The world of work is evolving at an unprecedented pace. From remote work to the integration of AI and automation into everyday tasks, HR professionals are at the forefront of a transformational era. As the driving force behind talent acquisition, development, and retention, HR must not only adapt to these changes but also shape the future of work in their organizations. To navigate this complex landscape successfully, it’s essential to stay informed, adapt to new technologies, and implement forward-thinking strategies.
Keep reading to learn what steps HR professionals are taking to make sure they are equipped for the future of work.
- Dan Tynan, Forbes, From Jobs To Skills: What The Future Of Work Will Look Like
In looking ahead, Tynan with Forbes asks, “The skills-based organization is coming. Is your company prepared?
“A skills-based organization is likely to look different than today’s typical corporation. Instead of a strict hierarchy of employees with fixed roles and responsibilities, a skill-based org will likely function more like a revolving talent pool, with teams assembled project-by-project based on the skills they bring. Companies in turn may pay for programs that allow employees to add skills and competencies needed to support the business.”
- Ace Global, Future of Work Trends 2023
While envisioning the future of work, Ace Global calls attention to these 10 workplace trends to keep an eye on:
- “Employers will ‘quiet hire’ talent”
- “Concerns around the use of AI”
- “Continuing problems with recruiting and retention“
- “Leadership involvement and investment”
- “Focus on flexibility not just for desk jobs but for front lines”
- “Managers can feel sandwiched between employee and leader expectations”
- “The recruitment of unconventional candidates will widen talent pools”
- “Path to sustained performance by healing pandemic trauma”
- “Gen Z skills gaps show a decline in social skills across the profession”
- “Strategic Transformation as the Focus”
As we near the end of 2023, many of these trends remain at the forefront of workforce challenges.
3. McKinsey, What is the Future of Work?
“Looking ahead at how work will shift, along with trends affecting the workforce and workplaces, can help you or your organization prepare for what’s next,” shares McKinsey.
“Balancing three symbiotic elements can provide a holistic understanding of the forces shaping the future of work:
- “The nature of work. Organizations should be able to answer two big questions clearly. First: How do we make money? Second: How does work get done? Linking the answers to these two questions to a dollar value can yield a clear set of organizational priorities and enablers for delivering the strategic vision.
- “The workforce of the future. People are an organization’s most valuable asset, and getting ready for the future will include understanding the workers you have (supply) as well as those you need (demand). Getting clear on both can expose skill pools where you are either long or short on talent—and allow you to take action before the talent gap becomes a competitive liability.
- “The workplace of the future. A combination of physical location and organizational norms and ways of working make up the workplace. And while in the past, companies brought people to work, say, in massive factories or industrial centers, technological advances in recent decades may be influencing a shift that takes work to the people, for instance, in more flexible long-term remote or hybrid models.”
4. Tyler Dutchover, 3 Major Findings – The Future of Jobs
Dutchover shares 3 key findings for the future of work and job success:
- % of tasks performed by machines
- Expected (2020): 47%
- Reality (2023): 34%
- % of tasks performed by machines
- 6 in 10 workers will require training before 2027. But only half of workers are seen to have access to adequate training opportunities today
- “Top Skills Needed
- Analytical thinking and creative thinking remain the most important skills for workers in 2023.”
5. Chandra Sanders, Heels N Hustle, Navigating Tomorrow’s Workforce Today
Skills-based hiring is essential for the future of work. Sanders explains the transition to skills-based hiring entails reimagining the workplace itself with these 4 focus areas:
- “Continuous Learning: Organizations must invest in continuous learning programs to help employees acquire and hone the skills needed for their roles. This not only enhances job performance but also keeps employees engaged and adaptable in a rapidly changing world.
- “Data-Driven Decision-Making: Leveraging data analytics can help organizations make informed decisions about skills gaps, training needs, and talent acquisition strategies. Data-driven insights are invaluable in this new era of hiring.
- “Skill Development Platforms: Companies can partner with skill development platforms and educational institutions to ensure their employees have access to relevant training and upskilling opportunities.
- “Performance-Based Culture: The shift to skills-based hiring naturally fosters a performance-based culture where employees are recognized and rewarded based on their contributions and growth in relevant skills.”
6. Cheryl Cran, TalentCulture, What Hybrid Worker Preferences Reveal About the Future of Work
On the future of work, Cran states, “No doubt, hybrid workplaces will continue to shift and require everyone to adapt. But we see other important trends emerging this year, as well. For instance, automation will have an increasingly important role in helping people produce better-quality work. Also, leaders will benefit from shifting their perspective from ‘me’ to ‘we.’”
Employee well-being and flexible work go hand in hand. Cran shares the following data points from research conducted by NextMapping:
“Our analysis uncovered a single overarching theme — worker wellbeing. People want work that is flexible enough to fit into their lifestyle. In fact, they’re willing to make professional adjustments to address this priority. And because the market for talent remains competitive, employers need to make workforce wellbeing a priority, as well.
“How does this translate into hybrid worker preferences? We see clear trends in how people want to work, where they want to work, and who they want to work for. There’s no doubt that hybrid work is here to stay! These data points make a compelling case:
- “66% of workers worldwide prefer to participate in a hybrid workplace.
- “26% of U.S. workers currently operate in some kind of hybrid mode.
- “40% of workers say they’re more productive working remotely. However, 52% prefer hybrid work over a fully remote model.”
7. Jade Taryn Graham, Sage HR Blog, The Future of Work for Human Resources
Graham touches on the way HR will evolve as the future of work unfolds, stating “As business owners in the ever-changing landscape of business and commerce, it’s essential to remain abreast of developments and in many instances ahead of the curve. As the past several years have taught those in business and beyond, the world can change overnight.
“Arguably the changes already in existence and coming down the line in technology and business will drive the changes needed in HR to support the very people within organizations that are likely to be impacted as change unfolds.
“With researchers uncovering the effects of AI on HR, findings suggest that whilst the relationship between technology and people at work is changing. That most people both welcome and embrace the changes impacting business owners, managers and HR leaders.”
8. Anagha Vallikat, peopleHum, All You Need To Know About the Future of Work
Looking ahead at the future of work, Vallikat shares that technology is not here to replace but to up-skill, stating “Artificial intelligence is reshaping the way businesses are functioning today. The past two decades have seen an unfaltering and inspiring evolution in information technology because of which we have seen significant changes in workplace functions, specifically HR. Companies are increasingly realizing that employee engagement is important for improving the overall performance of employees.
“The combination of AI and human intelligence will focus on optimizing human and machine work. In the end, every company wants to establish a process that is efficient and productive.
“Therefore, we can work towards automating the following HR processes and contribute towards adding more value to the company. Something that we call today emotional intelligence and empathy. AI will enable HR to make more time for both.”
In the coming years, successful employees will be ones who remain adaptable, agile, and forward-thinking. By leveraging these resources and knowledge, you can continue to lead your organization toward success in the evolving world of work. Remember to focus on strategies around:
- Remote work
- Employee wellbeing
You can do this confidently by:
- Staying ahead of the curve by being curious
- Asking questions and learning about new trends
- Planning for and pivoting with market shifts
- Being open to workplace flexibility
- Promoting upskilling and reskilling programs
- Learning and implementing new technologies