The Workforce of the Future Is Liquid
The nature of business has evolved, so the nature of staffing must evolve with it.
It’s 2018. The digital age is here, and with it comes an incomparable rate of change. Companies can’t plan ahead using five-year strategies anymore. Even planning a year in advance can be risky.
Any modern company at all susceptible to fluctuating business must adopt the concept of the agile workforce.
It only takes a quick glance at thriving young tech companies to understand the value of agile workforces. Though it can be challenging to take on such a transformation, the returns on investment are more than desirable. In fact, an agile workforce can provide a whole new competitive advantage.
Organizations that leverage the power of flexible, blended workforces can attain previously unparalleled levels of growth; this new structure supports smarter and faster strategies.
Agile workforces are exactly the transformation demanded by the onset of the digital age because they are built with change in mind and can be particularly useful when applied during periods of rapid advances. As businesses adopt modern, digitally oriented strategies, they need skilled, on-demand talent to implement those strategies. Though it has been traditionally difficult to locate, manage, and measure the effectiveness of independent workers, a growing variety of workforce staffing solutions has made it easier than ever for companies to utilize flexible talent.
The traditional workforce is static. Employees are separated according to business function, and each separate business function emphasizes a specific set of skills. Training only occurs when the company introduces a new business tool, and teams only
collaborate on certain projects. Each team is managed separately, with reporting working its way up the business hierarchy.
Tomorrow’s workforce is liquid. Employees are organized based on the projects for which their skills are needed. Training is a core part of everyday practice, and employees learn new skills through collaboration. Outside talent and in-house workforces are managed through the same end-to-end organizational management system.
The market leaders of tomorrow are fully digital, embrace change, and understand their human capital. They invest in the development of their workers and build diverse workforces because they are conscious of the fact that future work needs to be done differently. New companies cannot afford to fall back on old practices if they want to succeed, just as established companies must look to innovative startups to make smarter decisions.
To plan for and invest in their own futures, companies must rethink their workforces in response to the constant disruption and innovation of the digital age.
Glenn Laumeister is the CEO of AllWork, a talent-matching platform for brands and retailers.