One of the biggest obstacles to growth for successful, entrepreneurial companies is finding (and retaining) the right people. In a time of massive change taking place in the global economy, savvy businesses are looking at every possible option in using human capital management as a strategic advantage.
According to the SAP/Oxford Economics Research Workforce 2020 study, there are a number of critical gaps in corporate infrastructures that need to be addressed immediately. I found three specific areas in the study as potential opportunities:
- Have a better understanding of the needs and interests of Millennials – In a working paper from the Governance Studies program at Brookings Institute, 75% of America’s workforce in 2025 will be made up of Millennials. They bring unique skill sets, have different interests and don’t plan on working full-time for just one company. As a business owner or team leader, how are you preparing for the seismic cultural shift in your business in the next 10 years? How will you identify and cultivate leadership within the ranks of the millennials? A successful approach starts with understanding what your current and future employees want out of working for your company; ask them.
- Develop technology training programs to increase workforce productivity – I recently attended (virtually), the Success Connect 2015 conference hosted by SuccessFactors, an SAP company. I was amazed to see the multitude of cloud-based, affordable solutions for small and mid-sized companies that addressed workforce performance and analytics. If an entrepreneurial business takes the time to learn about these offerings, they will put their company in an advantageous position from a human capital management perspective. It’s imperative to learn today how technology can help your business run more efficiently and increase workforce productivity in the future.
- Prepare your business for a remote and mobile workforce – Companies demanding that employees report to an office every day for work are operating in the 20th century. A remote and mobile workforce makes any company more nimble in the areas of sales, customer service, and business development. Additionally, most employees are looking for job opportunities that offer flexibility in hours and location. As I mentioned in my second point, industries are seeing more cloud-based, collaborative tools that allow workers, partners, customers, and vendors from around the globe to connect with each other on projects in real time.
If you are fortunate to have the best employees on your team, give them the tools and support they need to succeed, delegate responsibility, and let them show you how much they can do with what they’ve been given. That said, make sure you review the progress of your team on a regular basis. In some cases, the newfound freedom can have an adverse effect. You want to limit the exposure or damage in those cases.
Want more future-focused HR insight? See The future of business: Human resources.