Thinking about Workplace 2020

by workforceplanner

Workforce Locator™ extracts, integrates, and indexes pertinent data to drive workforce planning decisions by providing current as well as projected data with calculations and national rate comparisons  of openings due to growth and replacement.

Challenges serve as decision drivers, and the author of “Workplace 2020…”  a piece for Wired, explains this key decision driver quite succinctly:

> As a business, your challenge is to anticipate shifts in the economic landscape and respond by delivering the right skills in the shortest time possible.

Workplace 2020: Sourcing Talent for the Workplace of the Future

By Michael George, Appirio

I’m not entirely sure who coined the term Workforce 2020, or why the year 2020 holds such great significance along the workforce evolutionary timeline. Whatever the case, 2020 — which seemed so far off just a few years ago — is now barreling toward us. So what’s different about 2020?

Digital natives are entering the workforce en masse, and by 2020 many of the old school, pen and paper types will be on the way out. The relationship between employee and employer is also changing. If you want folks to stick around you’d better at least match the kind of tools and technology on the job that they have access to at home. Pair this relentless consumer-grade expectation for mobile, social and globally accessible tools with ubiquitous access to work, and you can see the perfect storm that is challenging HR and IT leaders to deploy technology solutions to attract, retain and manage their workforce while creating a collaborative, engaging employee experience.

To prepare for the globally distributed, highly collaborative, always on-the-go 2020 workforce, you need to start building the kind of workplace that can harness all this new technology. We call it Workplace 2020. One of the most impactful places to start is changing the way your company plans for, hires and engages its talent by understanding what is already possible with today’s cloud, mobile and social technologies.

Finding the Right Talent for Workplace 2020

Now winning organizations are not those who outspend, but rather outmaneuver their competitors. With equal access to global talent and technology, the cost and access barriers to finding and utilizing the best talent in the world have been all but removed for big and small companies alike, leaving agility the difference-maker.

To thrive now, the business must respond to a constant rewiring of those connections by putting the right talent in the right place at the right time. And let’s face it; LinkedIn probably knows more about your organization’s full talent potential than you do.

As a business, your challenge is to anticipate shifts in the economic landscape and respond by delivering the right skills in the shortest time possible. Creating a holistic talent plan worthy of Workplace 2020 requires intimate collaboration between HR, IT and business leaders and doesn’t end when your spreadsheets are filled in. It must mirror the changes affecting the talent needs, including:

Adjusting how, where, when recruiting is done Migrating away from on-premise legacy technologies Changing organizational structures (rewiring connections) based on future business needs

Talent Sourcing & Social Recruiting

For many organizations, hiring success is directly related to the source of the applicant. A reimagined talent sourcing effort worthy of building Workplace 2020 has recruiters actively using social, mobile and cloud technologies in creative ways to uncover hidden sources of top talent and/or networks of referrers.

You probably know about sites like LinkedIn, Jobvite, Indeed, CareerBuilder and you may already be posting your job openings to Facebook, Twitter or TweetMyJobs, but here are a few social and mobile sourcing tools that may help you reimagine what’s possible.

RemarkableHire: Analyze a job seeker’s contributions to online communities, like GitHub, Dribble and StackOverflow, to validate proficiency of a particular set of skills based on peer review.

SwoopTalent: Bring together internal referral programs and external sourcing initiatives by finding a three way match between your jobs, candidates and employees.

Communities & Crowdsourcing: Bring the job to the worker rather than the worker to the job with platforms like oDesk, CloudSpokes and TopCoder.

Keep in mind this kind of workplace transparency works both ways. Sites like Glassdoor and CareerBliss give prospective job seekers an unfiltered (oh, is it unfiltered) look inside your organization through employee-generated reviews of the business, executive team, managers, compensation, and more.

The Future of Employee Engagement

Now that you’re social recruiting efforts are paying off, your Workplace 2020 needs to be the kind of place employees want to come and work… without being a “place” at all. I am often asked to define employee engagement. For me it simply comes down to what employees choose to do with their discretionary time. If your parking lot is empty at 5:05 p.m., you might want to start asking some questions.

Social and mobile technologies provide new employees with access to an army of work buddies, no matter where (or when) they work, all dedicated offering advice on how to navigate the organization, and acting as cultural role models.

This kind of employee engagement is a critical piece of Workplace 2020, as the workforce becomes more and more globally distributed and isolated from both the “corporate office,” and each other. Using enterprise social tools like Chatter, Yammer or Tibbr gives you the ability to connect your employees to individuals and teams to collaborate and learn from one another and is far more effective in engaging employees than a handbook, Wiki or FAQ page.

Here are a few things you can do to start building an engaging Workplace 2020.

Connect Your People to a Cause (and Each Other)

In Workplace 2020 you’ll need to provide the “why” for a generation of workers who demand social and principled “reasons” for trading their time and talent – a paycheck isn’t a reason. Enterprise social tools allow employees to form groups, discuss ideas and even fundraise for causes they care about.

Give Power to the People

Keeping employees engaged will require a shift from the idea that goal setting, providing feedback, or career planning is an annual event to a mindset that recognizes the high impact and value of talent management as a daily, ongoing endeavor to rewire employee connections with teams, customers, etc.

We are beginning to see a resurgence of the corporate intranet as a way to create these connections and deliver the consumer-grade experience employees expect. Where corporate intranets of the past failed because they were little more than virtual filing cabinets, today’s Social Intranets (intranet + employee portal + enterprise social) are putting the power to create content and connections in the hands of the workforce.

Additionally, collaboration tools like Google Apps are changing the way people work by shifting the idea from individual contribution to collective effort. Sharing and working on documents together, editing simultaneously, or even firing up a quick video chat are all big parts of Workplace 2020 that you can (and should) be using today.

Finally, to be engaging Workplace 2020 will need to be fun. Gamification systems like Badgeville and Bunchball motivate employees to make social connection and sharing part of their daily work, and drive the creation of groups and contests (sorry millennial, not everyone gets a trophy) that build camaraderie and compel teams into action.

Workplace 2020 is less about building the right office space and more about enabling the right connections. For employees this means connections to information, work, tools, and most importantly each other, any time, any place. Workplace 2020 has to walk down the street with me, ride on the train with me, fly in the air with me and sleep next to me on my nightstand.

Now is the time to reimagine what’s possible.

Michael George leads Appirio’s Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions marketing efforts.