Are Business Leaders Ready For Workforce 2020?
In the knowledge economy, there is an increase in the demand for skilled workers. In addition, technologies such as social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies (SMAC) are forcing companies across all industries, and in all regions to adopt new business models. Likewise, the new generations of professionals entering the global workforce are expected to bring with them newer skills and capabilities so as to meet the growing needs. So are we really prepared for the workforce of the future?
A new report by Oxford Economics in collaboration with SAP confirms that the workforce strategy for 2020 is not being addressed by organizations globally. In fact, only one-third of the 2,700 executives in the survey believe that they’ve made significant progress toward meeting workforce goals – a number that’s predicted to only reach 48 percent in the next three years.
The study reveals that while most companies recognize the importance of managing an increasingly international, diverse and mobile workforce, an alarming number of them lacks the strategy, culture, and solutions to do so. While 53 percent of executives responded that workforce issues drive strategy at the board level, 25 percent, indicated workforce issues are often an afterthought in business planning.
Mike Ettling, President, HR Line of Business SAP said in a recent interview with Forbes that by revamping talent strategy and addressing leadership gaps such challenges can be met. “Your leadership needs to engage the workforce and link what people do day-to-day to the outcomes the business desires,” he said.
According to him, most companies are not cultivating leadership within their organizations. Executives cited lack of employee loyalty and longevity as the biggest barrier to meeting strategic workforce goals. What’s fueling this trend as nearly two-thirds of employees acknowledged is that they don’t believe succession plans and commitment to ensuring continuity in key roles is being addressed by leadership.
The study also reveals while it may be difficult to find and develop skilled employees, companies are also not investing enough time and money in developing the existing talent within the company. To help employees build required skills, enterprises should establish and nurture a culture of learning, suggests the study. Only 41 percent of employees believe their company offers them opportunities to expand their skill sets. With roughly half the executives interviewed agreeing that their company is capable of retaining, updating, and sharing institutional knowledge, still only 40 percent responded that their companies offer formal programs, such as job rotation and shadowing.
Ettling notes, in the near future, every business will need to address new ways of working that involves communicating, collaborating, and innovating. “And it’s not just millennials changing everything – it’s all of us. We see it in the technologies we use; how we communicate with each other; and what we expect as consumers, employees, and, most of all, human beings,” he sums up.
As Aadesh Goyal, Global Head of Human Resources, Tata Communications, and a participant in the study notes, “Some people become leaders by sheer determination, enthusiasm, passion, and they really get the rest of the people to learn. I think the majority of the learning really happens through work and not through formal programs. Once people start to collaborate and more people join in, it builds the culture by doing.”
To access the complete research, click here.
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