Supercharging companies to pivot through the COVID-19 pandemic has been driven by digitisation, automation and a change in organisational values, talent, and structure. It has been estimated that 107 million workers may need to change their occupations by 2030, with McKinsey stating this was 12 million more than their pre-pandemic estimate. The need for more technical, emotional, and social skills will rise, with a decline in the traditional cognitive and manual skills, although many companies across the globe have already begun shifting towards a more agile and holistic workforce.
“The Congressional Budget Office’s most recent forecast predicts productivity growth of 1.5% per year for the 2021-25 period, up from an average of 1.2% per year between 2008 and 2020.”
Most leaders have understood the shift in requirements and now offer the opportunity for their employees the flexibility to upskill and evolve their previous occupational skills. Although for many companies this shift may be something that cannot be prepared nor afforded. Whilst training and reskilling are essential for bridging the skill gap, the company holistically needs to shift the entire talent model. The following points are just some of the many ways that companies can successfully integrate a shift in the organisational ecosystem.
Allow the Recruitment process to offer the ability to reskill new employees.
Becoming attractive to new talent may offer the ability to capitalise on a completely new skill bank. New research is continually proving that ‘Gen-Z’ value continuous learning as their main career goal, with the ability to be able to maintain employability over time. As your (and many other) companies evolve over time, this offers long term employability and reassurance that they will not be left behind, offering new skill sets and cross-department promotions. McKinsey has also stated that the emphasis is on building leaders’ with “soft skills.” While “hard skills”—including those associated with increasing technology adoption—are important, leaders are prioritizing “soft skills" development, which can create better employee experiences, improve productivity, and set up the organization for success. Many leaders are even using new terminology for this significant skillset: “critical skills” instead of “soft skills.”
Support the link between talent development and talent strategy within the broader business strategy.
Supporting this link between talent development and talent strategy it is necessary to develop a ‘Skills-based human resource system (HRIS)’ that reflects both the existing skills and those new skills that are required to deliver on the business objectives. Greater integration of analytics and behavioural science in talent management. Data and research hold great potential for streamlining and improving any function within an organization, and talent management is no exception, from driving behavioural change to identifying unexpected candidates to fill in-demand roles.
“A strategic workforce-planning process must also be defined and implemented regularly, in parallel to strategic and budgeting exercises, to ensure human resources are allocated as thoroughly as financial capital. In addition, this will allow for the identification and quantification of future skills needs.”
Developing Personalised User-Friendly Ecosystems
Offering a blended user journey combining an omnichannel approach can offer the ability for new employees to build new habits through a continual coaching approach. Mapping the user competencies required to adjust through the agile transformation models supported by top management support and training will ultimately drive higher adoption rates of new behaviours. A well-defined purpose will also help drive a holistic ecosystem providing a guide for adapting to the growth of the company or brand. Values should always consider both the organisation and the customer, ensuring the individuals of the workforce are both inspired and focused.
Below are McKinsey’s top 3 points for organizations addressing this holistic growth approach.
New methods of digital learning. Digital transformation, the pandemic, and the shift to remote and hybrid working models have led companies to incorporate more bite-sized, individualized opportunities into their learning and development programs.
Increased focus on engaging all layers of the organization. Whether making a big decision, communicating office re-entry plans, or launching a change strategy, leaders are now bringing more layers of the organization into the fold for broader and more comprehensive perspectives.
Continued investment in tech-enabled tools. As organizations shift to hybrid working models, we are seeing ongoing technology investment that supports increasing flexibility, collaboration, and a more on-demand approach to shared working spaces.
Across the entire global business sphere, we have seen companies having to adapt quickly and efficiently to build resilient and critical workplace capabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift of automation and changing workplace roles. In response to this, leaders and companies alike should pursue a heavy focus on reskilling to shift and change behaviour to a more digitally agile mindset.