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Wiebke Apitzsch
Wiebke
Apitzsch

4 Steps to a Winning People Strategy for the Future

18.09.2019
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When did you first hear the term “war for talent”? For many business leaders, thinking about the future triggers a certain sense of urgency, not least because of this phrase. Digitalization and other major transformation processes have set a ball rolling that will probably trigger change in every business area of organizations as we know them today.

A well-developed People Strategy allows you to respond appropriately to technical and demographic changes. To counteract the impending impact on your business model and the consequences it will have for personnel management, you should start preparing your company for future trends right away.

However, a traditional understanding of talent recruitment and skills management is no longer sufficient at this point. If you want to be successful in the future, you should understand what a prominent position employees will occupy in the company in the coming years. Your employees should not only be seen as strategic resources needed to achieve your business goals. Rather, we should see current and potential employees as investors who choose to invest precious time and energy into our company.

What are the determining factors of these changes? How do you design a People Strategy that equips your business for the future? You will find answers to these questions in this blog post.

The 2025 Workplace: Driving Forces of Change

The workforce of the future will be distinguished by a number of characteristics that you should already include in your personnel planning today. However, what are the key developments when it comes to employee management and the future workforce in your organization?

Exponential development of technology

Cutting-edge technologies are increasingly having an influence on how we work. Cloud, social media, the internet of things (IoT) and a high degree of automation are altering the way people work by opening up new possibilities for digital, automated work. Increasing virtual connectivity is leading to a delocalization of many work processes, such as talent management.

Social and demographic changes

These technological developments are driving social changes as well. Many employees will continue working beyond retirement age, while there will be fewer young employees out there. As a result, we can expect a greater age diversity in our workforce.

Highly qualified women will make up a large proportion of the workforce in the workplace of the future. More employees will choose to work as freelancers or on flexitime. Talent management will become more targeted and employee-oriented.

Requirements for Your People Strategy in Dynamic Times

An effective People Strategy will already be addressing these turning points. Therefore, anyone who wants to enjoy success in the future should tailor their People Strategy to the following criteria:

  • The skills of employees are decisive for the development of the company.
  • A business strategy and People Strategy should interact synergistically in your organization.
  • Your People Strategy should strike a balance between those aspects that are in the best interest of the employee and in the best interest of the company.
  • Your People Strategy should aim to attract and retain people with outstanding skills as you prepare and equip your current workforce for the future.

Easier said than done? Absolutely! Below are some practical tips that will ensure you adopt a successful People Strategy for your business.

From large companies to SMEs, your People Strategy is a crucial building block for the future success of your company. Here you will discover 3 reasons why it’s paramount for SMEs in particular to implement a People Strategy.

4 Pillars of a Winning People Strategy

If you want to retain your leading position in a dynamic environment, you should not react to changes as soon as they occur. Use the following questions to align your People Strategy with future trends right away.

1. Who do I need when? And what can I do today to meet the needs of the future?

Optimize your personnel plan with an eye on the future. The following questions will help you determine your personnel requirements:

  • Retirement age: When will employees retire and how many people will leave the company?
  • Start and completion of training: When should we start looking for new employees or trainees so that they can start working at the right time?
  • Possibility of strategic dismissals: Which jobs will no longer be needed in the future?

Based on these assessments, you can already reduce your costs today and make your processes more efficient.

2. How do I find talent and convince them to work for my company?

In the future, we can expect the war for talent to become increasingly intense. On the one hand, employees belonging to the Baby Boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964) will leave companies and head into retirement. On the other hand, Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) and Generation Z will not be sufficient to replace them. As a result, your organization’s ability to attract young talent will become a key competitive advantage in the future. 

Practical tips for successful talent management

How do I find talent?

Technological developments will certainly have an impact on the recruitment process. The search for talent will increasingly take place online and will not be limited by geographical location. It is becoming more and more important to understand who you want to reach as well as to know the networks in which young professionals are active. This is where digital know-how plays a critical role. Recruitment will increasingly take place via “targeted ads” on social media platforms and with the help of software.

How do I attract talent? 

  • Whether a highly qualified employee has an interest in your company depends on a well-organized recruiting process. Pay special attention to clear and fast communication. 
  • A potential employee will thoroughly inform themselves about your organization and ask themselves what the company has to offer. Many applicants will want to take advantage of traditional benefits such as holiday pay, sickness insurance, pensions and bonuses.
  • Personal and social criteria are also growing in importance: What opportunities does your company offer for a healthy work-life balance? Are there any training sessions or further education courses? Are there attractive career advancement opportunities? Are there any activities outside working hours that will serve to strengthen social ties within the team?
  • Make the most of the good experience that your current employees have gained and let them act as brand ambassadors.

All the points mentioned above also affect whether you can retain talent in your company in the long term (see key question 4).

3. How do I prepare the existing workforce for the future?

Though it may not seem that way today, workforces in 2025 will be composed of many different age groups. You will be able to observe the following developments in your personnel portfolios in the future.

  • By 2025, workers belonging to the Millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2000) and Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2015) will constitute about 55% of the working population. These groups expect their employers to maintain a strong digital focus.
  • At the same time, companies will still have employees from Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980). They will be active well into their 60s and will be well-versed in how to use technologies.
  • In addition, many “Baby Boomers” (born between 1946 and 1964) will delay their retirement.

To ensure you have effective skills management that prepares your organization for this generation change, you should take note of the following:

  • Which skills do my employees currently have and which skills profiles do young employees bring with them?
  • Especially in view of the digitalization of our forms of work, you should make sure to train your employees for future processes today.
  • Mix content formats and use different communication channels in order to reach all age groups of the multi-generational workforce.
  • Make sure you deliver training content based on the personal interest profile, goals and development needs of individual employees.

4. How do I manage to retain talent in my company?

Talented job seekers will receive a wider range of job offers in the future. As a first step, you need to attract people to your company (see key question 2). What ensues after hiring will become increasingly important in the future to ensure that talented employees remain in your company:

  • Eyes wide open during the early months

Around 90% of newly recruited employees decide whether they want to stay in their new job within the first six months. This means you should make sure have an excellent onboarding process. 

  • Use digital programs for your personnel management

According to a study by SAP, 98.7% of the most successful SMEs already use intelligent technology for their workforce management.

  • The employee experience is what counts

A positive employee experience begins with the recruiting process and continues through to the onboarding process and organizational structures. The more satisfied your employees are, the more likely they are to remain loyal to your organization.

  • Rely on a strong corporate culture

Master new challenges together – that’s exactly how teams bond. As a manager, make it clear that you want to grow together with your employees and would welcome any change requests.

Are you preparing your organization for the future with a winning People Strategy and wondering if you are on the right track? We would be happy to support you in this challenge and assist you by providing a professional assessment! We look forward to hearing from you!



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