Research & Insights – The Future of Work is Human

What does the future of work look like? It’s human.

The need for soft skills will grow as humans search for more meaning and purpose from their work; as they seek social, intellectual and diverse experiences from their workplace; as the rise of social enterprise continues and the impact of our working lives on communities and the environment becomes more important.

More emotion, vision and inspiration is being demanded from leadership and those are qualities that simply can’t be automated.

The Rise of Automation and its Impact on the Future of Work

The shift to using automation to streamline processes is inevitable and the management of the anxiety this can create as change is implemented is a crucial leadership skill as we move into the future. Leaders will need to ensure they have the soft skills required to successfully navigate and lead changing roles as technology is introduced. For as we all know, change doesn’t succeed without communication and managing emotion – and these are not traits that can be fulfilled by artificial intelligence.

Culture, Design Thinking and Employee Experience

Just as AI impacts the skills we need moving into the future, so too will our workplaces evolve. Already we see the growth of what is being called the alternative workforce – the freelance, side hustle and casual roles that supplement or take the place of traditional employment.

In the future, leaders will need to leverage this workforce more strategically to capture the skills and experience of these professionals in their chosen mode of working, or to retain their top performers who may see the alternative workforce option as a better, more flexible one for their circumstances.

Leadership in a New Context

Not only are leaders expected to have skills in ‘traditional’ areas of leadership such as managing operations, supervising teams and making decisions, there is also now a need to step up in capability in emerging areas such as managing complexity; leading through change and ambiguity; managing evolving demographics and cultural boundaries and, to top it off, be tech savvy.

Learning in the Workplace

Learning, and the opportunity to continue doing so is now rated among the top reasons for taking a job among new hires. And business leaders understand that continual change in technologies, consumer demands and internal processes means continuous learning is critical.

However what leaders observe is a lack of transfer both between what is being learnt in the classroom and what is needed in the workplace and what is being learnt in the classroom and what is being implemented in the workplace, suggesting a need to more closely integrate work and learning.

To access this newsletter in full, please use the subscription form above.

Subscribe to our
Quarterly Newsletter