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ATD Blog

Empowering Employees in Tomorrow’s Workforce

Monday, November 25, 2019

As the global economy shifts toward a digital standard, employees’ preferences and expectations are dramatically changing. For organizations to empower employees and build successful environments for their workers, they must implement more progressive strategies.

With much of the baby boomer workforce retiring and Generation X right behind them, the workplace is increasingly dominated by their younger successors. It is anticipated that 50 percent of the workforce will consist of millennials by 2020.

With this new era of employees comes a new working standard. Millennials grew up using the Internet, and they matured throughout the phenomenon of smartphones and social media. Organizations that prepare for the shift in dynamic put themselves in a much better position for achievement than unyielding counterparts.

The Millennial Mantra

Millennials are ambitious, more so than any other generation of workers. They have high aspirations toward their current employment and future advancements and place responsibility on themselves to improve their skills sets and learn new ones to be as successful as possible.

Let’s take a look at some numbers:

  • More than 66 percent of millennials want to contribute more to their employers.
  • Three-quarters (75 percent) are willing to use their time to further their skills and learning when given proper career guidance tools by their employers.
  • Three in four (74 percent) believe it’s their responsibility to update their skills rather than rely on an employer to do so.

Millennials think that employment matching should be as simple as Uber or Postmates. Plug in your current location and desired destination and voila!—whatever you want or need is at your fingertips.

For this reason, it’s becoming increasingly common for current employees to continue seeking alternative or better employment. John Fitzgerald, author of Future Proof Your Career, explains that one in five employees (20 percent) are actively seeking another job today.


Inviting Change

Organizations need a career architecture that is fluid, adaptive, and agile as organization structures are evolving rapidly. Talent development industry analyst Josh Bersin talked about the pixelated workforce, and it is this kind of skill agility that is needed by employees and employers. Gone are the Henry Ford Industrial Revolution days of everyone having a rigid job title and defined deliverables that did not allow or require any kind of fluidity, flexibility, or creativity.

Instead, today’s workforce is characterized by making multiple contributions to the organization via scrums, agile projects that are matched to the unique talent-sets that an individual brings. We have a new level of definition around individual talent and capability that is no longer defined by a tight position description. That kind of thinking was fit for purpose a decade ago when we had an abundant talent supply.

With today’s talent economics, we must think differently about talent supply and talent leverage within our organizations. We need deep, robust intelligence about workforce skills, talents, and capabilities that traditional talent management systems cannot deliver because of the hidden, shaming truth of adoption of these systems. Employees just don’t want to use these compliance and management centric tools, as indicated by the appalling employee adoption statistics of most of the world’s leading talent management systems.


More Intuitive Employment

With career pathing, a concept of highlighting a worker’s talents and aspirations to map further learning and employment opportunities, employers’ needs can more appropriately be matched with workers’ desires.

For example, Fuel50 is deploying exactly that through its Career Pathing Intelligence systems. It is empowering employees by providing them with an interactive AI-driven road map to their future, a career GPS that takes into account their own personal career drivers, aspirations, values, and talent. From there, employees can instantly see their skill gaps, learning needs, and what skills are in hot demand by the business for the future. They can also link instantly to mentors and online learning resources to start the learning and growth journey immediately and be kept on track with their career progress so they continually add to their own career assets.

Fuel50 has seen across aggregate client data a strong correlation between engagement with the career pathing system and employee retention, with a 60 percent improvement in retention where there is system engagement.

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Imagine being 25, with an MBA, and happy to finally land a job as an analyst at one of the top 10 global banks working in the retail banking arm. However, your dream is to become an investment banker. For this individual, an intelligent career pathing system can show them the road to take with action steps to get started immediately. This is the foundation of the new career currency that will replace the old vertical promotional systems.

Editor's note: This post was originally published on the Fuel50 Website.

About the Author

Anne Fulton is CEO and co-founder of Fuel50. Contact her at [email protected]

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