According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a staggering 79% of CEOs are concerned about the scarcity of vital skills in their workforce, whilst 98% of human resources professionals are feeling the effects of burnout, as revealed by the Academy to Innovate HR. A separate survey by Gartner highlighted a drop in employees’ willingness to support organisational changes, from 74% in 2016 to a mere 38% in 2022.
These figures highlight a critical issue in today’s business landscape, the urgent need for people leaders to reassess their strategies and innovate their approach to stay competitive. With a shifting workforce and rapidly changing expectations, leaders must anticipate upcoming trends and foster a proactive approach, akin to the strategies of successful CEOs.
The past three decades have seen profound uncertainty in people-related decisions, with the cost, time, and risk associated with such decisions escalating in the face of rapid and sweeping changes. The role of people leadership has expanded beyond traditional HR practices due to resource allocation, new philosophies, and available capabilities. A case in point is the Chinese giant Haier, which has just 11 HR professionals caring for a staff of 230,000, with people leadership now managed at the team level.
The role of individuals in charge of the working environment, well-being, and long-term development of employees has evolved drastically. A mere focus on upskilling and reskilling may no longer suffice. These leaders are now faced with the challenge of adapting to a transformed world of work.
The speed at which the People Leader/HR function needs to change is outpacing the rate at which the profession is upgrading. This necessitates understanding the future transformation of work and creating an environment conducive to overcoming challenges such as skills shortages.
With employees becoming more engaged and vocal, mainly due to social media, organisations are being held accountable for their actions. Successful people leaders need to be proactive, think long-term, and adapt swiftly to immediate needs.
To remain competitive and adaptable, leaders need to understand the ongoing changes, utilise data-driven insights, plan for different scenarios, identify or develop the required people, plan for future agility, and ensure effective communication. Leaders must seek insights, opinions, and support from peers and professionals and constantly build new perspectives, reported Bangkok Post.
Most importantly, leaders must urgently as even the best current practices quickly become obsolete due to technology, AI, disruption, economic fluctuations, and changing expectations among generations, the workforce, and society.
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