Human Resources For a Better World

Dec 24, 2021


Empowering A Flexible Workforce Can Help in Preparation For Market Disruptions

The power dynamic between employers and skilled workers is shifting as new opportunities and challenges for human resource professionals emerge.

Changing Markets

The nature of work is changing. Changing demographics and lifestyle factors are contributing to shifts in employment patterns. Shifts from “traditional” to “remote” work are possible with new technologies. These changes bring tremendous strategic opportunity for innovation and productivity. Increasing use of technology, in particular the rise of cloud based collaboration tools, are creating new opportunities and challenges for HR teams.

Flexibility in Work

Changing delivery models will result in opportunities for companies to recruit new pools of talent and allow for a more adaptable workforce. The best model for finding skilled talent and retaining them is one that enables the employees to access the workplace while mobile and at the same time offering a work environments and culture that provide flexibility for workers in office.

Recognition of Work

Highly skilled workers will have greater leverage in settings expectations with employers and will request more freedom in determining how and when work is completed. As the market for talent becomes increasingly remote, and as firms transform, firms will have to effectively inspire remote employees to perform without seeing them in office. In addition, employees that must be onsite, knowing that others have greater flexibility, will need to be engaged, inspired and recognized in new ways. There are no quick fixes to these changes.

Generational Gaps

Changing expectations of from experienced workers will also impact how firms are able to develop early career employees and lower skilled workers. Less time in the office with skilled workers will make it more difficult to cross pollinate skills. As companies are investing in new technologies that connect and engage teams, new approaches to developing culture and productivity are of greater focus. Greater investment in the development of knowledge bases and training focused on knowledge transfer are required.

Cultural Shifts

Human resources professionals must ensure that the employees are fully aligned with firm culture, but also that each new hire has an ability and willingness to positively influence the future of organizational culture. The key attributes of great culture are in building teams with diverse backgrounds, talents and abilities. This is also key catalysts for social change.

Corporate Responsibility

Firms will need comprehensive reforms in workforce engagement plans and as more jobs are automated, in the development of workforce journeys that prepare employees for today’s work and employment in tomorrow’s digital economy. This requires greater levels of engagement and responsibility from high skilled remote workers. High skilled workers have a better pulse on how and when their coworkers will be displaced and where they might fit in future talent markets.

Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies including artificial intelligence/machine learning, big data, predictive analytics, and robotic process automation will improve organizational efficiency and reduce cost. In the search for value and increased profit, the near-term impact of emerging technology will be greater displacement of lower skilled workers. However, in the long-term, technological innovation will inspire new levels of human creativity and compassion that will drive creation of new employment opportunities.

Meaningful Work

Human resources teams will have more of ability to define work models that elevate the lifestyle and happiness of employees care for displaced workers and care for displaced workers. In the future, with more dispersed teams, it will be even more important to define HR plans that educate employees on the importance of caring for coworkers. Team building efforts that focus on improving communication and knowledge sharing. This will lead employees to feel safe and comfortable voicing their needs for emotional support. Building more flexible and caring teams will create for greater levels of adaptability, sustainability, and ultimately a better world.

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David McInnis

President & Founding Partner

David has two decades of global recruitment experience and is Founding Partner of Willard Powell. Prior to founding Willard Powell, David worked with Leathwaite International, a global executive search firm. Before his employment with Leathwaite, David worked for Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo Securities) supporting the firm’s Investment Banking & Capital Markets Technology group. David is a graduate of Lasell College in Newton, MA, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Management Information Systems. David also serves as a Trustee on Lasell’s Board.