Success in Disruption. The Future of Work.

we are open for business in COVID

Recession and global disruption were not at the top of any HR Management list heading into 2020, yet here we are – with HRDs and teams stepping up to the enormous evolving challenge. It goes to show just how agile, resourceful and innovative people can be given the chance.  

we are open for business in COVID

There’s no dressing up the very real challenges business face but the opportunities to tap into are also as plain as day. 

I recently sat in on a Gartner webinar discussing business impacts from Coronavirus, cost optimisation, and the top priorities for Human Resources. As you can imagine, the financial, fiscal and economic outlook was sobering but the suggested response to it was filled with opportunity and achievable. 

Out of the Nine Trends for HR Leaders That Will Impact the Future of Work After the Coronavirus Pandemic, there are three opportunities I see returning the greatest success that is all based around the employee experience.

  1. Separation of Critical Skills and Critical Roles 
  2. Increase in Remote work and Contingent Worker Expansion
  3. Shift from designing for efficiency to designing for resilience

1) Separation of Critical Skills and Critical Roles 

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“Separating critical skills from critical roles shifts the focus to coaching employees to develop skills that potentially open multiple avenues for them, rather than focusing on preparing for a specific next role,” said Emily Rose McRae, director in the Gartner HR practice. 

Why do I see this returning the great success? Successfully developing outside the normal scope makes way for creativity, innovation and growth mindsets. Developing such a culture where you are exploring people’s potential to benefit everyone in the organisation, just like working on values and team alignment. 

2) Increase in remote work and Contingent Worker Expansion

This is, of course, is something many employers are already looking at as a more permanent business model – not only for the obvious cost-saving measures but because it does work! 

Why do I see this returning the great success? Here is how your organisation can expand on a budget, how you can invite highly skilled professionals into your team without investment in desk space. It broadens the talent scope to include people you may not have considered before such as those in rural areas, people who need shorter or flexible hours, or workers with a disability. 

We now all know how efficient we can be as individuals using technology to work and meet. With the right application, organisations can also work more effectively as networks and in teams.

The key to success here will be in creating a culture of inclusion (which Gartner listed Humanization (Or Dehumanization) Of Workers) and having strong team alignment measures in place. 

Importantly, as this McKinsey article points out, we must not: ‘overlook the risks faced by self-employed professionals, informal workers, and small businesses. These groups are often not receiving sufficient support. But their role in the economy is vital, and they may be noticed only later when it is too late’. 

Creating a culture of inclusivity for company alignment however, doesn’t only mean great team meetings, it means looking after your people with Social Safety Nets, another identified work trend by Gartner.

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3) Shift from designing for efficiency to designing for resilience 

This point is possibly the most exciting and like an HR manager in a pandemic will move the company forward faster. 

For too long we have been almost blind-sighted by a focus on efficiency that some of us worked ourselves efficiently into a corner. But as we’ve seen in the past few months, it’s the ones who adapted and adopted early, learned on the run and moved with the times that have kept their heads above water. 

The most important thing to know here is:

Your people are your greatest asset. Develop them and you will have the innovative, agile workforce needed for sustainable success.

And the key is in adopting a growth mindset to be open to:

  • Providing more varied, adaptive and flexible careers for employees. (source: Gartner)
  • Smarter ways of delivering work (gig economy, contingent workforce, remote workplaces).
  • Exploring and adopting technology for greater team alignment (meetings, coaching, professional development).
  • Discovering and developing the leadership hiding in your teams.
  • Listening and drawing out the needs and ideas of your employees.
  • Developing your greatest asset – your people. 

Final word

2020 has made us rethink everything. We’ve been forced to reflect, evaluate and get innovative to survive and we’ve had to connect with what really matters. This not such a bad thing.

Please reach out to me if you or your people need coaching to adapt, grow and align to the new normal of work. We have great success with our flexible, 1:1 virtual coaching platform.

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The war for talent

Personalised development

The traditional career path of university graduates who go to work for large organisations is on the wane, with increasing numbers of them going to work for themselves, either in a freelance capacity or in a startup enterprise.

As many as 50% of employees will be working in a freelance role in 10 years.

