What skills will managers need for the future?
We’re seeing younger generations taking up management roles at a steady pace as more of the baby boomer generation retires. Many of the older generations are still coming to terms with new technology, some even struggling with websites and social media. Technology is changing the skills that many businesses need, and we need to make sure we have the right mix of skills to future-proof our careers and our businesses.
Change is constant
As younger generations step into management roles, they’re reshaping the way we work. They’re shifting processes, developing policy and bringing digital talents that are being harnessed by businesses. New managers are twice as likely as older ones to invest in new technology for things like workforce planning and supporting remote working, according to Upwork’s 2019 Future Workforce Report. Change is here to stay, and we need to embrace this with open arms.
Remote working is on the up
The economy is changing, life goals are changing, and working life is becoming different for many people. Some of us older managers will have lived through the generations where we believed we could have anything we wanted, if we just worked hard enough. We’ve seen a huge improvement in equality with women being able to work full time and pursue excellent careers. We’ve seen house prices rising significantly and we’ve seen a rise of the gig economy. People are choosing a positive work life balance over living in big fancy houses with 2.4 children.
People now expect flexible working arrangements and the freedom to work from where it’s convenient. There’s been a huge shift towards remote working, supported by big organisations who want to save money, and coveted by people looking for the flexibility and freedom that this way of working offers.
However, remote working comes with its management challenges. How can you be clear about what a team member is doing if they’re not tied to a desk in your office? The answer is that our modern technology allows people to work anytime, anywhere, as long as they’re connected. Many people believe that remote working is now more productive than being based in offices. There’s so much technology available that can monitor and track the activity of teams without the need for them to be together. Hubstaff can track screen time, Teamwork can plan projects across virtual teams, Google Drive can store documents online so everyone has access at all times, and Slack allows real-time team communication by message, group chat or voice. Some companies are even running 100 per cent remotely now, because it’s becoming so much easier to manage remote workers. Hint – it’s also much cheaper.
Attracting the right talent
At the rate of change we’re seeing with new technology, it’s important to make sure you can attract and retain the right talent to meet the needs of your business. With the rise of artificial intelligence, blockchain and machine learning, we might be able to automate jobs, but we also have a real need to find people with the right skills to embrace new technology and make it work hand-in-hand with our business.
Many companies are choosing to retrain their loyal employees to give them the skills and capability to meet changing business needs. This is cheaper than letting unskilled people go and trying to recruit, hire and train new employees. Focused skills training can also be much more valuable and relevant to your business than the skills and knowledge generated by people in college and university courses.
Upskilling your teams
A great way to reskill current staff is through apprenticeships. This gives the time-consuming reskilling programme to an experienced training provider and takes the pressure off you as a manager or business owner. This also takes away the cost burden, as many companies are already paying into the apprenticeship levy and can access the pot of money they’ve been saving into.
Apprenticeships were once seen as roles filled by school leavers. That’s also changed significantly in recent years, with people of all ages and at all stages of their careers being eligible for apprenticeship training. For example, someone working on your marketing can join a digital marketing apprenticeship, learn the latest digital marketing skills and gain a Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification to boost their confidence and career prospects.
Whyy? Change offers apprenticeships in management, marketing, project management and continuous improvement. We also offer training in sales, six sigma, CIM-accredited marketing and CMI-accredited management. Talk to us today if you’d like to future proof your own skills or the skills of your team.