Skills sets that have an increasingly short lifespan, an ever more competitive job market, fierce competition for emerging talent, and mitigating the threats of automation: according to recent and extensive study by LinkedIn, these are the principal workplace trends. You, as an executive, must be attentive and devote time and effort to keep track of these changes and their potential effects on the future.
In reaching these conclusions, LinkedIn interviewed approximately 4,000 professionals worldwide. The company’s goal was to provide a holistic and diversified view of the contemporary corporate environment. The survey’s respondents were divided into four groups: executives, talent developers, people managers and employees.
Here we’ll take a look at the main workplace trends that LinkedIn discovered, as they were set out in the company’s report (in order of importance):
1. Mitigating the impact of automation
The interviewees largely agreed that the main priority in talent development is to develop soft skills. The term contrasts with the so-called hard skills – which are related to what you do. Soft skills are linked to how you do it. In other words, how you go about completing your tasks, accelerating your performance and employing your knowledge. Soft skills are also related to the ability to interact effectively and harmoniously with your peers.
As automation gains acceptance, maintaining a level of technical fluency is critical. However, the pace of transformation requires adaptable skill sets, an ability to communicate, and the capacity for leadership. As technological development accelerates, soft skills become critical factors in leveraging the growth of your employees and business.
2. Balancing today’s challenges with tomorrow’s opportunities
As the lifespan of individual skill sets diminishes, leaders worry that their current investments in improvement will be in vain. And, here we arrive at an impasse. While research has revealed the needed priorities for current requirements, any potential future gaps in skills will negatively affect them.
This fear weighs even more heavily on executives. The executives surveyed pointed to the need to “identify workplace trends to prevent future gaps” as their second priority.
This article in Forbes magazine corroborates the importance of this second factor. According to the text, the current gap in skills is already a major challenge in the United States, where there were 6.2 million unfilled job positions at the end of 2017. Many of them require soft skills that prospective employees have not yet extensively developed.
3. Digital growth transforms talent development
Among the four workplace trends, this change is now seen as inevitable and lasting. The area of talent development depends, as never before, on online solutions that are needed to respond to the demands of an increasingly multigenerational and diverse workplace.
Some conflicting data justify this point of view. While 58% of employees prefer pursuing learning opportunities at their own pace, another 49% see a priority in learning according to the needs (and time) of their company. Therefore, the people who are responsible for developing talent must understand that they need to encounter digital solutions that are capable of meeting such different demands. The result: According to LinkedIn’s study, nowadays approximately 90% of companies offer digital learning to their employees.
4. Team learning must be aligned
Today’s corporate environment is hectic, and as tasks pile up, it’s well-known that often little time is left over for training. However, that time needs to be found and used wisely. The solution is conducting training on platforms that the company’s employees already use, with subjects and materials that are aligned with job demands and career aspirations.
However, for executives, managers, and talent managers, “setting aside time for training employees” is one of the major challenges among workplace trends.
It is a curious state of affairs because 94% of the employees surveyed said they would spend more time at work if they could invest that time in career development. So, organizations need to interact with their employees in places where they are already present – that is, on the platforms where they are already working and investing their time.
Moreover, as we’ve said, the correct approach needs to take both the company’s demands and the employee’s careers into consideration.
Texts that will help prepare you to face today’s workplace trends
The trends we just covered provide the context for facing these workplace trends. Profound changes have been occurring with ever increasing speed. As an executive, you need to respond to those changes just as quickly, so that your team and your organization can maintain their competitiveness.
Here, we’d like to recommend a few blog posts that will help you to adapt to the altered corporate landscape:
- Leadership and Motivation: 7 trends for this decade
- Trends defining the composition of a high-performance team
- Global trends in talent management, according to Deloitte and McKinsey
- Generation Y and Millennial Leadership: How Upcoming Leaders Should Report to Organizations
A Tool for Talent Development
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