This cohort is nearly twice as likely to reskill, because they realise more than most, that education is a lifelong process. Their willingness to upskill and remain in touch with technological advances will mean that their services will be in high demand.

With digital developments changing the way we do work so rapidly, most organisations won’t have the necessary talent already on the payroll, and so will need to recruit skilled workers from the outside. It is likely to come from freelancers or contractors, which statistics show are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce.

The rise of the contingent workforce, along with the skills gap that new technology will create, a war for talent.

Organisations will compete for a workforce that is skilled and relevant, as they jostle to stay relevant in an ever-changing digital landscape.

In turn, this offers two possibilities for organisations:

  1. pay top dollar for permanent, freelancers and contractors knowing the costs to recruit are high
  2. capitalise on the need for continuous learning, by becoming learning institutions within themselves, and thereby attract and retain talent.

Opportunities for organisations

According to a study by Deloitte on the digital readiness of companies, the second most important characteristic of a future-ready organisation — after flexibility and adaptability — is learning ability and a skilled workforce. 

Not only do companies need to identify employees with the right education, new talents and necessary transferrable skills, but they need to reinvent themselves as learning institutions if they are to attract and retain employees.

Organisations will be ideally positioned to develop ‘professional development hubs’ of learning to keep their workforce up-to-date and competitive. Family commitments, work pressure and other factors are often barriers to workers committing to further skills development and training. However, if organisations provided relevant training for the emergent leader, they could reduce the amount of time and money spent on hiring, and invest it into growing their people instead.

Building a culture of lifetime learning promotes a motivated, engaged and loyal workforce. Investing in people and their continued development not only ensures companies can compete successfully in the new world of work, but it sets the organisation up to be an employer of choice. This makes it easier to recruit new talent and retain the talent that already exists.

Check out how we at Colarity are able to provide the most affordable, accessible emerging leader and professional development coaching

The new order in professional development

Colarity - sustainable professional development

Yes, there needs to be a certain level of reskilling and retraining, but workers and organisations must look to the future and ensure that the skills they are investing in, will carry them forward into the new order of work.

Companies not only need to identify employees with the right education, new talents and necessary transferrable skills, but they need to reinvent themselves as learning institutions if they are to attract and retain employees.

Having learning platforms in place for workers is undoubtedly a good start, but unless this is coupled with experiential activities that are either self-organised or supported through coaching, there can be a great deal of investment with a limited return. Offering professional development opportunities to meet stakeholder expectations, or as part of a ‘tick-box’ exercise will fail to deliver the desired results.

No alt text provided for this image

In many cases, it may be necessary for workers to undertake a range of professional development activities to successfully retrain and upskill. Learning new skills through a course or further education, coaching, and mentoring are all excellent ways to ensure workers and organisations are future-ready.

Traditionally, coaching and mentoring is typically reserved for senior managers and company directors. However, companies now understand the need to invest in their people and are increasingly making them available to assist the emerging leaders within their organisations.

But it’s not the sole responsibility of organisations to train and reskill their workers. Individuals must take greater responsibility for their personal and professional development. Using the services of a professional career coach or mentor is becoming increasingly necessary for those who need to investigate a career change, or to maximise their potential with their existing employer.

How coaching helps organisations to succeed

Organisations will need top talent to succeed. The key to retaining staff or even long-term contractors is by building a culture of excellence by investing in people.

Research by Ceridian, a global human capital management technology company, shows that 91 per cent of top-performing workers believe it’s essential to work for an employer that provides development opportunities.

One way to develop talent is through coaching to improve performance by enhancing current skills or acquiring new skills by helping them to see things differently.

People with busy lifestyles can now connect with coaches through online platforms, that offer webinars, online training and digital coaching delivery methods.

Another valuable vehicle for learning is mentorship, with research showing that high-potential employees, or emerging leaders, who participate in job-focused mentorships can increase their potential by up to 32%. It also provides new opportunities for learning, which helps employees remain engaged and improves corporate performance.

Lifelong learning is a non-negotiable when it comes to surviving and thriving in the current and future work environment – and it’s up to organisations and individuals to take the lead and actively seek out opportunities for continuing education if they want to keep up with the pace. 

colarity-with-tagline

Here’s how we help managers, teams and organisations with affordable coaching right to your desktop.

