The face of the Australian workforce is constantly evolving, with changes to personnel, technology, systems and processes occurring daily to a significant number of industries. In addition to this, a number of Australian workplaces are heavily impacted by the disruption and speed of change, preventing organisations from successfully transitioning to new ways of working.
Many businesses are left wondering – what are the changes likely to impact my workforce and how can my business respond to these changes?
What are some of these changes and how will they affect your workforce?
- Globalisation – is linking people, neighbourhoods, cities, regions and countries much more closely together than they have ever been before. The world is now one city. This has implications for how your workforce is connected across timelines, cultures and language.
- Mobility – staff want, expect and may be required to work anywhere and anytime. 24/7 connectivity gives flexibility but also has the downsides of impacts on work life balance and stress for staff and their supervisors.
- Millennials – it is predicted that by 2025, 75 per cent of the workforce will be Millennials who have different expectation of the workplace can the current workforce of Baby Boomers and Gen X. As a generalisation, Millennials expect to work anywhere and anytime using their own devices. They are motivated by meaning and value, and they are brilliant communicators and social networkers (note the exceptional impact of #March for our lives). They are tech savvy, adaptable and positive. They will also create their own career ladder by shift careers to meet their interests and aspirations. The challenge for your business is how do you attract and retain millennials to your business -especially as they are becoming the mainstay of the workforce.
- New behaviours – with social media our lives are now public, with the distance between corporate reputation and personal reputation diminishing.
- Technology – most organisations have or are in the process of technological change – taking advantage of technological advancement and investing in new systems to analysis to increasing sources of data that is business critical. Investment in cyber security is also an important part of these transitions.
How can your business prepare and respond to these changes?
Businesses can look to the process of workforce planning to guide their organisations to be responsive to social, political, and economic changes.
A workforce plan will help your business assess its future needs in staff – their skills, location, tenure and how your business can train your existing staff to meet these needs or transition them to other areas; attract new staff with the skills and experience required and how you retain the staff you need.
Like all plans, a workforce plan is a process and not a destination. Organisations should maintain vigilance in ensuring they attract and retain the right staff at the right time to meet their business needs. As your workforce changes, your attraction and retention strategies will need to change to meet the needs and demands of the changing workforce.
“Strategic workforce planning is about determining the actions we need to take today to provide the workforce we need tomorrow”
– John Maynard Keyes