The future of work has become a hot topic in big business and government as executives, HR professionals and leaders more generally grapple with what tactics to invoke and which bets to play in navigating the future of work.
The biggest task in the future of work jigsaw puzzle – and the one that most future of work research papers circulating in Australia are talking about – is reskilling. As a large organisation with a sizeable workforce we are asking ourselves four big questions.
Are you already augmenting?
Futurists unanimously agree that a combination of human and technology skills will be in hot demand. No matter what the role of an employee today, everyone should be thinking about how technology can augment their human skills and how human skills can augment technology. An example of this is using chatbot technology to augment service delivery roles so that technology manages the mundane while humans manage the complex queries.
Are you placing your workforce at risk?
Government alone employs over 1.9 million Australians. It is critical employers of large workforces make reskilling a priority to help secure their employees’ future financial and professional livelihood and ensure tens of thousands of Australians don’t fall out of the employment cycle.
Do you tackle mindset and capability?
It is tempting to latch onto trending methodologies and new ways of working as part of your master plan for reskilling. Approaches such as Agile and Design Thinking are viewed as good future-proofing capabilities. However, these alone won’t necessarily shift the mindset that is needed in the future of work. Therefore other programs that tackle mindset must accompany new capability roll outs to embed reskilling into an organisation’s DNA.
Is your workforce taking the future of work seriously?
The very title – the future of work – is potentially misleading. It implies we still have many years to reskill our workforces. Employees are therefore not stirred to personally take action and are leaving the responsibilities of reskilling to managers or HR functions. The fact is the future of work that we were talking about five years ago is here and now.
At Commonwealth Bank we believe collaborative partnerships and open innovation models put toward the future of work movement will secure the futures of the millions of employees working for big brands and corporates in the future. Sharing breakthrough approaches to reskilling, tapping into academics, theorists and thought leaders to bring outside thought on the future of work into organisational theory will be key.
We work with all levels of government around Australia to share insights and collaborate on reskilling government workforces. The good news is that many levels of government across the country are already bringing the future of work forward. They are investing in innovation programs, spaces and methodologies. They are piloting techniques within departments and encouraging alliances. Partnerships are being formed with innovation ecosystems to bring future capabilities in from the outside. They are taking action to own and fast track their journey to the future.