Wsg   Resilient Future Workforce (2)

How to build a resilient workforce for tomorrow.

What entails a future workforce? One that rests on resilience. 

Adapted from an article by MyCareersFuture.


According to Deloitte Global’s third annual survey which explored the influence of Industry 4.0, the application of digital technology, machine learning and real-time data at the workplace, 46% of C-suite executives revealed they lacked the knowledge required for a future workforce. Only one-fifth of executives found their organisations ready, while 10% reported making good progress bringing in the right talent to future-proof the company.

This points to the need for business leaders to invest in workforce planning strategies to keep our organisations relevant in the volatile economy. Understanding the needs of our workforce vis-a-vis expectations of the future enable us to build greater workforce resilience. 

What are some ways leaders can shape their workforce for tomorrow?


1. Leverage new technologies
The aforementioned Deloitte survey also sheds an unforgiving light on the anxieties executives have about the skills gap. These stem from the organisations' technological incompetence. By leveraging and implementing technologies across operations, businesses can look towards long-term growth rather than short-term gains. Acquiring fluency in a range of applicable technologies, such as cloud computing and robotic process automation, will be instrumental for this.

Moreover, operations-intensive industries like manufacturing, retail and finance have 1.3 times more automation potential. Manufacturers, for instance, can consider digital manufacturing tools like cloud computing and autonomous robots to streamline operations and create more bandwidth for employees to focus on other growth areas. Financial institutions can also explore opportunities in artificial intelligence and quantum computing to strengthen research, allowing them to provide more value-added services to customers.


2. Invest in your employees
Automation and digitalisation have shortened the shelf-life of skills and our increasingly technological world makes competition for talent more intense than ever before. Upgrading the skills of your employees and future-proofing them for tomorrow allow them to continue contributing meaningfully to the organisation, while ensuring your company develops the necessary skills for the future. 

A key aspect of workforce planning, therefore, entails converting experienced long-term employees into the organisations’ drivers of the future. By applying their intricate industry knowledge to new modes of delivery and new ways of working, your employees can lend greater expertise to the application of new technologies in their work domains. What can the organisation expect? Greater efficiency, retention of your employees along with the intellectual property they possess and sustainable long-term business growth.


3. Support mental wellness at work
A resilient workforce is also one that is mentally strong in fighting adversities. Workplace changes experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic is a perfect example. Being a leader in such times is about ensuring safety nets are in place and demonstrating empathy towards employees on the ground. Frustration is often a result of workplace inadequacies and lack of employee concerns.

For organisations to keep the workforce tight and strong during existing crises and beyond, leaders must care for them, not just financially but also mentally. This requires effective employee wellness and engagement activities, so that leaders can gain their trust and retain them within the organisation.


4. Be open to adapt
Being a leader also entails a level of adaptability. Understanding the changing demands of the economy and correspondingly that of employees, means leaders must transform to better address the issues at hand.

Top-down approaches, for instance, no longer sit well with companies whose employees prefer a people’s leader, while an interim modus operandi to set processes in place may require some level of authoritativeness. Building resilience within the workforce starts with us leaders making decisions with the future in mind.


5. Finally, rethink the way you recruit
Are you filling current vacancies with like-for-like candidates or proactively acquiring skills and capabilities that will take your organisation into the future?

Strategic employers hire talent with the right skills, attitudes and potential for tomorrow's jobs, and not just today's. This recruitment strategy shapes and effectively positions your workforce for the future. 


If you seek advice on your executive recruitment strategy or assistance to recruit the right talent into your business, Ethos BeathChapman can help. Feel free to contact us.