The opportunities available in changing industries

Colarity - war for talent

New technology, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are already making their mark on the economy, causing significant upheaval in the job market.

While some industries will be hit hard in terms of redundancies and retrenchment, it’s not all bad news for job seekers or for organisations wanting to retain good talent with some coaching and training.

Work has always changed

If you look back over history, work has always changed. Once upon a time, people worked as chimney sweeps, lamp-lighters and rat catchers. With the invention of the telephone, switchboard operators were an integral part of the communication network before technology took over. At one point, humans manually performed the complex mathematics in order to put astronauts into orbit. The thought of performing those jobs today seems laughable, as advances in technology rendered them obsolete long ago.

The future holds many jobs that don’t exist today and you, your organisation and your talent can be prepared for them.

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According to SEEK, the top five Australian industries experiencing the most growth right now include:

  • Trades and Services
  • Science and Technology
  • Healthcare and Medical
  • Engineering
  • Mining, Resources and Energy

So what types of new jobs could we expect to see within these booming industries? Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, wrote a white paper proposing 21 jobs that will emerge over the next 10 years.

These predictions are based on the current major macroeconomic, political, demographic, societal, cultural, business and technology trends. Furthermore, the authors of the report believe that these roles will become cornerstones of the new future of work, rather than some far-fetched fantasy of science fiction.

Here are five of these jobs, that could very well exist here in Australia, based on the industries that are experiencing a boom right now.

Industry #1 — Trades and Services

New Job: Virtual Store Sherpa

It’s expected that online shopping will continue to evolve to include a greater number of virtual stores, complete with personalised ‘Sherpas’ available to meet every customer need.

Customers will no longer to need to visit ‘real’ stores even for their hardware, gardening and home design needs. Instead, customers will be matched up to a personalised Sherpa, who has the right skills to be able to advise on their needs. Via online platforms augmented reality glasses and video links, it’s anticipated that Sherpas with skills such as carpentry, plumbing, gardening, or home design will be able to interact with customers and provide their expert advice for every home project.

Hard skills required:

  • Apprenticeship with, or background as, a registered licensed contractor.
  • Demonstrated track record as a journeyman/ journeywoman, contractor, painter, carpenter, landscape designer, plumber or tool foreman.
  • Experience in retail sales and working with customers.

Soft skills required:

  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Exceptional organisational skills.
  • High attention to detail.
  • Ability to multitask.

Industry #2 — Science and Technology

New Job: Genomic Portfolio Director

With the explosion of biotechnology research and advances in DNA analysis and gene-editing technology, it’s expected that new drugs will be developed at unprecedented rates.

There will be opportunities for those with business acumen and scientific qualifications to create strategies to meet customer’s ongoing health-related needs, in a way that is profitable for biotech companies.

This role will also involve working closely with health organisations, major insurers, large health systems and hospitals.

Hard skills required:

  • An undergraduate degree with a specific focus in genomics; a master’s degree in business and/or molecular biology or equivalent experience is preferred.
  • Research, sales/marketing or closely related experience.
  • Laboratory experience in a research or quality control setting

Soft skills required:

  • Leadership experience.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with many stakeholders.
  • Strong negotiating skills.
  • Exceptional analytical skills and the ability to interpret information.

Industry #3 — Healthcare and Medical

New Job: Personal Memory Curator

With an ageing population comes the increased likelihood of simple memory loss. Enter the Personal Memory Curator who will be required to provide a ‘live well’ solution for the elderly, by creating and delivering seamless virtual environments for them to inhabit. In this role, the curator will consult with patients to generate specifications for virtual reality experiences that bring a particular time, place or event to life.

Hard skills required:

  • A solid grounding in virtual reality simulation techniques.
  • Solid psychology qualification to uncover experience cues.
  • Narrative and storytelling capability.

Soft skills required:

  • A high degree of emotional intelligence (supportive and encouraging to the patient).
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Genuine concern for the welfare of others.
  • Strong creative skills.
  • Ability to work in a team.
  • Thirst for innovation.
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Industry #4 — Engineering

New Job: Cyber City Analyst

Those with engineering or IT qualifications may be able to find work as a Cyber City Analyst. It’s expected that nearly all municipal functions, including emergency services, power provisioning and waste collection, will use sensor data to ensure fast and effective delivery of key city services.

