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Preparing for the workforce of the future

Working in HR, it is important to be aware of the changing needs and demands of your employees in order to build a successful strategy around it, forming great working conditions and practices that benefit both the company and the staff. UBS Wealth Management commissioned a report, titled ‘The Future of the Workforce’ last month, revealing some interesting insights into what these changing trends and attitudes towards work could look like over the next 20 years. Here we take a look at the findings of the research to learn how to prepare for the workforce of the future…

Less loyalty, more freedom

Those entering the workplace over the next 20 years will feel less loyal towards a single employer, favouring freelance work over remaining with one company for long periods of time. If a business wants to retain staff, employers will need to adjust their incentives away from conventional rewards such as financial bonuses, offering flexible working or other kinds of benefits that can support the workforce’s lifestyle instead.

Differencing of opinions

As the average workforce will contain employees from a wide range of generations, the differing attitudes towards working could see many businesses experiencing a segmented corporate culture, rather than one that is unified. The report suggests that this divide could mainly occur between Generation X, who at this point will be running companies, and millennial and Generation Z employees, holding different opinions in how a business should be run. To combat this it is important to be aware of the viewpoints within your wider workforce, encouraging a management culture that is flexible and open to collaboration.

Artificial intelligence

20 years from now, many tasks that would be completed by middle skilled workers could be replaced by Artificial Intelligence. Lower skilled workers will be less at risk as the AI needed to complete their tasks proves to be too expensive to develop. Employers can prepare for this by retraining or hiring ‘middle skilled’ workers with the knowledge and techniques that can see them adapt to the more cognitive tasks that will need to be completed, as opposed to the repetitive, highly structured jobs that can now be done by AI.

A want for wellness

The workforce of the future will expect employers to place their wellness at the top of their priorities, offering schemes and programmes to support this. Data from the report found that businesses which boosted their staff’s levels of wellbeing from ‘low’ to ‘moderate’ saw a productivity rise of 13% amongst their workforce. Failing to recognise this need for wellness in the workplace, and the benefits that can be enjoyed from implementing appropriate strategies, could be detrimental to many companies in the future.