Political unrest and uncertainty seem to have set the tone this year, and only a brave individual could begin to predict the outcome and business impact of accelerating socio-economic changes, caused by global technological advances, impactful trade renegotiations and political volatility.
Yet amidst all this uncertainty, there are some global developments expected to dominate the business landscape over the next twelve months, that are being overlooked in the face of political distraction. Businesses who react and respond to these developments now will begin to separate themselves from the trailing pack; companies that are slow to respond will find it increasingly difficult to catch up.
The only way to respond to these developments is to ensure that you have the best talent available to implement, integrate and improve your future business. Talmix guides you through the biggest trends to watch out for this year, to help ensure that your businesses can locate the talent needed to ensure that it can adapt to, and benefit from, these developments before it’s too late.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, the digital workplace evolution is well underway. Technology is not going away, either, so smart businesses will have to learn to adapt quickly to stay ahead of the curve. We expect to see a plethora of chatbots being deployed by companies to improve customer engagement and experience; voice activated technology will continue to revolutionise the way that businesses are able to interact with people, and vice versa. Continued developments in data science and AI will further accelerate a displacement of reactive and sluggish interactions and decision-making policies, to proactive, assured and immediate administrative practices. Prepare for these advancements to have an increased impact on non-digital industries (manufacturing, pharmaceutical, media and retail), bringing with it an intensifying debate concerning the advantages and disadvantages of sacrificing human judgment, creativity and personability for artificial efficiency.
AI will extend into most support functions, informing logistical decisions and HR administrative processes. It will be used to help automate and streamline the recruiting process too, enabling businesses to hire the right talent with the most efficiency. Businesses will continue to be impacted by advanced analytics, and must make the most of machine learning’s capacity to utilise data to uncover patterns and form optimised strategies. Insight-driven businesses will be the businesses that generate the highest revenues and customer satisfaction levels.
Alongside a need to adapt to technological advancements, most businesses who have not already, will need to simultaneously invest more heavily in cyber security this year. The past year has witnessed a number of high-profile data breaches and controversies, notably at Facebook and Aadhaar, culminating in major lawsuits and increased customer dissatisfaction. Businesses who want to ensure their growth and popularity continues, will have to invest in internal cybersecurity training or external experts to help anticipate and repress threats to their systems as their technological capacities progress. Businesses will need a strong change management strategy to fully leverage the benefits that come with these transformational changes.
- Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Responsibility has become so important now, that businesses now see their annual CR reports as integral to their business models and future successes.
Out of this has arisen a tributary expectation for companies to promulgate employee happiness and to exhibit a commitment to socio-environmental sustainability. The workplace itself has overseen major transformation too: 66% of big businesses now utilise flexible workers within their organisational structure. The shift toward a flexible working economy has further engendered increased expectations to cater for work-life balance improvements and a greater appreciation of mental health concerns in the workplace. Ultimately, socially negligent or irresponsible businesses will suffer. Vertical careers are no longer the norm, and businesses will need to prepare better tools and organisational structures with which to accommodate the modern-day worker’s desire to continuously re-skill and re-energize themselves. A focus on developing company culture, career experiences and worker wellbeing will become essential practices. Major companies, such as KPMG and Addleshaw Goddard, now employ huge teams of CSR professionals. Alongside this, businesses who play their part, however big or small, in placing sustainability concerns at the forefront of their agenda, will thrive this year. CSR initiatives are pivotal in refining or defining a company’s brand identity; if done well, they can serve to emphatically enhance the reputation and popularity of the company.
- The Competition for Talent Heats Up
The skills gap has widened it isn’t letting up in. In reacting to technological advances and increased CSR expectations, there will be a greater focus on establishing a fit-for the future workplace, which will require an upsurge in the sourcing of specialised external talent, alongside internal re-organisation and re-skilling, in order to cope with the pace of change. Businesses, and even cities, will be competing for top talent, so building the future pipeline of networked talent will become just as important as preparing for the present.
The pace of technological change will be difficult to manage for many businesses, but businesses will only remain relevant by keeping pace, and responding to the transformational opportunities that digital advancements offer. Now is the time to prepare your teams in order to capitalise on these opportunities. There is, however, a widening shortage of skilled talent available with the capacity to integrate and extract value from AI, digital development, and the customer experience, and this talent scarcity only intensifies competitive pressure on business leaders. Acquiring the right skill-sets, and the right talent at the right time will become they key to value creation in the future workplace; as technology continues to monopolise industries, the demand for specialist talent will continue to grow with it.