All good businesses need to look to the future in order to survive. Not only do they need to predict the way in which their customers will change, but how to also recruit the best talent to enable their workforce to evolve too. It is predicted that by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials, meaning that the dominant working style is soon set to become a millennial-friendly one.
The millennial generation is predicted to shape the world of work for many years to come, with their career aspirations, workplace attitudes and technology knowledge defining the future of workplace culture. But, just how will this change in technology and workplace impact on employee skill sets?
Shift In Skillsets
With such rapid advancements in technology happening over the last few years, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, this has transformed working practices. This means that the way we work has changed, and so have the skill sets which are required. By 2021, it is expected that 35% of skills which are considered to be important in today’s current workforce will have changed in some way. This shift in skill set will result in some jobs completely disappearing, whilst some will expand and some jobs which are yet to exist will likely become commonplace.
Millennials understand that technology is a huge driving factor for change and, having grown up with technology in their home and using smartphones, they are aware that the nature of the workplace is quickly changing. What is certain, however, is that the future workforce will need to realign its skillset to keep up with this shift.
Lifelong Learning Is Key to a Successful Career
Some millennials have expressed concern over just how rapid these developments are happening and how technology has the potential to outpace existing skillsets. The concept of lifelong learning is something which could pose a possible solution to this growing concern and may even empower individuals to close the gap between tech development and human development.
Whilst technology is constantly enhancing the workplace today, it is millennials who are looking for guidance which is broader than just how to use this technology. The idea of continually educating yourself further than just an understanding of technology is seen as a central pivot when it comes to creativity and building confidence and interpersonal skills. Lifelong learning is not just key to their career development, but also general wellbeing.
Being able to anticipate which skills are going to be important to the future workforces will help companies and organisations develop their business with lifelong learning at their core. Many young professionals feel that the company they work for should not only support them in obtaining and learning the right technical skills but also the responsibility to enable lifelong workplace learning.
Mentoring Skills for the Future
There is an expectation for businesses to be responsible for developing readiness in their employees. In order to foster the skill sets which future workforces will need, businesses will need to create the right environment where learning is constantly supported. These environments can be used as social spaces, in order to encourage networking and interaction within the workplace. Millennials can and will benefit from having a wealth of expertise which is gained over a lifetime in business, whilst older and even younger generations can learn how to get the best out of technology.
Shared office and co-working spaces are another great way for businesses to adapt and encourage cooperation of diverse and multiskilled employees and cultures. These types of working spaces encourage interaction and enable the chance of potential collaborations with people from other industries and/or departments in order to provide new perspectives and ideas of working.
Some of these themes have already taken root and continue to gain popularity, with companies like WeWork proving a great example when it comes to creating an environment for co-creation and idea-sharing. Even the best technologies can struggle to do it alone.
The key message for businesses is to empower their workforce. They must tailor their workspaces to enable the opportunity for lifelong learning and these spaces should incorporate technologies which nurture skills, such as communication and creative thinking, but also support workers by providing them with the opportunity to constantly develop their skills.
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