The Future of Work: Unlocking Human Potential

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Information about The Future of Work: Unlocking Human Potential

Published on February 20, 2014

Author: sap



The workforce is changing, and the workplace is changing along with it. Mobile, social and cloud computing technologies are impacting both our personal and professional lives and redefining workplace expectations and models of productivity. At the same time, the talent pool is changing. There is a new generation that is flooding workforce with different values, expectations and perspectives—the Millennials.

This new world of work presents both difficult challenges and game-changing opportunities for businesses. In order to obtain the best talent, an empowered workforce and a winning position in the marketplace, organizations must embrace the new paradigm and the trends that are driving it.

Demographics are shifting. The Millennial Generation will soon outweigh Baby Boomers in the workforce. In fact, by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials. They are being called “the next greatest generation” and they are entering the workforce with unique expectations for their careers, as well as fresh ideas and new ways of working.

The demand for greater mobility and collaboration is rising. With more smartphones than people in the world, we are more connected than ever before. Employees expect mobility in the workplace and they demand the greater collaboration across corporate and geographic boundaries that comes with it. Mobile devices and collaboration are seen as essential to their productivity.

There is a global competition for talent. The marketplace is global and so is the talent market. This means that even companies with only local or regional operations now go head-to-head with international competitors. But that also means an opportunity to source talent from all over the world.

As the workforce changes, the challenge for businesses is to find new ways to engage, connect and empower their employees, their most valuable asset. An engaged workforce will drive innovation, revenue, growth and ultimately a company’s future success. Unlocking the potential of this new workforce isn’t just a competitive advantage—it is an imperative.

Conversations on the Future of Business Deep Dive: Unlocking Human Potential The Future of Work

Conversations on the Future of Business Unlocking Human Potential Challenges 40% of employees believe social tools foster better collaboration in the workplace. 2 Source: Microsoft

Conversations on the Future of Business Your Workforce Is Changing. Are You Keeping Up? We are perpetually networked. We eat, sleep, and breathe our mobile devices. Constant connectivity is now the norm, not the exception. This network-embracing mindset extends from our personal to our professional lives. The organization that hopes to remain relevant as an employer and foster a productive workforce needs to reflect the same values. At the same time, the talent pool is changing. Millennials are flooding into the workforce. They’re the first digital natives, the first generation that has never known a world that doesn’t run on information technology. The new world of work presents vexing new challenges. Changing demographics. A demand for more mobility and collaboration. Global competition for talent. And greater employee expectations. Demographics Mobility Millennials—those born in the 20 years before With 1.5 billion smartphones and 6.8 billion mobile 2000—will soon outstrip boomers. In 2014 they’ll subscriptions worldwide, most corporate employees account for 36 percent of the U.S. workforce. By are equipped for mobility. They expect to bring their 2025, 75 percent. own devices to work, without restrictions because Millennials want to feel empowered. Three-quarters say they won’t compromise personal values for their job. Nearly 70 percent believe regular days at the office are unnecessary. They’re selective about where they work, and they know what they want from their employer. Millennials and boomers have different values, different expectations for their careers, and they approach situations from conflicting perspectives. Yet you need to leverage both for your organization to be successful. 3 of security or support concerns. What’s more, they expect you to equip them for mobility. That means mobility-enabled workplace learning, software tools, business processes, and more. And the ability to stay connected—without being chained to a desk.

Conversations on the Future of Business Collaboration Greater mobility and a flattening of hierarchies mean employees demand the free flow of information. They expect to work across both corporate and geographic boundaries. They look to access the tools and the teams they need, when and where they need them. And they won’t tolerate policies that keep resources locked up in centralized locations. A Global Market Just as talent becomes more demanding, so does the talent market. By 2018, there will be 1.2 million openings for STEM jobs—those in science, technology, engineering, and math—in the United States alone. Yet there won’t be nearly that many graduates with STEM degrees. And some of tomorrow’s most in-demand jobs didn’t even exist three years ago. The yawning skills gap will drive fierce global competition for the best talent. “It’s time that more managers tap into our basic needs as human beings and leverage them to motivate employees. We all want to do work that matters and is meaningful. Managers must ... find ways to adjust the work to line up with each person’s strengths.” Shawn Murphy, CoFounder,, and Author, Creating Joy at Work 4

