Preparing your organisation for the future of work

Written by
Malcolm Sclanders
Heidrick & Struggles

09 Apr 2018

09 Apr 2018 • by Malcolm Sclanders

Future-proofing business success involves maximising the benefits of creative destruction and addressing five key challenges, says Malcolm Sclanders of Heidrick & Struggles.

Research from the Yale School of Management suggests that 75% of the current S&P 500 will be replaced within 10 years.

Many organisations are ill-equipped and unprepared to deal with – let alone maximise – the opportunities that ‘creative destruction’ affords. In future, companies will require different capabilities to win in the changing world economy.

Multiple forces are causing disruption. Companies are creating new operating models where the differentiator is human capital rather than assets.

Five generations will be working simultaneously, each with divergent expectations of work. Research from the University of Oxford suggests that up to 47% of US employees are in jobs that could disappear in the next decade or two, largely due to the effects of technology.

Rising mobility, continued globalisation, and changing behaviours will also cause ripple effects. And companies are increasingly recognising the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in building the strongest possible workforce.

Implications for talent

In response, the C-suite is turning to the chief human resources officer (CHRO) for direction. Yet many are struggling to craft effective talent strategies to remain competitive.

The path forward can seem opaque, but by confronting five challenges, you can build capabilities to support the workforce of the future and adopt new and different approaches to talent:

Keeping your best and brightest
Talent requirements are converging across sectors. While each industry has specialised needs, demand for employees with a variety of technology and analytics skills will become a currency that cuts across industries.

The imbalance in supply and demand will increase attrition and costs for many skilled workers such as mathematicians, data scientists, and actuaries.

Meeting millennials’ wants and needs
Research suggests millennials are more likely than other members of the workforce to job-hop, and the attributes they seek in an employer also differ.

Focus on factors beyond compensation and benefits, such as flexible working, varied career opportunities, and recognition of achievements.

Tuning into the gig economy
Companies that have relied on a permanent workforce will need to embrace the gig economy, as workers of all generations (particularly millennials) prefer the flexibility of freelance careers.

Embracing diversity
A significant body of research has shown the importance of a diverse workforce, in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity and other factors.

Yet BAME talent and women struggle to advance in many companies. So you will need to take radical actions to address imbalances.

Evolving the company culture continuously
Creating an environment that encourages collaboration and emphasises employee wellbeing will be critical to improving performance. Physical space will play a far stronger role in company culture, as people search for inspirational environments and lead ever more technologically connected lives.

In a recent UK survey, 48% of respondents indicated that workplace design has a notable impact on their decision to stay at a job.




Heidrick & Struggles