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Helping staff adapt to the changing workplace Employers must be flexible to ensure their personnel are adequately prepared for the working environment of the future.
ifferent working practices adopted during COVID-19 have become the new normal, with staff increasingly preferring the hybrid working model of some days in the office and others at home. But there are challenges as companies endeavour to ensure workers are future ready with relevant 21st century workplace skills. Learning expert Janet Benson recommends three key ways firms can help their staff prepare for the changing world of work. 1. Keep hybrid workers engaged Companies need to focus on skills and capabilities such as empathy, teamwork, resilience and creativity and identify where upskilling is required to address any gaps. “When looking at remote and hybrid working, it is about engaging employees, so they do not feel isolated,” she says. Employers should assess what staff want via surveys as not everybody wants to, or can, work from home. Employers should pay attention to “distance bias,” a growing issue in the hybrid workforce where those working from home are potentially overlooked in terms of opportunities and promotions. 2. Help employees achieve work-life balance Many people established a new work-life balance during the pandemic and workers want to maintain the flexibility that remote working provides, it’s no longer just about salary, says Benson, who is Learning Lead at The Learnovate Centre, a technology centre focused on the future of work and learning, which is funded by Enterprise Ireland and based in Trinity College Dublin. Other challenges include remote onboarding and development. Companies must address these key issues as they seek to recruit and retain a workforce adequately prepared for the future of work. 3. Support continuous learning remotely Online learning remains an important part of the process, but companies need to manage this carefully, adds Benson, who suggests a first step is to assess a learner’s needs and capabilities. There should also be interaction and flexibility in online training to retain interest and motivation. To find out more about Learnovate’s research on the future of work and learning, visit learnovatecentre.org/research Janet Benson Learning Lead & Senior Researcher, The Learnovate Centre, Trinity College Dublin WRITTEN BY Mark Nicholls
Paid for by Learnovate
Changing the way we think about the future of work At global, national and sectoral level, we are living through a tsunami of changes, significantly impacting our lives and our workplaces.
or employees and employers, influences such as digitalisation, COVID-19, global warming, war and inflation are already delivering changing priorities, different values and diverse ways of working. Building for the future means laying the right foundations and ensuring that current issues, such as skills shortages, resourcing, working practices, wellbeing etc are tackled in a participative, agile and people-centric way.
higher than for better rewards (65%) or career opportunities (62%). In response, employers need to put more attention on the purpose of the work and personalise how individuals can work, in the context of their life plan.
Skill shortages Right now, the majority (85%) of employers are experiencing skill shortages, according to our CIPD’s HR Practices in Ireland 2022 survey. This gap is across all types of jobs and has shown a stark jump since before the pandemic – with 50% of employers have problems recruiting for operations/ frontline roles in 2022, up from 20% in early 2020. The great re-evaluation While many employers are concerned about a “great resignation,” our research on employee turnover rates found the rates in 2022 are comparable to early 2020 and do not provide evidence of a great resignation. What is clear is there has been a significant re-evaluation by employees on the role of work in their life and what they expect from their work. Dissatisfaction with these factors is the biggest reason why an employee might leave (69%),
Mary Connaughton Director, CIPD Ireland
Developing skills Attracting, developing and retaining employees is the top priority for employers this year. More attention is going on providing development and wider, including international, experience. Two thirds of employers are reviewing their skill needs for the future, with a smaller number redesigning roles or automating activities. Investing in learning has become a central success factor for individuals to stay current. Finding best working pattern Remote and hybrid working is with us to stay, reflecting a fundamental shift in working methods and many employers now have this as key to attracting and retaining staff. Collaborative approaches are being used for teams to identify the best working pattern to balance the needs of customers, the business and employees. The success of resourcing and hybrid working strategies will depend on employers putting people first and getting more creative on ways to bring in flexibility to all employees, including those roles have traditionally been full-time on-site.
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