In this role of the future, analysts will ensure the steady flow of data around cities, including biodata, citizen data, and asset data. They’ll ensure technical and transmission equipment functions and will carry out any necessary repairs when automated data flows are broken, faulty or hacked.

This role will also involve diagnosing and fixing key city support processes.

Hard skills required:

  • Digital engineering qualifications in Agile, DevOps and continuous integration.
  • Understanding of key IT skills.
  • Circuitry skills (solder electronics, print silicon, etc.).
  • Ability to read analytics and visualization platforms.
  • Experience with 3-D printing.

Soft skills required:

  • Understanding of design thinking.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Ability to work in a team.

Industry #5 — Mining, Resources and Energy

New Job: Ethical Sourcing Officer 

With an increased focus on environmentalism and ethics, more companies are considering what’s ethical rather than just profitable. As a result, those with experience in energy management could find themselves working as an Ethical Sourcing Officer.

This role would involve working on ethical sourcing initiatives which are in line with the standards set by stakeholders. Ethical spends in energy, waste and community sponsorship will all be important.

The person in this role will be responsible for checking the ethical integrity of every contract and supply chain and will lead negotiations around contractual terms and conditions.

Hard skills required:

  • Proven ability to define ethical behaviour within the context of corporate objectives.
  • Educational background or experience in business, law, governance or environmental management.

Soft skills required:

  • Very strong negotiation skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work well on a team.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Ability to adapt to different client needs and develop and maintain successful working relationships.

With our affordable coaching and training platform, you can help yourself, your talent and your organisation be future-ready. Find out about Colarity.

A snapshot of your future workplace

Colarity - attract and keep your best talent

Whether we like it or not, the job market is influenced by new technology and organisations need to respond to attract and retain the talent they need for success. 

In 2018, an average of 71% of total task hours across 12 industries covered in The Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum was performed by humans, compared to 29% by machines. By 2022 this average is expected to have shifted to 58% task hours performed by humans and 42% by machines.

In real terms, this means nearly half of companies expect to experience some reduction in their full-time workforce, by 2022. However, 38% of businesses expect to extend their workforce to new productivity-enhancing roles, while more than 25% expect automation to lead to the creation of employment. 

To cope with this rapidly changing landscape, between one-half and two-thirds of businesses expect to expand their workforce to include contractors, temporary staff, and freelancers who will perform specialised work.

They also intend to engage workers on a more flexible basis and to embrace off-site working arrangements. 

While this solution may fill skill-gaps, it raises other questions including how organisations can best manage a more fluid workforce of contractors and project teams, while simultaneously continuing to instil the values, culture and purpose to their workforce.

Jobs of the future

Two concurrent trends which are driving business growth are the continued rise of tech jobs and skills; and ‘human-centric’ jobs and skills — those that depend on intrinsic human qualities.

These trends mean that over the next five years, there will be an increasing demand for:

  • Data analysts and scientists
  • Software and applications developers
  • Ecommerce and social media experts
colarity-with-tagline

We can also expect to see new specialist roles, such as:

  • AI and machine learning specialists
  • Big data specialists
  • Process automation experts
  • Information security analysts
  • User experience and human-machine interaction designers
  • Robotics engineers
  • Blockchain specialists.

Roles leveraging those distinctive ‘human’ skills will include:

  • Customer services workers
  • Sales and marketing professionals
  • Training and development experts
  • Organisational development specialists
  • Innovation managers.

Jobs expected to become increasingly redundant over the 2018–2022 period are routine-based, middle-skilled white-collar roles which are susceptible to advances in new technologies and process automation. These include:

  • Data entry clerks
  • Accounting and payroll clerks
  • Secretaries
  • Auditors
  • Bank tellers
  • Cashiers.

From what I am seeing in trends, even in the organisations, I work with, you can add middle management to this list, particularly in large businesses who have worked under a structure of layers of management. 

By far, providing high-end personalised coaching seems to be the most effective response for organisations to attract, retain and keep talent at the top of their game for success.

Here is how we help.

Lifelong learning – your future in the workplace depends on it

lifelong learning theory

Once upon a time, the term ‘lifelong learning’ was a concept that encapsulated the ideal that you should never really stop learning no matter how old you were.

