We are facing exponential workforce shifts across the globe. These shifts can be conceptualised as the equivalent of a “tsunami” wave in terms of impact on how we manage our workforce. The world of work is being reshaped — transforming employee’s expectations for their careers, their approach to work, the nature of the work they do, and the makeup of the workforce itself.
1. Growing diversity of the workforce
Diversity in this context goes far beyond the usual considerations of age, race, and gender, to consider diversity of location.
The multi-generational workforce will soon become the norm, as baby boomers work past retirement age, tech-savvy millennials continue to enter the workforce, and post-millennials approach college age, with marked differences in values, communication styles, and career expectancies.
2. Disruption through technology
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising technology, enabling robots to perform a broader scope of tasks.
However, machine-learning technology lacks intuition and social skills. Humans therefore remain a crucial part of the workforce equation, but will have to develop new technical and creative skills to support these changes, including cross-cultural competency.
3. Rising swell of big data
Access to information and data is unevenly distributed worldwide. In the developing world, the accuracy and completeness of data is causing significant concern, whereas in the developed world, the sheer amount of data is overwhelming and has led to “analysis paralysis”.
4. Stressed employees and productivity pressures
The last five decades have been a period of unprecedented GDP growth worldwide, powered by both labour market growth and an increase in productivity.
The productivity crunch is just one of the causes of employee stress and burnout, which in turn lead to loss of productivity, ill health, absenteeism, increased turnover rates, and lack of engagement.
5. Fragmentation of the workforce
The very existence of the employment relationship as the normal contractual arrangement between enterprise and worker is being called into question with up to 83% of organisations expected to rely predominantly on part-time, contingency, agency, and contract workers by 2020.
How to be prepared and manage these risks
Successfully managing workforce risks means rising to meet the complex workforce challenges that you and your organisation face. It’s not enough to just hope for the best; you must plan and take action now to build the future.
That’s where analytics and planning come into play. Measuring and benchmarking are good, asking the right questions is even better, but knowing how to get the right answers from the data is best of all. It’s about harnessing the power of information and putting it to work for you.
HR and business leaders rely on workforce analytics and planning for four key reasons. They want to:
- Be prepared, not surprised.
- Make decisions with confidence.
- Drive a better return on investment.
- Outperform the competition.