Buckle up. Execs see a workforce roller coaster coming, and they’ll be looking to HR to help them stay on track.
In a recent survey, executives from various industries indicated that they see substantial change, new technology, shortages of skilled workers. and other issues as contributing to a tumultuous future. In fact, 73% of respondents predicted significant industry disruption in the next three years, up from just 26% in 2018. Nonetheless, they see opportunities amidst the challenges; and 4 out of 5 executives believe their companies can lead the way through the ups and downs.
Among the greatest challenges executives see are human capital risks that can slow the progress of transformation. The survey identified the top risks:
· Excessive time to fill open positions (52%)
· Low or declining employee engagement (43%)
· Inadequate diversity (40%)
· Thin leadership pipeline (38%)
· Ineffective hiring decisions (35%)
Just 37% of respondents rated their organization’s ability to mitigate these human capital risks as “very effective.” One reason for this is likely that change, such as the growing dependence on technology and –in healthcare—the movement away from fee-for-service to value-based medicine, is causing uncertainty, insecurity, and stress among workers; and they don’t feel that employers are providing the support and stability they crave.
More than half of executives surveyed said they anticipate that artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will replace 1 in 5 jobs in their organization. However, these technologies also are predicted to create 58 million new jobs by 2022, so companies must be able to reassign and retrain some employees, while developing new competencies and job descriptions and recruiting workers with appropriate skills.
Executives expressed optimism about an economic future buoyed by technological advances and innovation that increase productivity and work-life balance. However, they also voiced worries about growing competition, shifting opportunities offered by technology, talent migration, cybersecurity risks, and changing business regulations.
The survey identified four trends that HR and other executives should focus on this year:
· Aligning work to future value (redesign jobs and move people to where future value will be created).
· Building brand resonance (analyze and learn from data to create a brand that attracts the talent you want and need).
· Curating the work experience (make work simple, intuitive, and digitally enabled).
· Delivering talent-led change (redesign structures, workflows, and talent acquisition strategies that inspire a growth mindset).