How to build a versatile workforce

Companies increasingly need people who can work under pressure, work harder, take on new tasks and operate outside of their comfort zones.

Geopolitical uncertainties, rapid technological change and differing generational attitudes to work all present a business environment of unparalleled uncertainty.

As a society, talk of a high proportion of jobs becoming automated or made redundant by Artificial Intelligence creates a sense of apprehension that drives resistance rather than an open embrace to these macro trends.

Many businesses are finding that their marketplaces are changing far quicker than the supply of skills and professionals in the labour market and that this is inhibiting their ability to transform.

So how should businesses create a versatile workforce that puts them in the best position to respond to these trends and get on the front foot?

How do we become more versatile?

For each of us in the workforce, this isn’t simply about becoming better at what we do but about being able to acquire skills and undertake tasks outside of our comfort zone.

Challenging how we think about ourselves is often the first step in the process. Avoid self-fulfilling prophecies around new skills being something for millennial whiz kids or Silicon Valley super brains.

Read. Explore topics through magazines or online articles to help address gaps in your knowledge as a simple way into new subject areas. It’s worth paying attention to articles by futurists seeking to push the boundaries of what’s possible to get a guide to how things may pan out in years to come.

Pay particular attention to changes in your industry. How is technology changing it? How are you learning about changing it?

Adopting a positive mindset that’s open to change and embraces the opportunities presented by the changing world around us sits at the heart of any efforts to become more versatile.

How can businesses respond?

Melius supports our clients to develop a versatile workforce and talent strategy. Four core approaches underpin our work in this area:

1.       Multi-skilling core team members to enable them to contribute to the success of the business in a broad range of areas. 

2.       Developing data and analytical fluency across all team members.

3.       Ensuring human and technology alignment, ensuring team members have the skills to support technology adoption.

4.       Identifying areas for flexible talent pools through the use of high-quality international outsourcing, contract workforces and partner organisations to address specific requirements outside of core capacity.

Get in touch with Melius to find out more about how this approach can benefit your business by building a more versatile workforce.