(Editor’s Note: Today’s article is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos has introduced employee contact-tracing capabilities for their customers at no additional charge. Check out their COVID-19 Resource Center for details. Enjoy the article!)
Regardless of your views on whether states are opening too soon, it’s a fact that some states are relaxing stay at home restrictions. As a result, organizations have to think about their post COVID-19 plans including when they will reopen to the public, how they will do business, and what this means for their employees.
The Workforce Institute at Kronos has been spending a lot of time talking about the future of work (even before COVID-19 was part of the picture). I found a few articles that you might find interesting on the subject. While these were written pre-COVID, it’s interesting to me that when it comes to talent, organizations will be facing many of the same challenges.
Of course, it is still essential to have the “hard skills” to be successful. However, the need for soft skills has not changed and is expected to only increase in demand. Communications skills show up on nearly every list of research related to “soft skills needed for the workplace”, along with being a team player, flexibility, problem solving, creative thinking, and the ability to accept feedback.
Last year, Kronos published global research regarding workers’ attitudes toward their jobs. One of the questions asked was about how employees spent their time at work. 78% of respondents said they could do their job in fewer than 7 hours per day if they could work uninterrupted. And if pay remained constant, 34% said their ideal work week would be a 4-day work week while only 25% would stick with their current 5-day week.
The adoption rate for artificial intelligence (AI) at work continues to increase as there is both general awareness of it, applications for it and real success stories. We found that HR leaders were using AI the most and were more likely to have positive feelings about it. In addition, 18% more workers are using some form of AI in the workplace and their sentiment has evolved from anxiety to optimism and excitement.
In this podcast, a panel of Workforce Institute board members (myself included) talk about workforce development. What I found interesting about the discussion is while we each approached the topic from a different perspective, we all believe in the critical importance of a collaborative approach between employer and employee when it comes to building successful organizations for today and the future. I hope you’ll take a listen.
One last article that I want to share with you comes from Kronos CEO Aron Ain. No conversation about the future of work would be complete without hearing your CEO’s perspective. If you’re not aware, Kronos recently merged with Ultimate Software. Obviously, this wasn’t a decision that happened overnight, but it was finalized in the middle of a pandemic. I think Aron’s recent post on LinkedIn can offer us insights on how to have future focused conversations while at the same time dealing with the realities of today.
Right now, organizations are very focused on getting their operations to some level of “normal” and that can be a good thing. It’s important to remember that includes our workforce. Because employees help us achieve our goals. By giving them the soft skills training they need, allowing them to work schedules that makes sense for their lives, and using technology to improve productivity, we create workplaces that are ready for the future of work (and the future of business).17