Work and Wellbeing · 27 November 2018

Employers are failing to equip their staff with creative and leadership skills

What opportunities are you giving staff to express themselves?

British employers are failing to give staff the creative and leadership skills they need to prepare for the future of work, according to new survey findings.

New research from PwC found that only 41% of employees in the UK believe their employer is providing them with the required training.

The research comes alongside a new survey from PwC of 1,246 business and HR leaders from 79 countries which found that 87% of companies believe human skills such as creativity, leadership and adaptability are critical for the future but that only a third have talent practices that drive these skills.

“HR departments must lead the way in growing and building the capabilities the workforce of tomorrow will require,” said Alastair Woods, partner at PwC.

“The impact of automation and robotics over the course of the next decade will mean some tasks disappear, but new activities will emerge that rely on uniquely human skills like judgement, empathy and innovation.”

“To prepare for this change HR teams must develop a thorough understanding of future needs and put in place the learning and development programmes and other tools like performance management to help and underpin this transition.”

PwC added that the changing nature of work is being accompanied by an increase in the numbers of contractors, freelancers and portfolio workers. Identifying where and how to engage this flexible talent will become increasingly important for organisations, it said, yet few are prepared for this shift.

“Only 8% of global respondents strongly agreed that their organisations are able to engage easily with this valuable resource as and when they are needed,” PwC said.

PwC found that more than half of 18-34-year olds in the UK would work in the gig economy compared to less than 30% of those above that age group. They cite having greater control and flexibility as the main benefits.

This flexibility is recognised by 70% of business and HR leaders as increasingly important in attracting and retaining talent. However, less than half currently give their employees a high degree of autonomy and control around when and where they work.

Woods added: “Firms need to think about how they embrace flexibility while ensuring workers get a fair deal. Businesses are missing a trick by ignoring the huge value gig economy workers could add to a company and are failing to invest in tapping into this workforce. HR needs to design the recruitment, reward and recognition elements that will attract gig workers and see them return.”

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