COVID-19 is far from the last disruption in the world of work. The future of work is going to challenge businesses large and small, so what must companies do to prepare themselves and their talent for these disruptions?
To answer this topic, UNLEASH and iCIMS brought together HR leaders from NASA, Spotify, KPMG and Finastra who are blazing a trail around this topic to discuss talent mobility as a strategic advantage.
Kicking off the panel session was KPMG’s partner on consulting people and change Cecile Decourtray who spoke about how the consultancy’s research had found that 35% of CEOs and CHROs acknowledge that the workforce expect to be reskilled and upskilled.
This means that learning and development is top of the C-Suite agenda as they focus on how to ensure they have can bridge the skills and resource gaps in the future.
To do this, Decourtray recommended that companies look at their existing competencies and skills, and then consider the skills they will need in the future of work.
Fintech Finastra’s chief people and places officer Sharon Doherty agreed that companies really need to look to the future when thinking about the skills they need.
Creating a learning culture
Doherty went on to talk about how companies need to focus on creating a culture of learning, particularly in this new market of high attrition and companies going through lots of growth.
Even though this may seem like the completely wrong moment to focus on creating that culture, if it doesn’t happen then employees may start to look for jobs elsewhere where their career development is prioritized.
To do this, she advised that companies look at both the macro perspective, but also at zooming into the skills needed to create value in certain jobs.
For Spotify, they encourage employees to “lean into learning” and “put their hand up” on upskilling, and then the company removes the blockers and enables them to have the space to actually develop themselves, according to Katarina Berg, the music giant’s CHRO.
In addition, Berg notes that if you give employees space to learn, then you need to give them time to reflect on what they have learnt. This is particularly important given the always-on culture that dominates the working world at the moment.
Along a similar vein, Doherty noted that Finastra has introduced ‘Drop Everything and Learn Wednesday’ that really gives employees permission to take time away from their day-to-day jobs.
Finastra also organizes a lot of hackathons for its own employees, as well as other companies, that focus on upskilling in the digital space.
Decourtray threw her hat into the ring with advice that employers must also have regular conversations with employees about what they want out of on-the-job learning and their next career move. Of course, this will help ensure that your offerings meet employee expectations and help with retention.
Working location is crucial
Beyond learning, the panelists also discussed a different element of talent mobility: their actual location.
NASA chief human capital officer Jane Datta noted that it is crucial that employers “think about talent mobility in multiple ways because that is the way to forge the way to the future”.
“During the pandemic, nobody wanted to be forced to work from home or locked down, but they really liked the flexibility and freedom”, she explained.
This also allows Spotify to rethink how it attracts talent – and where from. It also means talent already working at the company can move somewhere new. She sees this as a real “blessing” of the pandemic, that workers were able to benefit from flexible working.
Datta explained that pre-pandemic NASA’s employees were spread across the US, organized into field centers. But COVID-19 “redefined talent mobility” for the agency. Now its employees no longer have to “up sticks and move [across the country] and take their families with them”.
Instead, since they can do a lot of work remotely, they can move jobs without having to change where they live.
She refers to this as being “geographically agnostic” and rethinking how work gets done. The main benefits of this for Datta and NASA are it encourages “enterprise thinking” and it allows NASA to look more broadly for the skill and talent it needs.
To hear more from the HR experts at the UNLEASH and iCIMS INSPIRE European summit now, or at a later date, register here.
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