HR Grapevine
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Preparing for the future of work

What will work look like in a decade’s time? It is a question that plays on the mind of thought leaders…
Preparing for the future of work
 
 
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Preparing for
the future of work


What will work look like in a decade’s time? It is a
question that plays on the mind of thought leaders…

 

 

What will work look like in a decade’s time? It is a question that plays on the mind of thought leaders, business heads, academics and, of course, HR functions alike. Though the near future of work is more than likely to look different – for one example, 20million factory jobs are expected to be lost to automation, according to Oxford Economics predictions – but just how different is still up for debate.

 

 

A different working landscape

Increased digitalisation and automation are perceived to be a given, as is the manner in which employees engage in work – both contractually, temporally and geographically. Furthermore, countless studies reference the remote and flexible working revolution that is essentially already upon employers – many reading this piece will recognise Wednesday afternoons because no-one is in the office, and busy evenings when workers choose to log on – yet this will all require careful management and proactive strategising.

 
 

Preparing for the new world of work

One firm already future-proofing its business model is Procter & Gamble (P&G). With well-known consumer brands such as Pampers, Herbal Essences, Febreze and Gillette and a net worth of £188billion, it is already in a strong position. Yet the firm isn’t resting on its laurels. Chris Young, HR Director Northern Europe at P&G says it has already started investing in new future-proofing capabilities.

 

Be ready to re-invent yourself

One of the key aspects to get ready for the future of work, Young explains, is to be open to new ways of doing things. “P&G’s business model is being transformed by new technologies and whether that’s how consumers are choosing products, how they are researching which brands to buy, through to the way companies like P&G market and sell its brands and products, work is transforming on a daily basis almost.

“With that comes a compelling need for us to re-invent how we build capability, how we grow leaders and how we run our HR discipline in support of the business,” he continued.

 

Get digital

“From an HR perspective, we’re introducing cloud-based technologies that will enable us to really revolutionise how we manage talent and how we manage compensation and rewards,” Young adds. “In addition to that, [we’re] investing in digital capabilities so that our leadership team in the company have all got reverse digital mentors so that they can learn from and be coached by the [younger employees] who have digital influence and can enable them to accelerate their experience.”

 

Understand the importance of the basics and good management

“What has always been important in P&G’s talent strategy and organisational model is the importance of the line manager. Getting back to basics as well as making sure that we are developing, building and retaining great people managers has always been and will always continue to be the cornerstone of our model,” Young says.

 
 

Ensure HR is integrated

P&G’s Young reveals: “As a function and a profession, we’ve previously suffered from running in parallel to business activities and business operations. In a world where so much is changing so quickly, we need to make sure that our HR activities and technologies are integrated into the day-to-day work of our employees so that we can communicate and engage in their work and their operations.”

 
 

Lead the change

Young says that a big part of HR’s role in the future of work revolves around ensuring that the business plans support the here and now but also take future eventualities into account too. “It comes back to being really open to change and embracing change as an opportunity and that becomes a core capability of any organisation in this kind of model and reality that we are in. The same is true externally and in society more generally – it has never been more relevant for an organisation like P&G to be on the forefront of change, leading change and embracing the consequences of that change,” he concludes.

 

What will work look like in a decade’s time? It is a question that plays on the mind of thought leaders, business heads, academics and, of course, HR functions alike. Though the near future of work is more than likely to look different – for one example, 20million factory jobs are expected to be lost to automation, according to Oxford Economics predictions – but just how different is still up for debate.

A different working landscape

Increased digitalisation and automation are perceived to be a given, as is the manner in which employees engage in work – both contractually, temporally and geographically. Furthermore, countless studies reference the remote and flexible working revolution that is essentially already upon employers – many reading this piece will recognise Wednesday afternoons because no-one is in the office, and busy evenings when workers choose to log on – yet this will all require careful management and proactive strategising.

 

 

Preparing for the new world of work

One firm already future proofing its business model is Procter & Gamble (P&G). With well-known consumer brands such as Pampers, Herbal Essences, Febreze and Gillette and a net worth of £188billion, it is already in a strong position. Yet the firm isn’t resting on laurels. Chris Young, HR Director Northern Europe at P&G says it has already started investing in new future-proofing capabilities.

 

 

Be ready to re-invent yourself

One of the key aspects to get ready for the future of work, Young explains, is to be open to new ways of doing things. “P&G’s business model is being transformed by new technologies and whether that’s how consumers are choosing products, how they are researching which brands to buy, through to the way companies like P&G market and sell its brands and products, work is transforming on a daily basis almost.

 

“With that comes a compelling need for us to re-invent how we build capability, how we grow leaders and how we run our HR discipline in support of the business, he continued.”

 

Get digital

“From an HR perspective, we’re introducing cloud-based technologies that will enable us to really revolutionise how we manage talent and how we manage compensation and rewards,” Young adds. “In addition to that, [we’re] investing in digital capabilities so that our leadership team in the company have all got reverse digital mentors so that they can learn from and be coached by the [younger employees] who have digital influence and can enable them to accelerate their experience.”

 

Understand the importance of the basics and good management

“What has always been important in P&G’s talent strategy and organisational model is the importance of the line manager. Getting back to basics as well as making sure that we are developing, building and retaining great people managers has always been and will always continue to be the cornerstone of our model,” Young says.

Ensure HR is integrated

P&G’s Young reveals: “As a function and a profession, we’ve previously suffered from running in parallel to business activities and business operations. In a world where so much is changing so quickly, we need to make sure that our HR activities and technologies are integrated into the day-to-day work of our employees so that we can communicate and engage in their work and their operations.”

 

 

Lead the change

Young says that a big part of HR’s role in the future of work revolves around ensuring that the business plans support the here and now, but also take future eventualities into account too. “It comes back to being really open to change and embracing change as an opportunity and that becomes a core capability of any organisation in this kind of model and reality that we are in. The same is true externally and in society more generally – it has never been more relevant for an organisation like P&G to be on the forefront of change, leading change and embracing the consequences of that change,” he concludes.


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