Future Workforce Readiness Research Study Revealed
Busyness is leading to False Confidence in being Prepared for Future of Work
Harmonics, the Irish partner of OI Global Partners (one of the world’s largest career consulting partnerships), has released the findings from its Future Workforce Readiness Research Study. The purpose of the study was to measure the preparedness of the workforce for the massive changes ahead in the new world of work. In doing so, it also looked at how organisations can prepare their workforce for the Future of Work.
The study examined how the workforce is thinking in relation to their career now and their future intentions and found that 42% have hit a career ceiling, feel frustrated or are in a toxic situation. Alarmingly, 1 in 5 are actively seeking to leave their employers and pursuing a new role externally. This was highest for males (24%) in the 35-44 age category and for females (23%) in the 45-54 age category.
When looking at comparisons between male and female respondents, the study noted that 34 is the age when the career growth trajectory declines for women. In the 25-34 age category, 38% of female respondents described themselves in a career growth stage. This drops to 31% in the 35-44 age category and lower again to 22% in the 45 – 54 category. The study also observed that females identify themselves as having ‘Hit a Career Ceiling’ more so than their male counterparts for all these age bands.
John Fitzgerald, managing director of Harmonics and author of the research study said, “Our study shows a very high percentage are either disengaged with their employer or don’t see opportunity for career growth. It highlights the opportunity that exists for organisations to engage with their employees in meaningful career development conversations -especially in a market where talent is so scarce. This silent dissatisfaction is workforce data that requires urgent attention and can create obvious wins with the correct interventions.”
Among the key findings of the survey, 64% is the average score for Future Career Readiness. However, when broken down, the results showed a clear disconnect between a persons perceptions of their future career readiness versus their actual level of readiness. The key theme emerging is a lack of readiness to take advantage of workplace change that is happening now.
According to Mr Fitzgerald, “People think they are better prepared than they actually are. While they may be confident in their professional and personal development, the busyness of daily work tasks and lack of longer-term planning may be leading to an over-confidence in their capability to succeed in the future of work. There was a distinct lack of preparation for the impact of AI and automation and awareness of how they can bridge the gap so they can stay ahead in their careers.”
“The speed of change in the global economy means employers are almost always in a restructuring and change mode. Plus, the rise of AI and automation is leading to new ways of working. For organisations, this means traditional workforce planning is no longer fit for purpose and job descriptions are in constant flux. For individuals, climbing the traditional career ladder no longer makes sense as a lifelong career strategy,” he continued.
Over 500 working professionals from 21 countries worldwide participated in the study during spring 2019. The majority of respondents were from Ireland.
Harmonics designed the Future Career Readiness Index, an online tool, to help organizations take an ‘instant pulse’ on how their workforce is thinking in relation to their career now and their future intentions.
“Future career readiness is the critical indicator that illustrates the gap between your current and future workforce readiness to change. Yet it is the one thing that never gets measured,” concluded Mr Fitzgerald.