Even before Covid-19 hit, changes in technology and new ways of working have been taking place.
We’d already seen glimpses of these changes happening within our client’s businesses. Some have changed or adapted their products to better suit an online sale such as a carpet manufacturer who have enhanced their product line to include rugs as they are more suited to ecommerce. And we have a building supplier who has successfully transitioned to sell online along-side its traditional business model.
I’m sure you’ve experienced changes in your life in lockdown. Whether it’s your local pub providing take-away services or garden centres pivoting to an online-sales model and offering new productised versions of their traditional range. We believe, supporting these changes with the skills required to deliver these switches is critical to success. Because with ecommerce comes the need for great tech supported by customer services to process refunds and complaints.
A recent McKinsey Global Survey found that 87% of business leaders said they were experiencing skills gaps in the workforce. But less than half had a clear sense of how to address the problem. This is a real-life challenge but knowing how and when can be tricky. We’ve seen this is a problem facing big and small businesses alike. It’s not exclusive.
Covid-19 has accelerated the need to look at the skills you need to drive your business growth and pivot business models & products to adapt to the world post-pandemic and into the future. This is not just looking at remote working, this is about re-skilling your team to future proof the company. It is very much a digital challenge that’s effecting most companies and most industry sectors.
You’ll need to build a people strategy around the talents you need rather than what you have. Digital skills, cognitive skills, adaptability, and resilience. All this plus figuring out how to drive a performance culture within a remote team framework.
The way we all behave is changing too. Swathes of the population who had never bought online are turning to ecommerce. It’s effecting how people eat, travel and shop. This has speeded up the move to e-commerce for many companies. It’s been fascinating watching the world evolve, and the innovation born out of crisis. An example in the US is a new concept – digital talent-marketplace platforms which have emerged to address the shift in supply and demand of skills. An example is Talent Exchange in the US – it uses artificial intelligence on its platform so that employers and employees can match skills with staff shortages even if this is in another company. The employer sends a link to the employee which allows them to upload their profile for hiring companies to see. https://eightfold.ai/talent-exchange/. Their current employer hopes this open relationship will mean its employee will return to them. With approx. 8.9 million jobs furloughed in the UK, yet some industries struggling to recruit enough staff, this model acts as a brilliant connection tool. Let’s hope this great idea transitions to the UK and Europe.
A recent skills gap survey found that the top 5 skills gaps with the greatest need are Data Analytics, IT/Mobile and Web design/management, Executive management, HR and talent management and Sales and marketing operations. Not really a surprise as the world shifts to a more digitised business model. And, definitely not a surprised to see HR and talent management in this report. Building the right team could be the difference between success and failure, especially for many mid-tier companies that don’t typically have an HR resource.
Worryingly, under half of the respondents had a clear understanding of the roles that are likely to be disrupted. We are feeling the urgency and think speed is of the essence.
We thought it might be helpful to look at some headline practical steps to start the process of planning how to rapidly rebuild and up-skill your teams to be successful now and into the future whatever the size of your business.
Quickly understand what skills your business will require to succeed now and into the future.
Identify the people and behaviour required to drive your adapted business e.g. if moving from bricks and mortar to ecommerce. A resilient and adaptable tech and customer services teams will be critical.
Map out the skill dependencies you’ll have to succeed. Along with a clear framework of new and existing people requirement e.g. do current employees have the right skills, can they up-skill, what new skills will you need to recruit and how will you fill any gaps.
Deep dive and work with leadership teams to develop workforce plans to fit new models.
Do it now. Don’t wait and make sure you have a sufficient budget for ongoing training.
Have you started adapting your business? Will you need to change or enhance your business model? Are you struggling to transform into an online business and build the team you need? People puzzles would love to help.
We have a wonderful team of 60 highly experience board-level HR Directors ready to support you. If you’d like a chat about how to build your team for the future, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 239 3307.
Register here to join our next webinar ‘Building the right team to drive business in the ‘new world’.
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