for Resilience Requires Companies to Prioritize Critical Skills Versus Roles

Agile companies are resilient companies—the ability to quickly pivot is desirable during times of financial crisis. Many organizations realize that creating flexibility starts with onboarding the right workers in the right way. They also know the process continues with reskilling and upskilling at the point of need

Encouraging employees to take on skills that promote agility and success is a wise workforce management strategy. The old approach to prioritizing employee attributes that match critical targets just won’t wash in the future. Preparing workers for ladder roles that involve relatively narrow, specific, and immobile skill sets will be far less effective in 2021 and beyond. Going forward, leaders must train people who can adapt more quickly. Workers that utilize a broader range of skills to fill positions within more flexible companies are happier and have better, more fulfilling career prospects – but they also make for agility at the organizational scale too.

Increase in Organizational Complexity Entails Implementation of Scalable Solutions 

The aftermath of the pandemic will very probably see changes to the structures and activities of many established organizations. While spreading out and mitigating risks by exploring new markets is an effective way to deal with the upheavals associated with the widespread economic downturn, it creates workforce management challenges. For larger, more dispersed companies, a single solution rarely addresses a problem right across the board. In terms of driving productivity at scale, there’ll be an increased need to collect detailed live data while putting it into perspective immediately. 

Leaders will have to identify unique challenges in different areas, tailor solutions to suit a range of business challenges, apply different methods of achieving targets and goals – all without ever resorting to a scattergun approach. Bigger organizations with diverse, distributed workforces require performance enablement tools that provide ongoing ways to drive individual employee productivity – at a large scale but with the ultimate level of personalization. By delivering the right training to the right person at the right time, companies will not only future-proof themselves, but also see immediate growth of their KPIs.  

The last several months have presented many challenges – but it seems that amid the chaos and shutdowns, the future of work just kept on coming. How leaders deal with that will define the next several years for companies, and determine whether or not they fall behind or get ahead. The good news is that with the right tools in place, the new reality of work offers an opportunity for smart workforces to grow rapidly. So, don’t wait to get future-proof –  schedule a Rallyware demo today and discover your workforce’s true potential.