Where are we travelling to by 2030?
Millenials’ skill sets
Moore’s Law observed we are doubling technology capability and decreasing costs. What will the resulting personal interaction be like for Millennials, who gain their best friends on line, when it comes to their interaction in the work force?
Advising clients that the skills the current Millenials (or Generation 9/11) bring with them, such as collaborative working, more openness to the broader sharing of knowledge, comfortable with technology, just might make the requirement for them to park in between the white lines in a car park not seem relevant to them, unless the consequences can be pictorialised.
It will also require a change in management style, in so far as managers will have to learn that these employees will question your thoughts and processes until Generation 9/11 is in charge! In Europe we have access to a trained, intelligent potential workforce, because we are not restricted by a single pan- European curriculum and a young mobile workforce.
In the cities of the future, integrated knowledge will be the DNA of living; similar to what we experience today in charging a battery, our personal knowledge pack will be downloaded overnight. Whilst we have apps today that can prioritise our news, we will be presented with knowledge that is far more intuitive than Amazon today suggesting items that you might want to buy, we will be health monitored , practical ideas to assist us in our day-to-day living and then the greatest challenge on how employers present timely information to employees.
I am not a believer that whilst combing your hair in the mirror you will see an interactive hologram displayed, but driverless cars will become popular as people will want to use those wasted hours of travelling to work or play to interact with their knowledge packs.
Employers will need to present work knowledge in a way that it can be picked up on employee’s own device, whatever that may look like – wrist device, holograms displayed on your skin, eye glasses or perhaps cranial implants!
In the future employees will be more connected and will want to know more about the companies they work for. Does this mean more workers’ councils? No, as communication will be their desire, but how will this be relevant to the manual worker rather the knowledge workers?
Whilst there will be always a demand for manual workers in restaurants, waste disposal, retail establishments, factories and security officers, automation will be the key to managing this group of workers. We will be choosing outgoing people to be our interaction in such roles, well briefed, knowledgeable on the product they represent. What a difference today in getting your coffee from the lively Barista at 7am than from the café that does not get fast service.
So we have the model of the worker, how do we retain them? We accept that this will be a revolving group of matrix workers, so we will need access to a steady flow of educated workers. We establish better training programmes that will immerse people into a new role, offer interesting environments to work in and then we back them up with technology.
Gone will be the pickers at large distribution centres, replaced with robots, but could supermarkets survive on robots as shelf stackers? For the city of the future the retention of key (police, healthcare) and essential (service) workers will need to be catered for in urban planning.
Rewarding essential workers
How do we better reward these essential workers? What is the market rate when personality is as important as capability? Speaking with a number of service and end- user companies in the UK, there is doubt that clients will afford a better level of service and that service companies are capable of delivering a higher level of service. Part of the solution is having a regular dialogue with a key client so that you both can learn about levels of service and the ability to change delivery processes.
Most clients want a more engaged operational management and enthusiastic, contracted workforce, so we will see more integration of contractors’ management into the client envelope, as only clients can drive that internal knowledge whilst keeping a separation of the master and servant relationship.
If you consider parts of the world, such as Asia, have been relatively untouched by the financial collapse of Europe and the USA in 2008, wages for workers have grown in real terms and service workers, in particular, are in demand.
Increasing middle class
In a world where the resources-intense middle classes will be the most expansive group in population growth, what will be the job satisfaction of such people?
With that increasing middle class comes a requirement to engage with them in their space and in adequate terms, so hence those manual workers will become more skilled as there is an increase in demand for services.
In general, the human race has a problem with a 2 billion increase in population; the middle classes will use up 65% more in resources than today and that is where city planners will have to look at urban farming and other ways in which we recycle at all levels. Waste cannot be allowed to continue as we see in many societies.
Having just returned from Reims and a tour of the champagne houses and seeing how people are just so integral in the production of their product and smaller producers emphasises that personal attention is the differentiator of their brand, yet they have developed machinery capable of removing 50% of the labour cost.
Some 120,000 pickers are required for a 3-week period. However, since the 1700s the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne have required that the hand picking of grapes is required for the production of champagne.
So just like the pre- and post-war periods of hop picking in Kent, a new group of middle classes are now giving their time for free in exchange for bottles of champagne and dinner table conversation with friends about their recent exploits.
Peter French MBE, CPP, FSyl
SSR® Personnel www.ssr-personnel.com