Recently, leadership and development scion John Boudreau wrote in Talent Management about a 2013 study that asked 30 HR leaders where they thought the field was going to look like in 2025.
Not surprisingly, many of their predictions had to do with what they believed would be the effects of advancing technology on the workforce. What skills would employees need in order to be successful in this future world?
Flexible and transient workforces
Technology moves fast now, and will probably move faster in 10 years. That requires a workforce that can quickly take on new skills, redistribute itself as technology moves the focus of the business, and be able to even change locations at a rapid rate.
These skills, and such willingness to be that flexible, simply is hard to find in today’s workforce. Training and development cannot retrain employees that fast and most employees do not have the language skills and cultural competency to move at a moment’s notice.
More lateral organizational strategies
The top-down corporate structure may not meet the need of the future workplace. Instead, employees should be grouped into “networks” based on shared projects. Leadership still exists, of course, but they operate as equals who need to pull their own weight in the network. This structure is inherently more social. International workers complicate that social structure without the right skills.
More transparent corporate cultures
The trend is already moving toward more transparent organizations, both to their employees and to their communities as a whole. That transparency will require outreach skills and employees who are skilled at putting their best face forward.
A 24/7 work environment
As communications improve, more organizations will be operating at all hours of the day in order to respond to constant business challenges and opportunities. This will require more organizations to maintain a global presence. Naturally, expatriation will increase, as will the need for language and cultural skills.
Although the workplace of 2025 will look very different due to technology, it is that same technology that can help organizations prepare their employees to contribute in the modern age.