But the most significant challenge is not the technology itself. Rather, the greatest challenge is developing a knowledgeable, cognitively flexible, strategically adept and proficient workforce.
You always want people who can command artificial intelligence, analyze data, innovate and apply solutions on the fly and slide effortlessly into new roles as needed. They must have sharp skills with mobile apps and online self-taught courses.
It is vital that ideas flow from all corners of the company, either from full-time managers or a pool of gig workers who contribute as per the project requirements.
Technology can certainly enable that idea flow, but companies must embrace the evolution. The widespread proliferation of information technology changed the ways of connection, communication and collaboration of employees. This change increased over the last 30 years due to:
1. Aging workforce. Baby boomers take fundamental knowledge with them along with retirement. All this increases the need to capture their knowledge.
2. Overload of information. Even with technology advancement, employees cannot find what they need because of the growth of information at an alarming rate.
3. The need for speed. Employees need to work faster with the rapid pace of today’s work environment. As the use of the internet and mobile devices grows, the pace of change continues to increase.
These changes are exacerbated further by ongoing demands to enhance productivity and cost-cutting, making the market expectations harder to meet.
Responding to Change
How companies respond to these changes will determine their success. Companies need to support changes in working styles that enable employees to leverage social networks.
Companies also should unify online and offline communications by enabling their employees to access to tools and corporate information anytime and anywhere through their mobile device.
Further, companies should focus on the employee experience by providing them the user experience they have outside the firewall. In other words, they should look for way to energize their workforce. Here are some ways to accomplish this:
Design a compelling experience. Consider what it will feel like to be caught up in workforce transformation before imposing it on people. A good employee experience will give people the cognitive support required to conduct the jobs with excellence and confidence.
The employee experience involves many factors, like the user interface of desktop and phone apps, the physical workspace as well as the availability of spaces for working collaboratively and concentrating alone and the design and range of learning and development opportunities.
Focus on few concrete business outcomes. You should know the desired results before articulating how people need to change. Are you using digital technologies to improve the basic business model? Are you seeking market growth through innovation? Do you want more profitability and productivity?
If you focus on all the goals, you will achieve none. Therefore, pick and prioritize one or two.
Start with the highest-impact roles. Although a workforce transformation will reach across the entire organization ultimately, the roles and skills of some people are critical to achieving the highest-priority business outcomes right away.
You need to find and reassign people in your organization who have some essential skills and upskill for the rest.
Tech-enhanced staffing is required to put the best forward in the rapidly changing digital landscape. You should include digital transformation to remain competitive in this staffing market.