Facing the future: a new world of work

Until recently, roles such as sustainability consultant, social media manager and Zumba instructor were non-existent. So what does the future hold for HR?

Facing the future: a new world of work
Until recently, roles such as social media manager, sustainability consultant and Zumba instructor were non-existent.
 
But today, around one in six Australians work in jobs that didn’t exist 20 years ago, according to research from Ancestry.com.au.
 
Ongoing shifts and innovations in technology and communication will require organisations to continue embracing “a new world of work”, said HR practitioner Martin Nally, managing director of hranywhere – and it’s crucial to “be open” to it.
 
“Understand that new roles will be required and new challenges lie ahead in creating new opportunities,” he said.
 
“Last year’s election had ‘twitter analysts’ roles that didn’t exist the Federal Election before it. The rate of innovation has been exponential over the last 20 years, both in existing and emerging technology, and so too must the change in our roles for humans.”
 
Generation Alpha are already tech savvy, Nally said – “My three-year-old grandson swipes the TV to change the channel, as he is already used to an iPad” – and for those who manage a diverse and multi-generational workforce, it’s important to plan for inevitable future changes, today.
 
“We need to shift the focus a little and create a business plan [based] on a layered approach,” Nally suggested.
 
“Layer one is the known and more predictable next 2-3 years; layer two is the less clearly predictable 3-5 years; and layer three is the unknown and highly unpredictable 5+ years.”
 
Nally said you should allocate roughly 70 per cent of your planning time to layer one, and the remaining 30 per cent to layer two and three.
 
This strategy may be supported by HR, he added, but it “cannot be owned by them”.
 
“The business and line managers must be the drivers,” Nally said.
 
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