Why the Future of Work Could Still Find You Unprepared
While the employee has been preparing for a shake-up in the workplace, the organization has remained under the illusion of safety. Many organizations are seemingly complacent and believing that things will only get better for them.
The digital revolution has spawned new frontiers of work, giving life to new companies.
Through the digital revolution, we’ve seen Uber and Airbnb (sharing), Netflix (entertainment), Upwork and Mechanical Turk (crowdsourcing and crowd working), and many more companies begin.
Yet these are only the earliest fruits of this revolution. To enjoy what comes next, you’ll need to do a little more. Here are signs that you’re not doing enough to prepare for the future of work:
1. You Don’t Know How to Keep Your Best People.
While each industry needs a specific set of skills that are unique to it — hospitals seek doctors and, schools seek teachers — employees with a variety of skills will be sought after — across all industries.
Skilled workers such as analysts, actuaries, and data scientists who’re critical for the future of the organization will suddenly be in short supply, increasing attrition and costs.
Today people are changing jobs in record numbers. A survey conducted by Robert Half, a staffing firm, shows that 64 percent of workers favor job-hopping. Not surprisingly, millennials change their jobs more frequently, with 75 percent of employees under 34 saying job-hopping is good for their career.
So, why are people changing jobs? Fair compensation and career growth opportunities have always been at the heart of job-hopping. However, there’s another factor that we might as well say has been there all along. A 2001 article cites “bad bosses” as the other main reason why employees continually switch jobs.
Speaking on a more recent Robert Half study, Brett Good, a senior district president for the firm cites “the good economy” and “millennials who’ve grown up suspecting that there’s no such thing as loyalty from employers anymore” as the main drivers of job-hopping.
When it comes to keeping the best people, you, the boss, are the primary influence. Unless you can figure out what makes your best employees stay and keep doing it, you’re not prepared for what’s coming.
2. You Don’t Recognize the Need for Diversity.
Workforce diversity isn’t just crucial for corporations to brag about themselves. It’s also a valuable asset that could give your business a competitive edge in the global economy. Embracing diversity can help your organization broaden its skill-base, becoming more innovative and competitive.
Speaking on the biggest failures he has noticed with startups today, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt points out a lack of diversity as one of the top three. He told the audience at a Center for Entrepreneurs lecture in London that for entrepreneurship to flourish, recruiters will have to stop “going to one institution, hiring only those people and only — if I can be blunt — only white males.”
There’s an overwhelming amount of research proving the importance of workplace diversity yet it’s a struggle for women and the BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) groups trying to advance in many companies. To shift the imbalances in your own company, you’ll have to take some radical steps that will disrupt the status quo.
3. You Let Your Company Culture Evolve Unconsciously.
Company culture goes deeper than a set of values and requires much effort. It can’t be allowed to evolve unconsciously. To begin with, your culture is your identity. It’s how you perceive yourself internally and how you wish to be viewed by outsiders.
Building a favorable one requires conscious planning and a great deal of effort, but in the end, it’s all worth it. It helps you attract and retain the best talent, promote customer loyalty and brand advocacy, among other benefits that the most significant marketing budget couldn’t afford.
In a 2016 Deloitte study, 87 percent of the respondents said culture was important as 54 percent (nine percent more than the previous year) said it was very important.
A culture with desirable values, beliefs, and behaviors doesn’t just happen. It’s envisioned by the leaders, communicated to the employees and implemented by the organization as a unit. Creating effective culture decks is the first step towards a consciously evolving culture.
4. You Don’t Embrace the Independent Workforce.
Research conducted by Upwork revealed that 56.7 million Americans, forming 36 percent of the workforce, are freelancing at the rate of one billion hours of work per week.
There are good reasons why more people are choosing independent work as a career growth path. First, they get a self-regulated schedule that allows them to blend work and life without making tremendous sacrifices. Second, they have control over not just when or where they work (within reason) but also how much they get paid.
To you, the employer, an independent workforce means labor cost reduction for equal or better services, minimal office, and supplies cost and less liability.
You can save up to 30 percent of your current costs by hiring an independent contractor, freelance digital marketer/digital marketing agency, or similar professionals, according to Businessweek Magazine. The only significant liability that could arise is when you misclassify employees as independent workers, as it can lead to federal sanctions and investigations, lawsuits, audits, and penalties.
As we move to a skills-first economy, forward-thinking companies are finding invaluable talent in freelancers, thereby increasing their rate of innovation.