In the future, machines might replace some jobs, but not all and certainly not every part of every job. People are still going to be necessary, so jobs won’t be lost. They’ll be reconfigured – redesigned.
It’s important to start preparing your team right now because change is already here and it’s not going to stop.
As a leader, the best thing you can do for your team is to future-proof it; to create a team of people who are so strong, flexible and capable they can cope with whatever comes along.
Get the right people in place
Building a solid team is no longer just about work skills and resumes. We’ve finally recognised the importance of human skills and the value they offer to the workplace. If you want to build a sustainable team for a sustainable business, you need to pay attention to interpersonal skills, attitudes and ideas, and their purpose. These are the people who will work well with others and aim to deliver real value with what they do.
Remember you can teach skills, not attitudes. Talent management (such an impersonal term for what it really is) is about finding the right people; attracting, harnessing skills, honing talents, building future opportunities and keeping them engaged. Find the people who believe in your purpose and work with them.
Keep their skills up
Your organisations future is only as good as the people in it, so looking after them is a wise move. Work isn’t just about salary, these days. Employees today need to feel they are growing and going somewhere. The good news is that if they are growing, so will your organisation.
You have the right people in place, so keep them there.
According to Gallup, 59% of millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job. Gallup also found 87% of millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job. 69% of non-millennials feel the same. So, we know developing new skills and knowledge, and having a career path is an important part of retaining talent and building engagement.
Work with your people and give them the opportunity to learn and grow. It’s good for their personal and professional development and future-proofs them, too.
Technology and automation can often be seen as the bad guy when it comes to change. People can be afraid of it and what it has the power to do. That attitude must change if you want to future-proof your people.
Technology is good. Automation is good. Both can relieve us of the repetitive and dull parts of our work, giving us the opportunity to do something more valuable and interesting. Instead of having to focus on the small stuff, we’re now free to start thinking more strategically and become innovative.
One of the best ways to change the attitude toward technology is to encourage your people to play with it. Explore, test it out, learn it, see how far it can go, and discover its limitations. For that to happen, leaders need to make it clear that it’s OK to make a mistake or mess things up. It’s hands-on learning so it’s OK to experiment. Deep down, some of the fear isn’t as much about the technology as it is the fear of the organisation reaction to the mistakes made while learning. Take away that fear and your people will be ready to test out any new system or tool.
Encourage experimentation and support them no matter what the result. That’s how you’ll build a proactive team which takes responsibility for its own learning and ensures a long-term future.
For other ideas about future-proofing your leadership role, your team and your organisation, talk to us. We’re experts at transforming organisations and building long-term security and results.