Conversations on the Future of Business Unlocking Human Potential Opportunities 2025 By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millenials. Source: Business and Professional Women’s Foundation 5

Conversations on the Future of Business Embracing the Insurgency New currents are roiling the workplace—and it will be the ways organizations identify, attract, develop, and retain the talent that will carry them forward. Yet the blade cuts both ways. The most challenging disruptors are simultaneously identify more effective approaches. They won’t sit by the forces that can drive positive revolution. For the as the marketplace changes while the company forward-leaning organizations that embrace the new they work for remains inert. They won’t wait for paradigm, there are new opportunities for fielding investments of time and resources to pay off at some the best talent, empowering the workforce, and indeterminate point in the future. winning in the marketplace. What new opportunities can your organization Demographics uncover as you begin to view worn-out tactics and The new generation flooding the talent pool brings higher expectations? tired strategies in the new light of a generation with with it fresh ideas and new ways of working that can alter organizations to their advantage. CBSi Interview with Mike Perlis, President & CEO, Forbes Media Millennials won’t be happy to wait before they begin to make a contribution. They won’t accept the same old ways of doing things, especially when they can 6

Conversations on the Future of Business Mobility Welcome to the age of SoMoClo—the social, mobile, and cloud computing era. Social networks give organizations new ways of connecting employees, partners, and customers. Mobile technology can empower your workers to get the job done wherever and whenever they need to do it. Cloud computing delivers the tools and the training that will equip and develop your employees to win in the global, 21st-century marketplace. Organizations that leverage these always-on-the-go technologies, strategies, and values can field the best talent, gain agility against competitors, and better sense and respond to customers and the market. Collaboration Collaboration is the new black. New tools and technologies allow you to use collaboration to build internal communities and integrate external Multiplying Brainpower: Kaggle and YourEncore Organizations increasingly recognize the value of collaboration to drive innovation. And extending that collaboration beyond the four walls of the enterprise can multiply the brainpower. That’s the advantage of crowdsourcing. But sometimes you need a crowd with decidedly scientific acumen. Enter Kaggle and YourEncore. Kaggle is an online platform for hosting competitions on predictive modeling and analytics. Organizations post their data, and data miners around the world compete to produce the best analytical models. resources. These communities enable instant interactions, real-time feedback, and continuous creation—of new processes, products, and even markets. 7 Some 10,000 scientists and 200 universities in 100 countries around the world are using the platform. Organizations as varied as NASA, General Electric, Facebook, and MasterCard have tapped the resource for solutions. YourEncore brings together a virtual team of highly experienced—and recently retired—professionals to apply their expertise to address challenges in life sciences and consumer health. Procter & Gamble, Eli Lilly, General Mills, and others have leveraged the company’s 8,000 specialists.

Conversations on the Future of Business Collaborative tools, processes, and learning open the flow of information and unleash the exchange of knowledge and ideas. Platforms such as Chatter, Jive, SAP Jam social platform, and SocialCast allow even technology novices to benefit from mobile and cloud capabilities and drive interactive teamwork across functional and geographic boundaries. A Global Market The marketplace is global. Even companies with only local or regional operations now go head-tohead with international competitors, as mobile technology reaches customers wherever they happen to be. Talent is equally trans-border. Organizations that source their talent globally can find new competitive advantage. And the same technologies that enable mobility and collaboration are giving enterprises new tools to recruit and retain the top talent. Not only that, but they also allow companies to connect with external resources on a global basis to “For the first time, people [are] starting to leverage their data to build fundamental insights to rebuild their organizations.” Dan Wagner, Founder and CEO, Civis Analytics access the knowledge, skills, and innovation they need to succeed. 8

Conversations on the Future of Business Unlocking Human Potential Imperatives 42% of employees feel that using mobile devices for work would increase their productivity. Source: Cisco 9

