How can we build a workforce strategy for an unknown future?
Leaders need a new work operating system that better supports the high degree of organizational agility required to thrive amid increasingly rapid change and disruption. The emergence of new business models has created opportunities for many sectors to change how they operate — automating jobs and creating new opportunities for the entire talent ecosystem. As work roles are reconfigured to embrace AI and robotics, organizations must rethink the critical skills they need and build talent platforms that provide maximum agility.
Organizations seeking to transform work face a number of challenges:
- Reinventing work to ensure it is meaningful and sustainable — taking into account increasing digitization and AI
- Enabling faster decision-making, agility, innovation and growth to help deliver workforce strategy goals
- Navigating the new world of work by integrating employees, gig workers, machine learning and other emerging trends
To break out of the rigidity of existing organizational structures, leaders must reassess and craft new operating systems. These should support work transformations that better enable agility, fluidity and sustainability. This involves:
Starting with the work (current and future tasks), not with existing jobs
Combining people and automation
Considering the full array of work arrangements (such as full-time employment, gig and freelance working, alliances, joint projects and other alternatives)
Allowing talent to “flow to work” rather than being dedicated to fixed, permanent jobs
Prepare for the future of work
- Analyze the tasks and activities that underpin jobs and workflows.
- Identify tasks that are best suited for automation or redeployment to alternative talent.
- Determine which task delivery can be enhanced through automation or other means including gig work, internal talent marketplaces, outsourcing, shared services and more, and understand the impact on your organization.
- Create new jobs and workflows based on the new work options.
- Discover the skills you need for more efficient and sustainable operation.
Become skills focused and future ready
“With so many employers looking to adopt a skills-first approach, many of them are realizing that it's incredibly difficult to go beyond jobs to granular skills insights for decision-making purposes. To solve that, Mercer Work Design helps employers to deconstruct, analyze, and reconstruct jobs down to the fundamental skill level. Mercer's global expertise in workplace trends, skills and other areas makes this a tremendous offering for future-focused employers."
- Ben Eubanks, Chief Research Officer, Lighthouse Research & Advisory