Organisations have been defined in many ways, the most effective one potentially being “a group of people”. In a continuously changing world and business environment the importance of people in organisations seems to be only growing. Facing numerous challenges, business leaders need to change the way they attract and nurture talent in their organisations in order to be able to remain successful.
Firstly, with global talent shortages across industries and functions, due to ageing populations and skills gaps, attracting talent and, more importantly the right talent, is a priority on every leader’s to-do list. Formulating a clear talent attraction strategy and building an attractive employer brand are indispensable items on today’s strategic agenda.
But just being able to attract talent isn’t going to cut it: the fourth industrial revolution leads to a need for talent with new and future skills that simply might not be available in the market. Enrolling staff in re-skilling and up-skilling programmes, preparing the organisation and its employees for the future is key.
Furthermore, the world’s working population is at a tipping point: with Baby Boomers leaving the workforce and Generation Z entering, work environments and leadership styles will have to be redefined. For example, opposed to Gen Y or the Millenial Generation, whose main values are freedom and flexibility, Gen Z is looking for security and stability. We don’t exactly know yet what impact Gen Z is going to have and what they are going to be looking for in their professional careers, but we can be sure that organisations are going to have to adapt.
Finally, although it might be too soon to tell, the global pandemic seems to have had a significant effect on the way organisations should employ and manage people. With people being mostly tied to their homes, boundaries between personal and professional lives blurred for many, resulting in leaders having to manage people’s life experiences rather than employee experiences. Topics such as remote working, flexible hours, mental wellbeing, and empathetic and inclusive leadership will all have to be addressed by organisations in the next few years.
The economic impact of the pandemic is starting to show, and with that the first changes in the labour market are surfacing. An important trend is the increased flexibility of labour; due to budget constraints, but also the need for change in organisations, many choose to employ people temporarily or fixed-term rather than permanently. Keeping the Millenials in mind this is not necessarily a negative development, but it again requires organisations to adapt because how does having a large(r) part of your workforce impact the company’s culture, or how are temporary workers effectively managed?
People are an organisation’s greatest asset. But aren’t they also its greatest challenge?
Marloes van den Berg
Group General Manager Gemini Personnel Ltd