This age of digital disruption is giving birth to a spectrum of jobs that are parallel to what we have learned in school or what we have been doing up till now. Many of these jobs will be roleless, unfixed positions that require incumbents to be well versed in various fields – on top of their dormant expertise.
Companies are now scattering to hop on board the digital economy bandwagon, and we’ll be seeing a rapid conversion to highly digitized processes. Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that companies are starting to see a change in both expectations and requirements of their employees.
How exactly can companies groom their current workforce to navigate unchartered waters while attracting new innovative blood to thrive in this turbulent and uncertain world of change?
Foster a digital culture
Millenniels, aka new blood, are the wired generation and they are so intricately associated with technology that you cannot have one without the other. By fostering a digital culture within the enterprise, the organisation not only becomes a natural hotspot for young blood, it also becomes a magnet for many other employees across every age group who prefer working for digital leaders.
The traditional top-down approach to implementing organizational cultural change has not changed. To drive a digital culture, have in place a leadership team that’s capable of implementing lean start-up methodologies, among other features of a digital culture.
More importantly, create an environment where humans and robots can harmoniously co-exist and successfully work together. It will become inevitable that certain jobs become outsourced to robots. And instead of having your employees feel threatened that they might be axed and replaced by technology, carefully evaluate the extent at which your organisation is going to require automation.
Drive on-the-job learning
On top of recruiting the right people, look no further than your current pool of talent to drive the organisation forward. First-hand experience is a great way for people to learn, and on-the-job training has so far proven to have no less than a positive impact on employee performance and motivation. Besides, experience-driven development can help build new skillsets and deepen pre-existential expertise.
Investing in your employees not only enhances their skillsets but also fosters a sense of loyalty. Employees will come to appreciate the company for recognising and developing their potential with the necessary support, helping them advance further in their careers.
To be fair, companies must also recognise that employees come and go, and it wouldn’t be practical to invest in every worker. There must be proper procedures in place to identify staff to upskill or move laterally into new roles.
And promote education outreach
Some companies have already developed apprenticeships and school-leaver programmes to secure young people in the midst of developing technology skills. Working with educational institutions is a great move to finding and creating a workforce with the right digital skills.
Again, on top of attracting new innovative blood, companies should also continuously mine its current pool of workers.
In today’s dynamic work environment, there is a need for workers to improve themselves with fast-paced learning that is flexible to suit their hectic schedules and on-demand. It will not be an easy juggle for employees so it is important for companies to recognise the effort and be as supportive as possible. (Besides, you won’t have to look further if your current workers are equipping themselves with skills the organisation needs!)
Embrace flexibility and intrapreneurship
No one is a one-man island, and more so in today’s context where things move more rapidly than ever. We know teamwork is a must-have quality of every organisation but the definition of which has changed with time as well.
Intrapreneurship is all about members finding the right ways to support one another even outside of office hours. Ernst & Young introduced a simple system called “Predictable Time Off” where every member of a team posts to a shared calendar the weekends or evenings they have plans outside of work so that people know who to contact in times of high volume. The system empowers employees to develop creative solutions to cover one another.
We’re not saying all companies should adopt the same system. Point is to recognise that today’s employees value flexibility, and if organisations are able to respect that, you’ll be looking at a relatively satisfied pool of employees who are better workers on the job.
Get to know your employees
Here’s a good ol’ trick! And it works most of, if not all, the time. Go beyond connecting on a professional level. Most of the time, these are pure cordial relationships that are necessary for work to get done. It is only as valuable as your job.
Should you one day find that you hate the job, your working relationships with fellow colleagues and bosses become meaningless. Nothing will hold you back from leaving your position, and finding that emotional gratification from somewhere else. Humans are naturally emotional creatures, and we feel attachment to someone/something when we form a relationship that goes beyond only liabilities.
Get to know your employees on a personal level! Do not limit your conversations to work-only. (Where’s the fun in that?) Build real relationships with your people, and you’ll find yourself a family that’s got one another’s back.