Many valuable lessons were learned in 2020 when the whole world was taken unaware by COVID 19 pandemic. Too many condoned inadequacies were exposed and these ultimately led to the collapse of many companies.
The pandemic also boosted the relevant cashflow and profitability of the very few prepared companies. The pandemic did not give any warning before striking so unprepared organizations can be excused for not being fully prepared to stomach what COVID19 threw at them.
Another pandemic is coming the way of businesses in the form of shortage of talent. This pending pandemic is being fueled by the current workforce trend that would not just be a thing of the now, but a thing of now and beyond.
These work force trends are gaining momentum because of the increasing appetite of the great resignation generation. Great resignation generation demand work life balance and hybrid work option no other generation.
Advancement in business technology management and artificial intelligence (AI) are not helping matters. Head hunters are increasingly leveraging on the power of AI to identify top notch talent and snatching them away from their current employers with mouthwatering offer.
What are the current workforce trends?
The major workforce trends as at 2022 (when this article on workforce trend is written) are:
- On site work force: these are work force of organizations that still go to the sites of their employers to work. This class of workers will not completely go away as some jobs requires physical presents – no matter how much the processes are automated. Example of such work force are; artisans, construction sites workers, security personnel, etc. The content of this article may not fully apply to these class of workforce.
- Remote work force: these are the class of workers who completely work from any part of the world. The nature of their work allows that you can work from anywhere as long as you have access to the right mix of technologies. Most tech jobs fall under this workforce trend. Business whose workforce fall within this category are most affected by the new normal reality of working. So, you better watch it if your organization falls in this space.
- Hybrid workforce: the third work force trend is the hybrid workforce. This is a blend of the above two workforce types.
How to prepare for the pending qualified talent shortage
- Appropriate investment in technology: you simply lose your most talented workforce to your competitors if you fail to give them a fairly reasonable state of the art technology to work with. Companies no longer need to break bank just to be technologically trendy, one of the main benefits of cloud computing are that it saves businesses money, time and other valuable resources. So, what are you waiting for? Start by gaining understanding of signs that you need to invest more on your technology.
- Adequate and appropriate employee training: this is a business success golden rule that must be followed by every employer. The benefits that accrues to your business when you train your staff well are scientific and available for all to see. These benefits include low attrition rate in your business.
- Moral persuasion of employee ego: there are times when all that is needed to keep those previous staff of yours is by connecting to their ego, massage the ego and the job is done. There are no hard and fast rule of doing this, you have to find out works best for the crop of staff you have as business owner or a manager.
- Use of part ownership scheme: one of the employee compensation schemes that is available to organizations is the options of allowing their staff members to become part owners of the entity. This has over time proven to be a good way of securing the loyalty of key staff.
- Redesign of core operations: the architecture and business model of some organizations simply does not and would not allow them to fully benefit from the changes that is taking the employer-employee relationship by surprise. For these types of organizations, it is usually best to embark on a proper business process reengineering that would embrace a lot of change management concepts. Another aspect that must be taken very seriously is the digital transformation as it relates to staff productivity and welfare.
- Being able to access global pool of qualified talent: positioning your corporation as a global employer is fast becoming one of the factors that employees look out for when deciding whether to join your organization or not. There are agencies that offer global talent sourcing that you can easily leverage on their services to tap into quality global talent pool.
- Strategic outsourcing of certain functions: some headaches are simply not worth the hassles. Business process outsourcing has been a veritable business tool used for decades by business leaders. The headache of hiring and rehiring will automatically be taken off your shoulders – although outsourcing comes at a cost but that is where cost benefits analysis and investment appraisal comes in handy.
- Incorporate a full wellness and health package into employees’ perks: its not always about the monetary package. A lot of employees have some real-world problems that they simply do not know where and how to get help with. A little package to help solve some soft problems would help. I have seen companies arrange for financial wellbeing package for their staff where financial independence planning experts were brought in to give free financial advice to staff on a regular basis. This singular act did not only help improve employee morale but also helped strengthen fraud prevention fights that businesses are constantly engaged in.
- Educate your staff and communicate things information to them: most times when staff members are not fully aware of what is going on in a company, they tend to act irrationally. This irrational behaviour sometimes include jumping the ship with the understanding that the ship is about sinking. A little education and open communication would help ameliorate things a bit. No employee likes being a nomad but circumstances do lead to people making decision to change jobs.
- Use of transparent and quick hiring process: the world that we now live in has extra ears, thereby making it very difficult for organizations to simply do things with the illusion that no one would know. It only takes someone who can use a computer and mouse to lookup information on the internet about the hiring policy of a business and make decision based off the gathered information.
Benefits of understanding the new workforce trend and taking appropriate actions
- Frees executive time
- Saves money
- Retains quality talents
Last word to employers of labour
The mistakes made by the parents of the current workforce has taught them valid lessons that no salary is worth anyone’s mental health and wellbeing. So, the earlier this sink into the medullar of employers the better. Work life balance should not be seen as a privilege, it should be seen as one of those fundamental human rights that should not be taken lightly.