People and Change

The future of work – a job may not be for life!

Patrick Gallen Patrick Gallen

Several of my colleagues have recently been commenting on the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) on the workforce. Not only will it change the nature of our work on a day-to-day basis, it will also influence whom and for how long we work for the same organisation. This will affect the Not for Profit sector as well, as work patters change significantly over the next few years.

Over the past 100 years, the way we work has changed drastically. Gone are the days where the majority of the workforce were employed in primary and secondary activities. Advancements in technology have meant that machines have replaced people in many of these areas and the emergence of huge multinational firms has led to an inordinate growth in the number of people working in the third and charitable sector.

The expectations of workers are going to continue to change going into the future. Employees will want to work in an organisation that has purpose. They want their future organisation to be future thinking and sustainable, one that tackles the key social and environmental issues of our time. In order for organisations to continue to attract the best talent it is imperative that they make sure their goals and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policies are aligned with employees’ goals and that they focus on sustainability in order to be an organisation where employees wish to work. This is an important point to bear in mind if you are in the Not for Profit sector and you are struggling to recruit staff in a full-employment economy – maybe you need to refresh your employee value proposition to attract these type of workers.

Employees will also expect lifelong growth in their future careers. They expect to be developed by their organisations and to be always learning no matter what their position. In order for organisations to keep up with their needs, they will have to offer employees constant opportunities to grow through blended learning programmes, funding further education and creating progression opportunities. For employees in the future, the concept of a “job for life” will not exist. People will wish to change jobs often, with the average person currently making 12 career changes in their life. Organisations will need to create excellent organisational cultures, provide work life balance and progression opportunities in order to encourage employee retention and minimise staff turnover rates.

Remote working is also set to become a key topic of conversation in the future when it comes to working. ‘Work Life Balance’ is becoming increasingly important to workers, with 34% of millennials saying that it is the top priority in a job, placing it over career advancement. Organisations within the Not for Profit sector will have to devise strategies that reflect both the employees and employers needs when it comes to working from home and remotely.

In conclusion, as technology advances and companies become geared towards satisfying employees’ desires as well as meeting the needs of clients and customers, it is imperative that companies in the Not for Profit sector start preparing for the future by anticipating future trends. They have to look at employee needs and consider what kind of strategies they could implement in order to ensure that they attract the best employees and have the highest level of retention, whilst reducing employee turnover to a manageable level.