People were encouraged to learn all sorts of things in their free time, in the pursuit of becoming more ‘worldly’, or ‘well-rounded’ — dancing, another language or how to take great photographs.

The motives behind life-long learning or continuing education were predominantly personal enjoyment, but there was also the belief that learning a few new career skills could come in handy.

Today, the concept of life-long learning goes far beyond personal enjoyment and learning a few more skills you can apply to your job. Continuous education is necessary — for both businesses and individuals — if they are to stay relevant in the employment space.workplace

How the job landscape is changing

We all know that advances in technology are already changing the face of work as we know it. Automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology — just to name a few — are significantly impacting the workforce already, and will continue to do so well into the future.

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2020, at least 5 million jobs will be lost due to the digital revolution. But changes won’t stop there, with a recent report by McKinsey Global Institute showing that by 2030, automation could kill as many as 800 million jobs globally.

In Australia, research suggests that as many as a third of jobs will be automated by 2030.

New technologies open up new opportunities, but they also create a sense of uncertainty. Many are worried that ‘robots will take their jobs’.

While it’s true that jobs will be lost, there are a host of new job opportunities that currently don’t even exist. In order to cope with this fourth industrial revolution, and the changes it will bring to our world of work, we’ve been warned to ‘keep up or get left behind’.

This has prompted many organizations to look at their current staffing models and existing skills and put systems into place in order to fill predicted knowledge gaps.

A key strategy that many organizations and individuals will adopt is upskilling and retraining, in order to address the enormous skills gap that machine intelligence is creating.

While job training isn’t a new concept; we’ve never had to do it so often or on such a large scale.

Continuous learning — not ‘one-off’ training

In the past, learning new skills or retraining for a new career often meant undertaking further study — often at a ‘bricks and mortar’ institution.

It wasn’t uncommon for individuals to gain post-graduate qualifications or even a new undergraduate degree. Some also undertook short courses.

However, new technology is predicted to change so rapidly that any new knowledge gained is expected to be relevant for less than a year.

While this doesn’t make longer-term study redundant, new data from the United States shows that rapid technological change, combined with rising education costs, makes tertiary education a risky path.

Once upon a time, degrees were for life (most of the time), because work was static, with any gaps in knowledge being easily filled with a training course or two.

That’s not the case today. For example, it’s estimated that up to 65% of Generation Z’s (born mid-1990s to mid-2000s) jobs don’t even exist yet.

In order to stay relevant in the digital age, we need to shift our mindset from short-term, one-off learning, to continuous learning, throughout the course of our careers.

While education in using new technology will be necessary, these skills will become obsolete more rapidly as technology continues to advance, so workers will need to continually upskill and retrain, as new developments continue to roll out.

In addition, individuals will need to develop softer skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, people management collaboration, judgment and decision-making, adaptability and resilience — all of which will become increasingly more important and in demand as the digital age takes hold.

The war for talent

The traditional career path of university graduates who go to work for large organisations is on the wane, with increasing numbers of them going to work for themselves, either in a freelance capacity or in a startup enterprise.
It’s estimated that as many as 50% of employees will be working in a freelance capacity in 10 years’ time. This cohort is nearly twice as likely to reskill, because they realise more than most, that education is a lifelong learning process.

Their willingness to upskill and remain in touch with technological advances will mean that their services will be in high demand.

With digital developments changing the way we do work so rapidly, most organisations won’t have the necessary talent already on the payroll, and so will need to recruit skilled workers from the outside.

This is likely to come from freelancers or contractors, which statistics show are the fastest growing segment of the workforce.

The rise of the contingent workforce, along with the skills gap that new technology, will eventually lead to a war for talent, with organisations competing for a workforce that is skilled and relevant, as they jostle to stay relevant in an ever-changing digital landscape.

This in turn offers two possibilities for organisations:
1. pay top dollar for permanent, freelancers and contractors, who are not engaged with company
ideals, nor have loyalty to the company knowing the costs to recruit are high
2. capitalise on the need for continuous learning, by becoming learning institutions within
themselves, and thereby attract and retain talent.

