NextMapping Future of Work Blog

Cheryl Cran

Welcome to the Future of Work blog – this is where you will find posts on all things related to the future of work.

We have guest bloggers that include CIO’s, Behavioral Scientists, CEO’s, Data Scientists including posts by our founder Cheryl Cran.

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The Workforce of The Future

September 5, 2019

There is no question that the workforce of the future will be an adaptive workforce.

The workforce of the future is going to look entirely different than it does today.

A number of trends are pointing to the changes impacting the future of workplaces. In my book, “NextMapping – Anticipate, Navigate and Create The Future of Work” we provide insights into a number of trends impacting the future workforce. Those trends include:

  1. The increasing pace of digital transformation is creating massive change and is requiring workers to adapt to quickly changing technology.
  2. People are rapidly shifting their ideals and values around work – workers would rather have a ‘lifestyle’ supported by work rather than a work-focused life.
  3. Globalization and remote work is changing the game of what it means to work and the nature of work is rapidly changing too such as full time, part-time, freelance or remote.

If we look at these trends with a discerning eye we can see that what is really happening is a movement towards workers having the power over their future. We can also see that employers are finding themselves in a new workforce reality – a workforce reality where assuming workers will stay for the ‘job’ or assuming that workers will stick around long term are foolish assumptions.

Right now organizations are finding themselves in a ‘push’ and ‘pull’ dynamic.

The ‘push’ includes major disruptions in the form of political change, the rise of the Millenial and Gen Z voices and the pressure to make systemic changes to meet a fast-changing future.

The ‘pull’ includes a future calling for change.

The future is calling for current leaders to see that an overhaul of current systems and processes is in order. The future is calling for current leaders to take the time to truly acknowledge and assess the truth of what workers want, how they want to work and the resources and support that they need to do their work well.

The workforce of the future that we need to prepare for today will have the following structures in place:

  1. Strategies will be built around “people first” meaning the primary foundation of all strategic direction will be based on what’s best for the employee experience and what’s best for the customer experience.
  2. Crowdsourcing and assessing where ‘we are now’ will be the basis for ensuring that critical decisions are based on both a people-first mindset supported by empirical data.
  3. Organizations of all sizes, small, medium or multinational will synergize across departments and locations. Technology will leverage the ability to connect all information within all silos so that leaders and teams can work in real-time with real-time data.
  4. Leaders and teams will place their highest value on their people and will structure the business to ensure that people are well taken care of, that there is consistent coaching, guiding and growth opportunities for their people.
  5. The workforce will consist of multi-dynamic worker situations. There will be fewer long term full-time workers and the workforce of the future will have a mix of full time, part-time, freelance, remote and globally diverse workers.
  6. The workforce of the future will require the retraining and the reskilling of workers to be able to navigate ambiguity, technological change and most importantly human interaction.
  7. Lastly, the workforce of the future will require people who are highly collaborative, team-oriented, willing to work in ‘hives’ verses in ‘dens like a lone wolf’.

Based on the items listed above how do your organization and leadership measure up? Do you have a transformational strategy in place that includes rethinking strategic focus, people strategy and focus on the workforce of the future?

Is your organization in a state of ‘push’ right now where the myriad of changes are creating push back, resistance and lack of innovation?

Can you as a leader feel the call of the future and find yourself needing support and resources to stay focused and inspired to create the future?

There are two ways to look at the future one is with fear and the other is with a positive willingness to assess, change and then create the future workplace. Which choice will you make as a leader for your team and for your company?