BOOK: How to Manage Your Workforce in the Digital Age


BOOK: How to Manage Your Workforce in the Digital Age

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Up until recently, Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) has been a latent need for most organisations. The importance of strategically managing an organisation’s most vital intangible asset – its people - including the biggest item in the cost budget (i.e., labour), and the largest driver of business outcomes, has not been entirely recognized or appreciated by Boards, Executives and HR professionals alike. 

Now all of this is changing or about to change, with the key driver of this change emerging from the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), including developments in technology and digital disruption, all of which are a ecting business models, work practices and employees’ life styles. 

Changes to the business model means changes to the shape of the workforce. It is mission-critical to anticipate how changing strategies and business models will alter an organisation’s workforce requirements. Hence the imperative is to adopt a more strategic approach to workforce management: 

  • Starting with an understanding of the legacy (existing) workforce;

  • Then identifying the new processes, organizational structures, skills and capability requirements; and

  • Ultimately transitioning to the new workforce configuration.

Apart from technological developments and digital disruption, other drivers of the need for SWP include: 

  • Borderless working and the rising demand for flexible work arrangements;

  • The changing nature of the worker, becoming more age diverse, more ethnic diverse, more mobile and more autonomous.

Thus the application of SWP to digital disruption and workforce transformation is a key emerging issue. However many organisations are or will be entering unchartered waters, grappling to understand and address the challenges of workforce reconfiguration against the background of these emerging changes. 

Previously the back office functions of HR and IT are now “front and centre” in the new economy. Being in the “eye of the storm”, a close collaboration between thesetwo functions is vital to successful transformation. More specifically, HR has a key role to play – both as a passenger and a driver – in building a digital culture, workplace and workforce. 

To that end this book is designed to assist executives and HR professionals in navigating the digital journey. Even for those organisations less affected by digital disruption, they will find the book relevant in how they best manage their workforce. It provides an over view of the digital world, workplace trends, digital disruption, digital workforce transformation, and the extended role of the CIO and HR Director/Manager.