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Graham Birkenhead, November 1 2022

6 Ways to become the Workplace of Tomorrow – Today

Sun Tzu said many things concerning the art of war that are just as applicable to the art of business. For example, "In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”  There are many aspects to the world today that we could describe as chaos, and in each there will be opportunity for those that care to look. 

One is the unavailability of staff. Companies are restricting their growth or turning away orders because they cannot produce fast enough. And while raw materials have been part of the issue over the last couple of years, the main issue now is a shortage of people. 

We constantly hear how companies cannot find employees, but we also hear about how people cannot find work.  A recent Deloitte study highlighted an interesting fact: Canadian data showed that while the number of vacancies approached 1m earlier this year, there were an equivalent number of people looking for work and wanting to work.  The issue is that these people are either not where the jobs are geographically, and/or they don't have the skills or background required by the company. 

It seems this imbalance might be an ongoing issue - rather than a pandemic blip.  Yes, the pandemic caused a lot of people to reevaluate their lives, and the Great Resignation was one sign of that. But overall, people still want to work and contribute to society, it's just that many are being a little more discerning about what they do; they want to work more 'on their terms'.  The Baby Boomer generation, who were very prepared to put company before all else (work hard), are well into their retirement phase, while at the other end of the 'workforce participation spectrum', the Gen Zs are prepared to work hard as long as it is meaningful work and doesn't come with a load of stress (work hard and smart). 

The nature of our workforce is changing; companies, and to some extent government policy, will need to adapt.  The jobs are there, the people are there - so how do we connect the two? 

There is no magic bullet solution to this, but the time to start the shift is now:

So, here are a few ideas:

The chaotic shift in the workforce is going to continue.  There is great opportunity in that - the successful companies of the near and longer term will be the ones that learn how to adapt.  Will you be part of the workforce revolution?

See you out there

Graham

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Graham Birkenhead

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