Digital technology has impacted the entire gamut of businesses around the world.
Corporates are looking at digital innovations as enablers to transform their workforce, projects and entire organizational structure into a highly adaptable and change-ready enterprise, rather than as disruptors, alone. In such an environment, the backbone of any organization is its people who can adapt and assimilate according to the demanding needs of ever-changing markets. This type of workforce is referred to as ‘Liquid Workforce’.
Liquid Workforce is the eventual fate of work across organizations and industries. For smooth operation between people and technology, the workforce may need to be re-trained to sustain survival and ensure growth; and in an increasingly digital world, companies need to embrace technologies at the earliest. It is essential for any organisation to have a forward thinking approach and manage a competitive attitude in a market that requires steady advancement to remain fruitful.
Keeping in mind the end goal is to adopt a “people first” approach along with digital transformation, organisations should make a digital culture that engages individuals. Pioneers hoping to take over in the digital economy can’t seek for change through technological innovation alone. Technology is the driver of progress—however, individuals are the vehicle and along these lines, advanced change must start with individuals first.
Organizations should consider innovation as far as it will be utilized by them and their clients in order to accomplish more. A digital culture must utilize technology to empower people to constantly adapt, learn, create new solutions, drive change and disrupt the status quo.
Before delving further into how organizations are moving towards a liquid workforce, it’s critical to comprehend why organizations are changing their workforce practices. At present time, the core qualities of the market are changing. Digital technology has essentially changed each aspect of the business: strategies, processes, job functions, and business models. The workforce needs to adapt to meet evolving demands, as well as develop the skill sets to achieve their new goals.
The way organisations perform, and source talent is changing, and it will soon require all enterprises to quickly adjust to the rising patterns. This type of workforce expands adaptability for both employer and employee to adjust to the changing requirements of our advanced environment. These progressions will lead them to essentially re-examine the technique and approach towards workforce and the model in which they source specialists on a worldwide scale. This allows the organizations to rapidly adapt, learn and lead the coming changes enabled by highly flexible training and learning system.
Execution of Liquid Workforce:
Leading enterprises are reshaping themselves to rapidly adapt to change. To drive this change, they need to become agile at each level of their business operations: abilities (individuals), undertakings and associations. Therefore, global organizations are developing and investing in new tools and technology which helps them to implement Liquid Workforce in their workplace as change is very fast and dynamic across industries and regions.
With this growing trend, industries have started to indulge themselves in supporting cloud-based platforms to offer aptitudes, required for tech jobs. Industries such as Information Technology, Insurance, Financial and Banking services, and HR Consulting Services, Manufacturing and Retail, Research, and Pharmaceutical have consciously adopted this trend.
Enterprises are encountering digital advancements, business objectives are evolving from time to time, and organisations must evaluate themselves to compete in the market. Business leaders are realizing that liquid workforce can become their new competitive advantage
By embedding the assumption of steady change enterprise-wide, organisations will have the capacity to access critical skills sooner, innovate faster, and operate more effectively. This digitally powered workforce isn’t just changing what businesses do critically, it’s changing how they do it.
Elements of a liquid workforce
Business goals change regularly, and many organizations must reinvent themselves multiple times. To keep pace, technology helps fuel workplace innovation in three areas:
• Skills: Successful organizations make consistent learning a core competency. With the skills shortage and constant reinvention, employees need learning opportunities powered by technology. These include massive online open courses, virtual training and boot camps that allow employees to re-skill rapidly. Ultimately companies must build the skills needed for tomorrow.
• Projects: To solve the world’s most challenging problems, organizations need teams with top talent. Many times, these profound skills do not exist within the organization. Leading companies must obscure customary limits to expand their meaning of “workforce” — finding the right combination of internal employees, freelancers and technology for each new challenge. Leading companies also use collaboration tools and cloud-based workflows that empower anytime, anywhere working.
• Organization: In order to sustain a highly skilled workforce, digital businesses must have an equally adaptable organizational structure. Leaders need to be clear about expectations, transparent with feedback and ultimately trust their people to make decisions. Trust is the new currency of the digital age. Predictive analytics also empower more prominent decision makings about hiring, roles and advancement.
However, Liquid workforce also poses certain challenges faced by global organizations with respect to workforce and workplace. Baby boomers are declining year by year and companies are facing few challenges with respect to workforce and workplace. Companies worldwide have been facing differences in finding the right talent.
Also, two noteworthy perceptions have been made which are: the huge gap between demand and supply of labour in the staffing market globally (witnessed in multiple countries) across industries, and a constructive disruption of technology in the HR services industry. This type of workforce helps to overcome the constant changing needs of the market. However, we should know how Liquid Workforce is defined by organizations and industry experts.
Employers need to take a fresh look at their people strategies and workplace development. Liquid workers are shaping and being shaped by the world of work. They are redefining the employee-employer relationship. Freelancers, contract workers, vendors, full-time employees, and part-time employees are beginning to work together in agile ‘labour clouds’ that deliver serious results.
As the nature of work evolves, the risk also increases with respect to consistency in working laws. Laws haven’t kept pace along with the development and with steep penalties and the potential for back-pay settlements; the cost of resistance can be huge. However, the liquid workforce is not averse to risk and is casual about the way it works.
Last of note, is the need to build data security and ethics as the foundation of internal culture as digital insurers will encounter and create risks that traditional insurers never have. More than three out of four insurance executives reported that they are exposed to more risks than they are equipped to handle as a digital business. New insurance products and services must be ethical and secure-by-design. They must make it transparent to the customer how their data is being used. The insurers who are able to train their workforce to make security, privacy and ethics the foundation of any new development process will be the ones to succeed.
Liquid consumer expectations can only be met by a liquid workforce. Without investing in time and effort to prepare one’s workforce to become more prepared for the upcoming change, traditionalists may find themselves unable to keep pace with the digital change brought about by the next wave of digital technologies.
How are you setting up your workforce for the new wave of digitization?