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“The future is technological, the future is flexible”

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1st Jun 2015
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Guillaume Noirtin discusses how businesses can adapt to the shifting needs of the modern workforce in order to engage existing employees and attract new ones.

Advancements in technology have meant we are living in a world which is constantly switched on and as a result our work lives are too. But whilst these innovations to some extent have taken us beyond the traditional nine-to-five, technology is also making our lives much more flexible, allowing us to have more control over where and when we work.

As the power and capability of many mobile devices increases along with a reliance on the cloud, organisations are taking advantage of the benefits which come with it in terms of recruiting and keeping employees happy. ‘Bring Your Own Device’ is becoming a more common demand for workers who want to have their own mobile devices to change the way they work and interact, and employers have moved to the cloud to give them flexibility in running their business. This is promising news considering 61% of workers rate flexible working as the most effective way to engage them within their role [1].

Engage a wider talent pool

Applying techniques and ideas to enhance company culture which complement the way people behave in their world of work will ultimately support companies to achieve their business goals. For example, when women return from maternity leave, organisations need to ensure they are providing the correct level of support as employees re-enter the workplace. Flexible working and retraining schemes are key here. Additionally, when it comes to millennial talent, which is leaning towards valuing greater flexibility and creativity in replacement of complex corporate processes [2], organisations may need to refresh their current policies, whether it involves implementing variables working hours or the opportunity to work remotely.

Cater to career development

The key to managing and integrating remote workers is to provide ongoing support programmes that add value to an employee’s role. Staff will feel more empowered to work productively for a company that is forward thinking in its approach to development. Managed platforms with activities and content to engage employees will help them identify and focus on their next internal career move. This is also useful for employers as the HR department will be able to search the database and contact employees wherever they are based about possible internal opportunities whilst tracking success.

Build the brand

Incorporating innovative technologies into an organisation’s culture is a great promotional tool for a business’ employer value proposition. As the economy continues to strengthen and talent has more choice over who its employer will be, companies need to do everything they can to differentiate themselves from their competition. Implementing and communicating a stand-out culture, or even better, having your employees do this promotion for you via social media, can be the difference between securing and losing top candidates. This is particularly relevant when engaging millennial talent. Recent research demonstrated young professionals are placing greater value on understanding what a company stands for and how, as employees, they can play a role in growing the organisation into a better, stronger brand [3].

The trick is for organisations to listen to what employees desire from their work structure and, where possible, find a practical and effective way of delivering these. Working smarter will increase productivity and encourage the brightest minds want to work for their company, whilst making sure they want to stay and to move the company forward too.

Guillaume Noirtin is principal consultant at Futurestep’s talent acquisition advisory in EMEA

[1] http://www.futurestep.com/opinions/the-innovation-imperative/ 

[2] http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/hr-management-services/publications/nextgen-study.jhtml

[3] https://www.futurestep.com/press/futurestep-survey-finds-compensation-one-least-important-factors-recruiting-millennial-talent/

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