Opportunities for organisations

According to a study by Deloitte on the digital readiness of companies, the second most important characteristic of a future-ready organisation — after flexibility and adaptability — is learning ability and a skilled workforce.

Not only do companies need to identify employees with the right education, new talents and necessary transferrable skills, but they need to reinvent themselves as learning institutions, if they are to attract and retain employees.

Organisations are perfectly positioned to develop ‘professional development hubs’ of learning in order to keep their workforce up-to-date and competitive.

Family commitments, work pressure and other factors are often barriers to workers committing to further skills development and training.

However, if organisations provided relevant training for the emergent leader, they could reduce the amount of time and money spent on hiring freelancers, and invest it into growing their people instead.

Building a culture of lifetime learning promotes a motivated, engaged and loyal workforce. Investing in people and their continued development not only ensures companies can compete successfully in the new world of work, but it sets the organisation up to be an employer of choice.

This in turn makes it easier to recruit new talent, and retain the talent that already exists.

Professional development for the future

Certainly, there needs to be a certain level of reskilling and retraining, but workers and organisations must look to the future and ensure that the skills they are investing in, will carry them forward into the new order of work.

Having learning platforms in place for workers is certainly a good start, but unless this is coupled with
experiential activities that are either self-organised or supported through coaching, there can be a great deal of investment with a limited return.

Offering professional development opportunities simply to meet stakeholder expectations, or as part of a ‘tick-box’ exercise will fail to deliver the desired results.

In many cases, it may be necessary for workers to undertake a range of professional development activities in order to successfully retrain and upskill.

Learning new skills through a course or further education, coaching, and mentoring are all excellent ways to ensure workers and organisations are equipped for the future.

Traditionally, coaching and mentoring were reserved for senior managers and company directors. However, companies now understand the need to invest in their people and are increasingly making them available to assist the emerging leaders within their organisations.

However, it’s not the sole responsibility of organisations to train and reskill their workers. Individuals must take greater responsibility for their personal and professional development.

Using the services of a professional career coach or mentor is becoming increasingly necessary for those who need to investigate a career change, or to maximise their potential with their existing employer.

How will coaching or mentoring help?

Organisations will need top talent to succeed. The key to retaining staff, or even long-term contractors is by building a culture of excellence by investing in people.

Research by Ceridian, a global human capital management technology company, shows that 91 per cent of top performing workers believe it’s important to work for an employer that provides development opportunities.

One way to develop talent is through coaching to improve performance by enhancing current skills, or or acquiring new skills by helping them to see things differently.

Days of face-to-face coaching are dwindling with the future of coaching based in technology. People with busy lifestyles Coaches can now connect with coaches through online platforms, and that offer webinars, online training and digital coaching delivery methods.

Another valuable vehicle for learning is mentorship, with research showing that high-potential employees, or emerging leaders, who participate in job-focused mentorships can increase their potential by up to 32%.

It also provides new opportunities for learning, which helps employees remain engaged, and increases corporate performance.

It’s clear that lifelong learning is a non-negotiable when it comes to surviving and thriving in the digital
revolution. However, it’s up to organisations and individuals to both take the lead and actively seek out
opportunities for continuing education if they want to keep up with the pace

What will it take Australia? Future of Jobs

Future of Jobs

The Future of Jobs Report 2018 presents information and data compiled and/or collected by the World Economic Forum. Data presented in the report are not foregone conclusions, but trends emerging from the collective actions and investment decisions taken or envisaged by companies today. We add some of our views throughout the paper.

This data is based on the results of a survey which focused on gathering the views of business executives—principally Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) facing the workforce changes of today’s enterprises.

 Here we present a summary of highlights, with a focus on the Australian perspective and argue that the banks and telcos are retrenching over 50,000 people in the next 2-3  suggesting we are not doing enough to retain workers while they upskill or reskill so they can transition to the new roles created.

The full report from WEF can be accessed here

The new world of work offers numerous opportunities for individuals and businesses to flourish, the economy to prosper and society to progress.

However, in order to make the most of these opportunities, we will need to approach them differently to how we have approached opportunities in the past.

More jobs…just different jobs

 Much has been said about the industries set to lose out with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI). Yet, the Future of Jobs Report shows that the increased demand for new roles will offset the decreasing demand for others.

