Futureproof your workforce

A pair of glasses sitting on an open bookThe jobs market is made up of those with the current sought after skills – they are in a strong position, these people can often choose where they want to work and be more daring when negotiating terms. There are also those whose skills are less in demand – they can at times feel disposable and marginalised as supply outranks demand. Industries evolve rapidly – as does technology – and yesterday’s sought-after skills can easily become tomorrow’s technological advancement. In this piece the Energy Technology and Control experts attempt to ascertain the best strategies to futureproof your workforce, to drive productivity and reduce the impact of market shocks.

Covid-19 is a market shock nobody could have predicted, it has impacted businesses in a plethora of ways. It has required business and industry to embrace new ways of working, in many cases this has meant remotely, requiring an unprecedented level of adaptation and adjustment. Although keyworker industries have been less affected, the office staff – including administration, finance and marketing to name but a few – have still in most cases been required to leave their office spaces and embrace their home office.

Futureproof your team– how to invest in skills

The first step in ensuring your team is futureproof requires the business to reappraise its investment in skills. In today’s competitive and fast-changing world, the skills and capabilities of the workforce play and essential part in economic sustainability and growth. When we discuss workplace skills, we are referring to abilities and skills such as: communicating with others, writing, and understanding reports, performing numerical and analytical tasks and using computers to help solve problems.

Employers who possess a highly skilled workforce can often boast higher margins and harness new business opportunities which in turn improve labour market productivity.

Investment is essential. The Government has worked hard throughout the pandemic to demonstrate the importance of the workforce in this country through the introduction and evolution of the furlough scheme. But there is more work to do, some furloughed employees will have been out of the workplace for a year, ensuring the right training and development is in place upon their return to enable them to hit the ground running will be paramount to avoiding a costly skills gap.

When it comes to employment, employers may need to revise their mind-sets to consider candidates who may not satisfy all specific job requirements, but instead look at those whose skill gaps can be filled. This is called the teachable fit and refers to situations where employers identify skills that can migrate across industries or be developed with relative ease. Training and development can then be designed to focus on these specific training and development efforts, filling any gaps.

The route to improved productivity requires thorough planning and careful navigation; things will continue to evolve, but talent and skills will continually be at the epicentre of future success.

Futureproofing – long-term talent strategies

More often than not, employers are reactive with their recruitment – hiring as and when someone is needed, often in a fairly transactional manner. However, it is often prudent to take a longer-term view of business and talent strategies.

Business success relies on the ability to effectively forecast the talent that will be required to achieve business goals, and where this talent will be found or can be actively developed. By establishing long-term workforce planning, it is possible to create a strong alignment between business and workforce strategy.

Whether your business is small, medium or large, your employees remain your business’ greatest asset and need to be futureproof. If you nurture their growth their economic value increases. When you consider that your workforce requires up to 70% of your operating expenses, you should strive to maximize the potential value each employee brings on board through their knowledge, abilities, engagement and skills.

We are lucky at Energy Technology and Control to have a superb team with the skills needed to excel in their respective fields. If you’d like to speak to us about how working with our team can help your business excel get in touch.