3 steps to prepare yourself for the future of work

Future of work has become THE topic among HR consultants and industry analysts. Especially in our post-Covid-19 world, no organization exists that does not talk about it. But what is it? And do we really need an 8-page report to describe it?  

According to Gartner the future of work describes "changes in how work will get done over the next decade"! Behind these seemingly simple sentence lies a massive transformation affecting work, workers, and the workplace.  

It is human nature that such a big transition with uncertain outcomes causes discussions. While I cannot predict the future, past and current events have shown that agile companies continuously outperformed their peers in such difficult times. As agility is already a competitive advantage today, I believe its importance will further grow and be a key component that lets your organization thrive in the world of work.

To successfully master agility (and hence make your organization ready for the future of work), you can take 3 steps: 
1. Make skills your first priority.

We have entered a new time stage where missing skills have become the limiting growth factor and most systems are ill designed to overcome these obstacles. When looking at human capital strategies today, everything is organized around job roles: hiring, managing, payroll, and many more! However, many people tend to forget that this system was designed to support bureaucratic structures and is static by design. On the other hand, business demands constantly evolve and can not be subjected to such a system. Therefore, it is evident that moving towards a skill-based system, in which you design development, staffing, and recruiting around skills, will make your organization more agile and future-proof. This transition has just begun as (according to Gartner) most HR leaders make skill based talent management their top priority for 2022.

2. Support internal growth opportunity

With the increasing importance of technological improvements, more companies will compete for the same talent. Consequently, hiring in these sectors will become even more challenging. HR leaders must therefore look for other sources to fill the gaps. Thanks to better up- and reskilling methods, plenty of talent exist in your current workforce! To appropriately develop, you need to reduce internal mobility hurdles and make growth paths more transparent. As a result, your employees pay back your efforts with higher engagement and more loyalty to your organization. 

3. Expand data collection

Artificial intelligence is regarded as a crucial technology to better manage complex situations in the future. While I see many use cases where machine learning can help automate your processes, I do not see the bottleneck in the state of technology but much more in the quality of your data. The best algorithm cannot produce intelligent suggestions when fed with low-quality data. Expanding data collection now can help to deploy intelligent algorithms in the future faster. At the same time, it is also a strong starting point from which you can deduct meaningful insights for making data-based decisions now.