Future of work is here. Is your organization prepared for it?


Just out of curiosity this morning I have been looking into open job position statistics in my home country, Finland, and compared it to the whole of EU. More and more new jobs are steadily being created. According to the Job Vacancy Survey of Statistics Finland, there were 26,400 open job vacancies in the last quarter of 2016, which is 21 per cent more than one year earlier (21,900). The same trend can be seen elsewhere in Europe as well, please see the two tables below:

Hard-to-fill vacancies now represent 50% of the open job positions in Finland. The number of hard-to-fill vacancies are increasing elsewhere as well. The talent shortage across industries is now at its highest since 2007. Unemployment numbers are not improving but the number of open vacancies keep increasing. I believe organizations need to move away from their “old management” obsession that they must have in-house talents. Rather they must extend their internal organizational community with external human capital. As long as the value is being added to the organization and to the customer, it doesn’t really matter whether the talents are internal or external. Organizations must have a clear strategy in place on how best to use the extended talent (on Fiverr, Upwork, Elance or locally available freelancers). Young Millennials (those who graduated from 2006 to 2010) are on track to surpass four job changes by the time they hit age 32. In this new normal, organizations should aim to increase the maximum benefit both for the talents and the organization regardless how long the talent is with the company. Here are a few key takeaways for your organization to become future proof:

Foster learning culture

Organizations must structure and position themselves such that they become powerful learning organizations – everything they do is about learning, measuring, improving and learning more. Today’s employees are overwhelmed and distracted by the vast amount of information around them. The future-proof organizations are enabling their employees to learn how to learn instead of bombarding them with too much of information. The rise of AI, machine learning, robots and innovative projects such as Elon Musk’s Neurallink mean that L&D department in these future driven organizations need to already prepare for developing different set of skill sets in order to beat the competition. Soft skills like empathy, listening, communication, and prioritization become even more important in the future workplace.

Goals’ alignment

Shorter employment terms, subcontractors, global teams mean that it is even more important to align your teams and individual employees to your organizational goals. Proper goal alignment ensures that your people focus on the things that really add value to your customers and to your business. Organizations should identify their key success drivers of their business, communicate them to their people, make it transparent throughout the organization, polish them over and over again in order to become a leader of their industry.

Embed knowledge inside your organizational DNA

High employee turnover means that organizations should create such a knowledge DNA that people coming and leaving your business becomes virtually irrelevant matric to your business. Instead of knowledge sitting inside people’s head, they should be actively tapped, continuously improved and made available for everyone’s benefit.

Analyse and improve

Organizations must datafy every touch point of the organizational process. They should identify the problems, drivers of improvement/excellence, benchmarks, previous scores, regularly compare the numbers, take obvious actions for improvements and re-iterate. These data driven workplaces’ managers are focused on: “how can I actively improve my people’s competence, improve the productivity and satisfaction level in my team? As this will directly translate into customer happiness and organizational excellence”.

Future of work is already here. The open job positions will keep increasing everywhere around the world if we don’t train your employees for the new skills, give them a purpose to their work, and create a system / process for making your organizational DNA more knowledgeable and powerful enabling new people to to hit the ground running!
Certainly major changes are needed from the government authorities side as well to tackle this transformation.