The New People Problem and How to Deal with It
Our workforce is currently undergoing historic change that has huge implications for Australian businesses. Often known as the “people problem”, this phenomenon is the result of several converging factors likely to reshape the labour landscape.
First, due to our ageing population, we are headed for a future where there are too few workers to fill thousands of vacancies left by retiring baby-boomers, with current birth and immigration rates failing to plug the gap.
Secondly, there is the impact of technological disruption, with automation and labour-saving technologies expected to result in nearly one third of jobs being automated within ten years.
There is also the ongoing effect of globalisation, which continues to alter the types of jobs on offer in the labour market as certain sectors decline, low-skilled roles shift overseas, and local demand lifts for creative workers.
Companies need to take action
While overall demand for workers will likely remain strong, these changes will lead to a shortage of people with the right skills for the jobs of the future.
Official estimates make this clear, forecasting that Australia is likely to have around 1.4 million unfillable job vacancies by 2025.
With this scenario on the horizon, it’s critical that businesses take action now to attract and retain the right type of talent, or else risk failing to survive the next ten years.
The big problem, however, is that while many companies understand there is a looming problem, they often don’t know what can be done to fix it.
Fostering a positive employee experience
There are many ways companies can prepare for this workforce disruption, but an easy place to start is to focus on delivering positive employee experiences.
At times overlooked, creating positive experiences involves revamping how businesses think about staff by borrowing from the principles of customer experience.
This, in essence, means reconceptualising staff as internal customers - a perspective geared towards the imminent jobs market where there is intense competition for skilled workers.
After all, our current people practices come from the industrial era where work was process-driven, focused on efficiency, and staff were easily replaceable. By contrast, in today’s world, automation has reduced the need for workers who do repetitive tasks and boosted demand for high-skill and strategic roles.
Supporting employees along their journey
With the workplace set to change dramatically over coming years, Australian employers need to be looking at their people practices through the lens of employee experience (EX).
Keeping the best talent will be driven by an organisation’s ability to deliver positive experiences at every step of the employee journey — from application to interview, and on-boarding to exit interview.
Combining this with new hiring practices that focus on values, cultural fit and adaptability, can help enable companies to not only survive but thrive in the midst of disruption.
Download the inaugural Maxxia / Ignite Global Employee Experience Report and learn how leading companies are pioneering new approaches to measuring and improving EX.
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