What does the Future of Work look like to you?
Strategic Workforce Planning expert, Kevin Murphy
Firstly, there’s nothing future about it – we’re immersed in it now. Tech advancements are forcing us to face early career jobs a lot earlier because grads are far more educated and skills-ready for a digital career than ever before. From doing the photocopying and picking up the coffees, to using tools to gather research or analyse data – entry level jobs are getting far more complex, accelerating development from the beginning and adding value a lot earlier than ever before. AI will force us to reassess how we view hard and soft skills in grads and specialists, and Arts degrees will be more popular than ever because creativity is one of the most valued skills for businesses today. We’re planning ahead by 3- 5 years, but there will always be the unpredictable elements that aren’t quite clear to us and I’m very interested to see how our plans develop.
Organisations need to have an enterprise wide plan that is far greater than just 1 year ahead to best deliver a product. Modelling should be on a 3-5 year plan, based on predictive analytics. The gig economy is a fundamental way for the following generations to work and develop as people are realising that benefits like Long Service Leave is an odd concept. You get paid to work each day, then paid for additional leave - it’s like paying an employee twice! I think organisations are going to be moving away from enterprise offerings like that and move towards smarter, more flexible models, particularly when those benefits are tenure based and new generations are looking for experiences over tenure.
If Workforce Planning sits within HR then they will be working together, but sometimes it sits within a business improvement function. HR needs to change the value this function brings to the business - people are the greatest asset and biggest expense for most. HR leaders today need to be more business savvy, asking themselves “What are the skills and drivers needed to grow the business and at what cost base?” They should be advising the business heads on what they WILL need 3-5 years from now, and failure to do so is just building redundancy costs in the future. Businesses should interrogate their redundancy costs to truly understand why they occur. There is a fair chance those costs are due to lack of long term workforce planning or not understanding the skills required to future proof the business. If planning was a little more sophisticated, these costs would be significantly reduced.