Conversations on the Future of Business Unleashing Your Potential Energy “Potential gets coaches fired,” legendary NFL coach Dick Vermeil once quipped. Every organization’s greatest promise lies in the energy and creativity of its people. Yet today’s potential unrealized is tomorrow’s opportunity missed, customer lost, market share ceded. The need to unlock human potential is absolute. Understand employee values, motivations, and Empower employees with mobile technologies to Achieving that objective involves several expectations for both their careers and the company revolutionize workplace learning, core operations, imperatives. Understanding the aspirations of your they work for. Leverage mobile, social, and cloud and the way workers interact and do their jobs. employees. Forging a mobile workforce. Tapping the technologies to make workplace learning more Mobility can equip employees to access tools and global talent pool. And connecting and engaging all relevant and worker activities more effective and knowledge whenever they need them. Find resourc- your people. fulfilling. That will position you to align employee es and processes wherever they happen to be. And expectations and energies with your organization’s connect with customers in the most engaging and culture, customers, and future success. effective ways. Forge a Mobile Workforce Reach into the cloud for new tools, technologies, who they want to become. You need to do the same Embrace SoMoClo. Take advantage of social plat- offers the flexibility and scale to empower your with employees. That will only become more neces- forms to foster collaboration and connect internal sary as the trickle of millennials into your workforce and external networks. The result will be better quickly becomes a deluge. knowledge sharing, continuous creativity, and the Understand Aspirations Organizations connect with customers today by recognizing what customers want to accomplish or ability to leverage new capabilities both inside and outside your enterprise. 10 and training. From content to capabilities, the cloud increasingly mobile workforce.

Conversations on the Future of Business A Coke and a TOAS Mike Ditka (Former Chicago Bears Head Coach), on Unlocking Human Potential Tap the Global Talent Pool The same technologies that empower your employees can give you access to the best and brightest talent around the world. Social media and collaborative platforms let you source the skills you need, when you need them— whether as permanent additions to core teams as project-based adjuncts to meet a specific need. At the same time, mobile technology is helping workers find the best employers. “The number of candidates using mobile devices to search and apply for new job opportunities is growing exponentially,” reports Brandon Hall Group, “especially in international markets, where a mobile device is often the only access people have to the Internet.” In targeting millennial customers, Coca-Cola Company has embraced an approach it calls TOAS: transparent, authentic, organic, and sustainable. It’s now applying the same strategy to attracting and retaining young talent. “As members of the Coke family, we choose to refresh the world, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness, and to create value and make a difference in every interaction we have with our consumers, customers, and fellow associates every day,” writes Karla Marin, global programs manager for talent acquisition at Coke, in a recent blog post. “And it is this dedication to our mission that drives our attractiveness as an employer.” How attractive? Coke has earned the No. 10 spot on LinkedIn’s Most InDemand Employers. The list ranks the world’s “most sought-after” employers based on interactions from LinkedIn’s 175 million members. 11 An example of TOAS in action is a new Out of Office feature on Coke’s Unbottled blog. The series describes what Coke employees do on their own time to achieve work-life balance—a key factor millennials consider when evaluating employers.

Conversations on the Future of Business Connect and Engage Connecting employees through social, mobile, and cloud innovations equips them to collaborate on solving business problems and delivering a better customer experience. But technology is never enough. You also need to invest in the structures, processes, and incentives that motivate employees to work together toward a common goal. To that end, you need to engage employees to embrace your values and magnify your brand. Understand the unique perspectives of all employee populations and ensure that their contributions are both personally and professional fulfilling. Take advantage of new approaches to workplace learning that enable workers to acquire the skills they need when and where they need them. Make sure your organization remains relevant to employees, and your employees remain relevant to the marketplace—so you can remain front-of-mind to your customers. Workplace Learning in the 21st Century For most of the last century, workplace learning had a familiar look and feel. Learners sat in rows and took notes while an expert at the front of the room dispensed information. Too often, technology-based learning was just a slightly upgraded version of the traditional model. So Jenny Dearborn, chief learning officer for SuccessFactors, an SAP company, writes in a recent blog post. Today, that’s changing rapidly. Advances in mobile devices and cloud technology, a deeper understanding of how humans learn, and the emergence of millennials are driving more innovative approaches. Workplace learning will be about social collaboration, team-based activities, and decentralized peer-to-peer learning. It will 12 be mobile, and access will be continuous and instantaneous. Workers will attend fewer scheduled classes and online training sessions. Instead, short videos, game-like simulations, and peer communities that offer networking, information sharing, and informal coaching will enable anyplace, anytime learning. Corporate-sponsored training will become less important. Instead, workplace learning will be experiential and relationship-based, and knowledge will come from everywhere. Companies won’t care how employees acquired knowledge, only that they can prove their expertise.

