January 19, 2023
The workforce of the future is rapidly evolving, driven by the increasing importance of digital transformation initiatives. The World Economic Forum projected in its Future of Jobs Report 2020 that half of all employees worldwide would need reskilling by 2025. McKinsey identified that developing talent and skills throughout the organization is a fundamental action and one of the most important factors for success in a digital change effort. Businesses of all sizes and industries are recognizing the need to build capabilities that support these initiatives in order to remain competitive and meet the demands of the digital age.
Building capabilities for the workforce of the future is essential for several reasons. First, digital transformation initiatives are changing the way that businesses operate, and employees must be equipped with the skills and knowledge to adapt to these changes. This includes understanding new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation, as well as being able to work in more agile, cross-functional teams.
Second, the workforce of the future will require a different set of skills than those of the past. The rise of digital technologies is leading to a shift in the types of jobs that are in demand, and traditional roles are drastically changing or becoming obsolete. To stay relevant, employees must be able to adapt to these changes and develop new skills that are in line with the needs of the digital age.
Finally, building capabilities for the workforce of the future is essential for businesses to remain competitive. The rise of digital technologies is leading to increased competition and the need for businesses to be able to respond quickly and effectively to changes in the market. By building capabilities that support digital transformation initiatives, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in the digital age. In a recent article, the Brookings Institution called for additional investment in education and training programs to emphasize skills that complement the new technologies. These large-scale changes will require innovation in the content, delivery, and new models of public-private partnerships.
WHAT METHODOLOGIES CAN BE APPLIED TO BUILDING CAPABILITIES FOR THE WORKFORCE OF THE FUTURE?
One approach is to focus on developing a culture of learning and continuous improvement. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, including providing employees with opportunities for training and development, creating a culture of experimentation and innovation, and encouraging employees to take on new challenges and stretch themselves. McKinsey states that “To build an enduring organization—one with the right people possessing the right capabilities in the right roles at the right time—three talent management strategies are necessary: redeployment, reskilling, and upskilling.” In its blog post titled “Piecing together the talent puzzle: When to redeploy, upskill, or reskill.” This requires not only recruiting top talent with the necessary skills but also investing in the redeployment, upskilling, and reskilling of existing staff. By providing ongoing training and development opportunities, organizations can ensure that their workforce is equipped to take on new roles and responsibilities as the organization transforms. This is particularly important for those who may be displaced by automation or other technological changes. Organizations should invest in the development of their workforce to ensure they have the necessary skills to support the digital transformation journey. In addition to this, Talent retention becomes important as it ensures the continuity of a skilled workforce in the organization, and the knowledge, they possess becomes a major asset to the organization.
Another approach is to focus on building cross-functional teams that can work together effectively in support of digital transformation initiatives. This requires a shift away from traditional hierarchical structures and towards more agile, collaborative teams that are able to respond quickly and effectively to changes in the market. Some of the key steps that can be taken include:
- Defining the goals and objectives of the team: Before building a cross-functional team, it is important to clearly define the goals and objectives of the team. This will ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and that the team is aligned with the overall goals of the organization.
- Identifying the key stakeholders: The next step is to identify the key stakeholders who will be involved in the team. This includes identifying the individuals or groups who will be impacted by the team’s work and those who will be responsible for providing support and resources.
- Assessing the skills and knowledge of the team members: Once the key stakeholders have been identified, assess the skills and knowledge of the team members. This will help to identify any gaps in the team’s capabilities and determine what training and development may be needed to support the team’s goals and objectives.
- Creating a diverse team: To support the team’s goals and objectives, it is important to create a diverse team that brings together individuals with different perspectives, skills, and experiences. This will help to ensure that the team is able to tackle complex problems and generate new ideas.
- Establishing clear roles and responsibilities: To ensure that the team is able to work effectively together, it is important to establish clear roles and responsibilities for each team member. This will ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them and that there is no confusion about who is responsible for what.
- Fostering communication and collaboration: To support the team’s goals and objectives, it is important to foster communication and collaboration among team members. This can be achieved through regular team meetings, using collaboration tools and platforms, and encouraging open communication and the sharing of ideas.
- Providing ongoing training and development: To ensure that the team is able to adapt to the changing demands of the digital age, it is important to provide ongoing training and development. This can include training on new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and automation, as well as training on new methodologies, such as agile and Scrum.
- Regularly evaluate and adjust: Finally, it is important to regularly evaluate the team’s progress and make adjustments as necessary. This includes monitoring the team’s performance, identifying any issues or challenges, and taking steps to address them.
Finally, businesses can build capabilities for the workforce of the future and also support the upskilling and reskilling of their staff by investing in technologies and processes that support digital transformation initiatives, such as:
- Adopting cloud computing
- Implementing artificial intelligence
- Automating processes.
To further support the upskilling and reskilling of staff, businesses should also consider the following recommendations:
- Providing training and development opportunities
- Encouraging employees to take on new challenges and responsibilities
- Offering mentorship and coaching programs
- Fostering a culture of continuous learning
- Investing in learning management systems and other digital tools to support employee development.
By implementing these recommendations along with technology investments, businesses can effectively enhance the capabilities of their workforce and prepare them for the future.
In conclusion, building capabilities for the workforce of the future is essential for businesses to remain competitive in the digital age. The key to success is developing a culture of learning and continuous improvement, building cross-functional teams, and investing in new technologies and processes that support digital transformation initiatives. By doing so, businesses can equip their employees with the skills and knowledge they need to adapt to the changing demands of the digital age and remain competitive in the marketplace.
ROAM FEDERAL is a veteran-owned small business (CA certified small (micro)) headquartered in Carlsbad, CA providing consulting & advisory services worldwide. Our team delivers integrated strategy, digital and domain expertise, and applies real-world experience and insights gained from supporting clients and organizations across the Federal Government.