then seizing it
The pace of change and pressure to change are growing in almost all industries, and there is a danger that many employees may not be able to keep up, or their skills may no longer be needed in the future. At the same time, recruiters report receiving fewer and fewer applications, and more employees who will be retiring in the foreseeable future. Gaps in the workforce represent lost opportunities, and increasing pressure for remaining workers.
New skills? Yes, but ...
HR managers need to ensure the ongoing development of their workforce to fill in gaps at least partially, or help workers take on new duties. One core question is to determine what skills will actually be in demand in the future. Many companies are wrestling with this question, as a survey conducted by Staufen AG confirms. When asked what challenges they face in workforce management, HR managers answered, among other things, that their companies were unclear what forward-thinking requirements profiles looked like for employees in the age of industry 4.0 (59 %). They also said they were lacking knowledge about employees’ talents and special skills (39 %).
Companies need to get away from the idea that they can name or teach long-term developments and skills, and work on a “near term” basis to a certain degree. It is more important to support employees so they can handle changes better. Transversal skills are becoming more important in this context, in combination with specific personal characteristics. These are skills that employees can use in different contexts, like IT knowledge or process knowledge. Soft skills like the ability to cooperate, self-management or the willingness to learn are just as important; they make it easier for employees to adjust to changing circumstances.
„We want to give all employees an opportunity to understand what is changing”
Christina Schulte-Kutsch, Senior Vice President Talent & Organization, ZF Group