Wouldn't it be nice to just put a coin in the machine and be told what the future was? No guesses, just a handwritten note that clearly pointed us all in the right direction. Well not even Zoltar was ever kind enough to spell it out completely. There was plenty of speculation as to what the messages meant and what we were to do with it.
That is pretty much the same when we look to the future of work and what it will look like and what we as Human Resources and Total Reward professionals need to be thinking about in order to be prepared. There have been some interesting studies and articles talking about the future workforce and I can't help thinking we should have already been recalibrating.
A recent PWC survey, The future of work: A journey to 2022 was particularly interesting to me. There were a few things in this particular report that really stood out to me. For instance, check out their timeline, particularly 2015 prediction versus their 2020 prediction. With older workers staying in the workforce longer, either out of need or desire, what will become of the younger generations in terms of job opportunities or opportunities for advancement? Keep in mind that millennials will be roughly 50% of the USA workforce in 2020 and 75% of the global workforce by 2030.
Another article from the guardian, speaks to how millennials will be changing jobs every 5 years (and probably a good number will be changing careers as well). In an article from New Talent Times, one prediction made regarding the workforce was that managing a remote workforce will be the new norm. How will this new workforce change the way total rewards are planned to engage and motivate?
As HR and TR professionals, are we ready for this new workforce? Will we be equipped to handle the changes occurring by providing the necessary programs and initiatives that will drive and engage this workforce? Another future prediction caught my eye in the PWC survey mentioned above. Check out 2018 on their timeline and notice who is heading up HR (futuristically speaking of course - or is it!)
In addition to that, here are three other predictions from the New Talent Times article to pay special attention to especially in terms of your own continuing education;
- Strategic thinking will become in-house HR's new core competence, and
- The pendulum will swing back to the specialist
- HR will increasingly utilize analytics and big data to augment its value to the firm
We've talked about the first one for quite some time. Getting a seat at the table is still a highly sought after goal. One thing is clear, administrative and transactional functions are not the only thing we as professionals better be focusing on as much as we better additionally be focusing on being more analytical, persuasive and strategic, working in conjunction with the C-suite to develop a human capital strategy that meets the need of the organization and fits into this ever evolving world we work in.
I mean who knew 10 - even 5 years ago that people would be wearing a phone on their wrist? Well, Maxwell Smart knew that years ago but then again, he was a special agent after all. But seriously, it does stand to reason that we either look to the future with our eyes wide open, or get out of the way because it's coming and its coming fast.