Everybody’s Working for the Future

loverboyI‘ve partnered with Spherion to provide insight and information from the 2015 Emerging Workforce Study but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

In the immortal words of Mike Reno and Loverboy:

“Everybody’s working for the weekend

Everybody wants a new romance

Everybody’s going off the deep end

Everybody needs a second chance

Sort of sounds like today’s world of work. Well, maybe not the romance part (except for that creepy guy who works in your mail room) but the other lyrics sure remind me of work. But don’t take my assessment of the situation; our friends at Spherion did a great job of pulling together their 2015 Emerging Workforce Study by examining several forward-looking trends and indicators for what the future workplace will become. They surveyed more than 2,000 workers and 225 human resource managers to gather their opinions and attitudes on topics including recruitment, employee engagement, job satisfaction, retention, employee advocacy, social media use, generational differences and work/life balance. Conducted by Harris Poll (a Nielson company), the survey was conducted in March and April of this year.

What did I learn by taking a dive into the study? What’s the talk around the water cooler both in the HR suite and out on the shop floor?

First and foremost, the skills gap is top of mind for both employers and employees. While employers cite a skills gap in the current workforce, employees also expressed concern that they won’t be able to prepare for tomorrow’s jobs or have the ability to progress in their own careers. The study results showed that 33% of employees agreed with the statement I believe my current job skills fall short of what will be required in future positions” and 36% agreed with “I don’t feel my current job skills will help me attain a promotion today.”

In addition, 31% of employees surveyed agreed with the statement “I don’t feel like my current employer has trained me adequately enough to keep my skills up.”

So who is to blame? Leaders and human resources professionals like to point out, in a perfectly reasonable manner, that employees should be responsible for their own development. Naturally, this is a bit different for an IT professional like a .Net Developer as compared to a non-exempt help desk technician making $32k who may not have the resources or time to self-fund her own professional development.

Are organizations and human resources/L & D teams falling short by failing to adequately up-skill their current staff? According to the survey, 24% of employers think it’s very/extremely challenging in terms of cost to keep workers trained for future skill needs/requirements, and 26% say the same for keeping up with evolving training demands to keep workers’ skills up-to-date.

Where’s the disconnect?

It appears both groups identify the same needed skills; according to the survey employers believe the top skills that would be required for employment include problem-solving skills, strategic thinking skills and team building, the ability to understand and interpret data, and evolving technology expertise. For the most part, employees agree and cite problem solving skills, strategic thinking skills, evolving technology expertise, and ability to understand and interpret data as necessary for success.

If we all agree this is an issue affecting the acquisition and retention of talent isn’t it time to give enhanced employee development programs a second chance? Work smarter during the week so we can truly live on the weekend?

I think Mike Reno – and his headband – would approve. 


Disclosure Language:

Spherion partnered with bloggers such as me for their Emerging Workforce Study program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any idea mentioned in these posts. Spherion believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Spherion’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


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