Workforce needs of the future

Stephanie M. Gastauer - Talent Development Leader - STOBER Drives

Have you ever imagined a world in which we were continuously connected? Where technology is easily accessible and mobile and present to all ages and ability levels?

The landscape of business continues to evolve at break neck speeds. Inasmuch as employers and employees find their sweet spot of comfort, those who are focused on sustainability are not afforded much time there before moving toward the next new idea, process, or product. Likely, many employees are so wrapped up in the daily run that they find little time for focus on the improve and grow component of balance and longevity.

According to the Association for Talent Development’s chair, Tara Deakin, also head of talent and organization effectiveness at TD Bank Group, the three most critical competencies of 2030 will be learning agility, career dexterity and resilience, and digital and data fluency. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality is transforming the learning landscape into something only witnessed in futuristic Hollywood movies. Nearly 100% of employee roles will require some form of technology by the year 2030. Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun addresses just that in his book “Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.” Aoun states that, “the existing model of higher education has yet to adapt to the seismic shifts […] in the global economy.” Likely, that is true for secondary education as well. School districts with coding, Career and Technical Education, and Project Lead the Way curriculum give students an advantage over their same aged peers in districts without those offerings.

Companies and a workforce who are resilient and adapt to the evolution of technology within the scope of daily operations will realize vitality and permanency. Companies and a workforce resistant to change will become brittle and temporary.

Employers who invest in developing people reap the benefit of a workforce that is more engaged, challenged, and valued. Focusing on employee strengths will help employers recognize, develop, and reskill talent to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the future workforce. There’s a measurable return on investment for companies who strategically work to bring out the best in their employees. Today’s needs and job titles may not be the same at the end of each month. Adaptability to market changes, cross training a fluid workforce, and technological changes will determine a company’s relevance within the global marketplace. Truly the investment in human capital is directly proportional to economic development and stability. Human capital is the last true differentiator as facilities, products, technology, and processes remain fairly competitive in a relatively flat business world.

Being able to identify and clearly articulate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the future workforce is critical in seeking high potential talent. Objectives plus strategy equals outcome. The measurement of performance should be directly congruent to the training and intended outcome. In business, that piece can often be subjective as we strive to provide a ‘culture’ or ‘behavior’ metric. Building an engaged, high performing workforce takes intention and strategy. Shared competencies between departments are more valued than a specific skill set performed in a silo.

Businesses who focus on the bottom line will decrease the loyalty and commitment of their workforce. Businesses who focus on developing their workforce will increase their bottom line.

Stephanie M. Gastauer

Talent Development Leader

STOBER Drives