However, these gains will mean difficult transitions for millions of workers around the world. Governments, organizations, educational institutions and the community will need to collaborative to ensure that workers develop the skills required for these new jobs.

Sharon Mackie Goh, CEO and Chief Customer Officer at Your New Gig, says we do not fully understand the extent of job loss to new roles.

The changes required to participate in the workforce for some will be significant, and this is why we need to start having the conversation now so people can reflect, adjust and then, move forward.

While individuals must be proactive in their quest to upskill and re-skill, governments will need to assist by creating environments and systems that rapidly and creatively support these efforts. Businesses also need to recognise that investing in their people has many benefits.

Otherwise,skills shortages and gaps may significantly hamper the adoption of new technology by business.

A snapshot of the future

Whether we like it or not, our job market is already being influenced by new technology and for organisations responding to new ways of working.

In 2018, an average of 71% of total task hours across 12 industries covered in the report are performed by humans, compared to 29% by machines. By 2022 this average is expected to have shifted to 58% task hours performed by humans and 42% by machines.

In real terms, this means nearly half of companies expect to experience some reduction in their full-time workforce, by 2022. However, 38% of businesses expect to extend their workforce to new productivity-enhancing roles, while more than 25% expect automation to lead to the creation of new jobs.

In order to cope with this rapidly changing landscape, between one-half and two-thirds of businesses expect to expand their workforce to include contractors, temporary staff, and freelancers who will perform specialised work. They also intend to engage workers on a more flexible basis and to embrace off-site working arrangements.

While this solution may fill skill-gaps, it raises other questions including how organisations can best manage a more fluid workforce of contractors and project teams, while simultaneously continuing to instil the values, culture, and purpose to their workforce.

Jobs of the future

Two concurrent trends which are driving business growth are the continued rise of tech jobs and skills; and ‘human-centric’ jobs and skills — those that depend on intrinsic human qualities.

These trends mean that over the next five years, there will be an increasing demand for:

  • Data analysts and scientists
  • Software and applications developers
  • E-commerce and social media experts

We can also expect to see new specialist roles such as:

  • AI and machine learning specialists
  • Big data specialists
  • Process automation experts
  • Information security analysts
  • User experience and human-machine interaction designers
  • Robotics engineers
  • Blockchain specialists.

Roles leveraging those distinctive ‘human’ skills will include:

  • Customer services workers
  • Sales and marketing professionals
  • Training and development experts
  • Organisational development specialists
  • Innovation managers.

Jobs that are expected to become increasingly redundant over the 2018–2022 period are routine-based, middle-skilled white-collar roles which are susceptible to advances in new technologies and process automation. These include:

  • Data entry clerks
  • Accounting and payroll clerks
  • Secretaries
  • Auditors
  • Bank tellers

Mackie Goh suggests that you could add middle management to this list, particularly in large businesses who are experiencing structural changes.

Top 10 skills: 2018 vs 2022

With the rapidly changing world of work, it only follows that the demand for skillsets will also change. The table below illustrates the kinds of skills that will be in demand, and on the decline by 2022.

Mackie Goh says this data shows there is a focus on what is often termed‘soft skills’.

“We see them as a combination of attitude, communication, aptitude and social skills and prefer to call them EQ, or non-technical skills. Also, there will be a need for us to have varying levels of digital literacy,” she says.

According to the Foundation of Young Australians (FYA) New Work Order report, there are four levels of digital literacy:

  1. Digital muggle: no digital skills required
  2. Digital citizen: use technology to communicate, find information and transact
  3. Digital worker: configure and use digital systems
  4. Digital maker: build digital technology.

“You would think that the majority of people are or will need to work towards becoming a digital citizen or digital worker, while many of the roles needed for the future will require a high level of digital-building capability,” says Goh

Based on this data, it’s obvious that reskilling our workers will be necessary. The Future of Jobs Report indicates that globally, by 2022, at least 54% of all employees will require significant re- and upskilling.

Of these, around 35% will need training of up to six months, 9% will need six to 12 months of training, while 10% will require more than a years’ training.

The situation in Australia

According to the report, Australian businesses anticipate that nearly half of Australians (49%) won’t require any reskilling at all, with 55% of businesses confident about their strategies to deal with changing technology.

