5 Forces That Are Shaping the Workforce of Tomorrow

The transformation of the workforce over the past decade has created a significant shift in the way companies attract and retain talent. Businesses using traditional methods are suffering from high attrition rates and low employee satisfaction.

As we enter into a new era of digital transformation, companies need to implement a new talent strategy as a cornerstone of their organizational structure. This revolutionary approach to talent management responds to five distinct forces shaping the modern economy. It also enables businesses to develop an agile workforce capable of adapting quickly to the ever-changing digital landscape. 

In this article, we'll explore each of these forces and how they drive the need for a new talent strategy.

Workforce diversity leads the way for new training and development methods

Diversity continues to grow in America as the percentage of non-Hispanic whites is expected to decrease from 60.1% to 44.3% of the total population by the year 2060. Successful companies are embracing the future of the workforce by implementing talent strategies that promote diversity and inclusivity today.

According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, about 70% of diverse companies have better opportunities to capture new markets. Another study conducted by McKinsey and Company found companies with culturally diverse management had 36% higher profits. Companies with diverse employees can recognize opportunities that may not be obvious to a workforce of the same culture, religion, age, gender, or background status. Capitalizing on these opportunities and efficiently utilizing the different skills and experiences of their employees is key to staying ahead of the competition in a digital-first economy.

To start creating a more diverse workforce, companies must implement a talent strategy that promotes diversity throughout the employee management process - from training and development to onboarding and promotion. 

Here are three tactical steps employers can take to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in training and development programs:

  • Assess current programs through the lens of DEI 
  • Offer training in a variety of formats to accommodate diverse learning styles
  • Provide mentorship and sponsorship opportunities

Globalization creates the need for flexible working environments

The invention of the internet created pathways for people from all over the globe to connect and collaborate. As new technologies continue to advance, companies are now able to conduct business with virtually anyone in the world - regardless of physical boundaries. Talent that was once out of reach due to geographical location is now available remotely and projects once reserved for full-time employees can now be supplemented with freelancers and contractors.

To compete in an ever-increasing competitive global environment, companies must utilize flexible talent strategies that account for the realities of a global workforce. According to a McKinsey report, a flexible working arrangement is the third highest rating factor for employees who accepted a new job behind great pay and better career opportunities.

Here are three opportunities for employers to embrace globalization in their organization:

  • Provide remote work options and virtual training opportunities
  • Develop streamlined onboarding processes for international hires and contractors
  • Adapt talent strategy to different cultural norms and regulations

Digital transformation leads upskilling and reskilling training

The transformation of the workplace to include digital tools and resources has forced employees to upskill and adapt. The use of AI, robotics, and automation is rapidly infiltrating the workplace and these new technologies require employees to possess more skills than before. In addition, the workforce is much more mobile; with remote work becoming a more accepted way of doing business. Together, these factors are driving the need for companies to acknowledge digital transformation and the effect it has on the modern workforce.

To ensure success in this new digital era, companies must rethink their talent strategy to include training and development for skills like data analysis, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. While attracting employees who already possess these skills is ideal, some companies will be forced to look to their current workforce to bridge the digital skills gap. Finding methods to attract and retain digital employees will become a higher priority as technology progresses.

Although traditional methods focus on compensation, the World Economic Forum found career development to be just as important when retaining and attracting digital talent. Here are three ways to implement digital transformation into your workflow:

  • Provide a clear career path vision for remote employees
  • Develop training programs that focus on digital skill development
  • Host internal workshops and events focused on digital skills

Automation redefines existing job roles

When automation was first introduced into the job market, blue-collar positions like factory workers were the first to be affected. Now, automation is impacting white-collar jobs in industries like finance, accounting, and marketing. To adapt, companies must provide employees with training to increase their skill sets to remain competitive in a rapidly changing environment.

About 94% of workers claim to perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks in their current roles. All of these tasks can be potentially automated to reduce manual labor and free up employee time to focus on more value-adding duties. To prepare for automation, talent leaders must evaluate critical tasks and skills needed in the organization. They can then redesign job roles with new skill sets that will help employees transition into positions that require higher-level cognitive and creative abilities. Automation not only increases productivity among workers but it also helps attrition and job satisfaction. In fact, 65% of knowledge workers are less stressed at their jobs due to the automation of repetitive, menial tasks.

Companies looking to implement automation should use the following tips:

  • Edit job descriptions to include the type of tools and skills required
  • Include hands-on training with new automation tools
  • Use classroom settings to encourage collaboration
  • Create a knowledge base for employee reference

The skills gap requires companies to invest in innovative training methods

With key digital positions currently unfulfilled, talent managers and CTOs need to concentrate efforts on the forces shaping the workforce of tomorrow. This skills gap is attributed to a variety of factors, including the rapid pace at which technology is advancing, the educational system’s inability to keep up with technological advancements, and the retirement of experienced professionals in certain industries. The World Economic Forum predicts by the year 2025 that half of all the employees in the world will require reskilling and new training development.

Business leaders should look to the largest companies in the world to understand the investments needed to stay competitive in the marketplace. Walmart announced it will allocate $1 billion to provide employees with free access to higher education and skills training. Google has joined forces with nonprofits such as Jobs of the Future, Social Finance, Merit America, and Year Up to upskill more than 20,000 Americans.

Here are some practical methods to bridge the skills gap for any size business:

  • Develop talent strategies that focus on data-driven training and development for critical areas like data literacy
  • Focus on building strong partnerships with boot camps, coding academies, workforce development organizations, and universities

It's time for a new talent strategy

Driving the workforce of tomorrow are five forces that impact every industry and market: workforce diversity, globalization, skills gap, digital transformation, and automation. To attract and retain the best digital employees from around the world, companies must adopt a new talent strategy that directly confronts these five forces. 

Correlation One is reskilling the world for the jobs of tomorrow. We future-proof enterprise workforces and create a more diverse data ecosystem through global programs like our Data Science for All (DS4A) initiative, custom enterprise training, and data competitions. To learn more about how Correlation One can help prepare your workforce for the future of work through data literacy, reach out today.