The last two years have seen a transformational shift in the way businesses are conducted. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt by industries across the globe which fundamentally altered the way most organisations conducted their businesses. A massive step into the unknown moved most workforces remote overnight, creating a new reality and making technology instrumental for sustaining organisations.
The future is where remote/ hybrid working is mainstream, and the digital engagement of employees is a strategic priority. Companies are accelerating innovation to build smarter, safer, more resilient businesses that put the employee experience above all else. The hybrid model that combined remote work and in-office experiences unlocks greater flexibility and balance for employees. As we step into a new year, workflows will be the fuel that helps organisations accelerate employee experiences. As employees re-evaluate the very idea of what it means to work, they will greatly value companies that offer meaningful work, opportunities to make an impact and environments that foster well-being. Workflow will be the fuel that helps organisations to give employees what they most want: flexibility, autonomy, and choice about where they work, when they work, and how they work.
Employees will be the number one stakeholder for businesses. The pandemic has shifted employee-first thinking into overdrive which has led organisations to focus on their employees in a completely new way. Additionally, the companies that create an environment for greater employee commitment and engagement will enjoy significantly improved top-line growth rates.
The skills gap, already acute, will accelerate, and reskilling will become a priority. Technology is radically shaping the future and companies are facing a new challenge in a digital-first world as there aren’t enough people with the right set of digital skills. The gap continues to widen primarily because emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are increasingly amplifying the need for digital skills. As the digital skills gap accelerates, reskilling will become a priority for every organization. Looking ahead, core digital skills will be as important as reading and writing. It will become imperative for companies to address the training and re-skilling imperative and equipping people with tools to take on jobs that the digitally transforming economy demands.
HR professionals will be left behind if they do not use data and analytics to generate insights into organisational health. The days of traditional HR are long and truly gone. It is imperative to start adapting to the new reality even if the job titles or responsibilities are yet to change. We need to begin by enhancing our skills in critical areas that analysts suggest are key to future success in the profession and likely to be widely practised. They include business strategy, analytics, and, of course, people.
Organisations will adopt a holistic approach to employee health and wellbeing. Work has shifted from a place you go, to what you do. This raises the question of how we can ensure the well-being of all employees. Today, it has become integral for every company to create its own digital HQ which connects its employees, customers, and partners, allowing them to thrive in a work-from-anywhere world. Organisations will need to adopt a holistic approach to employee health and wellbeing. They will also need to focus on programs for work-life balance and flexible work to help employees cope with multiple work and non-work demands. Digital learning pathways must include resilience training as well as other development programs. Benefits and rewards programs will need to accommodate the diverse needs of employees, including well-being initiatives that increasingly focus on mental health.
As the focus shifts from merely attempting to survive in a changing world to thriving in it, these talent trends are likely to have the most impact on the IT sector.