Mackie Goh says in stark contrast, however, banks and telcos have announced that they will be releasing thousands of employees over the next two-three years.

While all have programs in place to support these people by paying for outplacement services or courses, they are not considering reskilling with the intention that they remain with the company. However, they will look to hire in areas where there are skill-gaps.

“We have to acknowledge that companies cannot be expected to retain all their people however there is an argument to say, they can allow people time and allocate more learning dollars to their budgets so they can reskill rather than recruit, to solve their needs,” she says.

“Most of the allocation of a business’s learning budget today leans toward senior management. You only have to look at the number of Executive coaches and courses offering services today. If that is correct, then you would have to challenge the reports 49% will not require reskilling.”

In terms of responding to shifting skills needs, 87% of businesses were looking to automate the work, while 84% planned to hire new permanent staff with skills relevant to new technologies.

Almost three-quarters (74%) planned to retrain their employees, while 73% are going to hire new temporary staff with the relevant skills.

Half of the businesses surveyed anticipated using their internal departments to retrain their workers, while 29% expected to outsource this to private training providers.

Opportunities for upskilling

In order to maximise the gains and minimise the losses expected, governments, companies and community will need to find win-win solutions for their workers and their bottom lines.

The introduction of automation technology has the potential to make or break businesses, which is why it’s imperative that companies face this challenge head-on, in order to develop a motivated, agile workforce who are equipped with the right skills for the future job market.

Businesses will need to invest considerable time and money in reskilling their workforce. However, the Future of Jobs Report found that most companies intended to limit their skills training provision for the next five years, to employees already performing today’s in-demand jobs, instead of thinking more long-term and creatively.

In order to increase the availability of future skills, and address an impending skills scarcity, it will be necessary for organisations and individuals to take a more inclusive and proactive approach, and create a culture of lifelong learning, to enable a wider range of workers to be retrained.

It’s important to provide learning opportunities to all potentially displaced workers such as the less skilled or middle managers.

While some may resist in the short term, we need to change mindsets to encourage everyone to embrace new job types and new ways of working.

Australia Post with their Post People 1st initiative is a great example of reskilling their existing workforce. This initiative delivers a range of employment and development opportunities for their people.

When the company reformed their letters service, it made a commitment that there would be no forced redundancy of any employees directly impacted by the restructure.

Instead, Australia Post prioritises and supports their people through retraining or redeployment.

Ensuring a sufficient pool of appropriately skilled talent will also give companies a distinct competitive advantage. Companies who invest in their people will increase productivity and have a motivated workforce.

The future for Australia

The impact of AI is something we need to deal with now, rather than an abstract concept of the future.

While it presents opportunities, the Fourth Industrial Revolution also poses a number of challenges that must be addressed.

Firstly, policy-makers, regulators and educators must commit to helping those who are displaced repurpose their skills or retrain to acquire new skills. They will need to work together to improve education and training systems, in order to secure the skills and talent required for the new world of work.

Organisations need to think longer-term about the types of jobs that will be available within their company, the type of talent they need to fill these gaps, and how best to secure that talent.

While moving towards a ‘gig’ economy may be part of the solution, they will still face the challenge on how to manage a transient workforce and keep company values, culture and morale intact.

Individual workers must take personal responsibility for their own life long learning and career development.

While many individuals will need to be supported through periods of job transition and phases of retraining and upskilling by governments and employers, those who are proactive about increasing their skillsets will be in a prime position to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that impending technological developments will bring.

Mackie Goh says it’s time for all of Australia needs to start working together as there is so much to do.

“Business, government, educational institutions and community must work together, so we are ready for the challenges and opportunities that are already on our doorstep,” she says.

AI is unlikely to replace human workers. However, it’s still uncertain as to what types of jobs will be created, how permanent they will be, working as a freelancer or contractor and the changes that can brings and what kind of training they may require.

To prepare the workforce for these changes, Australia must understand the trends that are shaping the future of work, and commit to helping workers adapt to rapid economic shifts.

This will include changing education and training systems, labour market policies, and developing a new attitude towards the way businesses approach their core business, in particular around skills development and employment arrangements.

While this may not be easy for everyone involved, it is imperative to adopt this mindset, as we need to be prepared.