Conversations on the Future of Business Unlock Potential The workforce is changing, and the workplace is changing along with it. Yet employees remain an organization’s most valuable asset. And an engaged, connected, and empowered workforce is crucial to your future success. In fact, “engaged employees are the ones who are the most likely to drive the innovation, growth, and revenue that their companies desperately need,” according to Gallup Inc.’s 2013 State of the American Workplace report. It’s the engaged workers who build most of the new products and services, come up with most of the innovative ideas, create almost all of their company’s new customers, “and ultimately help spur the economy to create more good jobs.” That calls for effective management. Only good management can lead to a direct increase in the number of employees who are engaged at work. Gallup found that managers who focus on their employees’ strengths can practically eliminate active disengagement in their organizations and double the number of workers who are engaged. Forward-leaning organizations around the world are already making the necessary investments, adapting to changing demographics, technologies, and expectations. Where is your organization on the “Opening up that conversation with millennials is very important.... Looking at what some of the technologies are and possibly deploying them, experimenting with flexible work environments, changing the way employees are on-boarded, and just looking at different ways social and collaborative tools can impact the organization.” Jacob Morgan, Principal, Chess Media Group, Author, The Collaborative Organization journey to unlocking human potential? 13

Conversations on the Future of Business Embrace the Talent Ecosystem It’s a safe bet that managers and project leaders everywhere keep lists of people they want to have on their teams–lists they can turn to whether they need someone for a temporary project or for a permanent slot. At the very least, they have their social media connections. But companies that want the best employees must develop a talent ecosystem that extends beyond corporate boundaries. When a company’s workforce needs to shift rapidly, business leaders shouldn’t leave it to individual managers to identify the individuals they should try to hire. HR needs to step up by doing the following: • Keep in touch with alumni. Good employees often leave companies for reasons that have nothing to do with their performance: They find better opportunities or get laid off when business needs shift. After the exit interview, any relationship they have with their former employer usually depends on the personal connections they maintain. Companies that want to lure the best workers back need to make them always feel welcome. For example, Jeanne Meister, a former Accenture vice president, notes that Accenture maintains a robust alumni network, providing former employees with networking opportunities and information about the company, including current jobs and short-term contract openings. “If a bigger percentage of your workforce is going to be contingent workers you should consider forming an alumni network for them,” she suggests. • Establish relationships with talent placement firms. They’re not just for filling temporary vacancies. While some companies may have internal pools of software developers who move from project to project, for example, a lot of that flexible work will likely be provided by contingent workers in the future. Companies can tap talent placement agencies to manage the assignment and reassignment of those workers and even assist with training them. • Be a great place to work. At a recent meeting of technology executives, a CTO was asked how he was coping with the perceived shortage of IT talent. The CTO responded that he had no trouble finding workers, because the company has a reputation as a top employer. Research from Gallup shows that workers are most engaged when they believe in the purpose of their work. They’re also more loyal when employers help them develop their skills and mentor them along a career path. According to Meister, who is also the cofounder of Future Workplace, it’s up to HR to cultivate and promote the company’s employer brand. That includes the company’s values, purpose, and opportunities for career growth. • Dive into social media. Job seekers now target companies where they want to work by following them and their employees on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. They’re building relationships with people that they want to work with, until they know them well enough to send them a résumé. HR managers can use social media the way some big recruiters do: by analyzing publicly available social data to identify people whose activity suggests they might be interested in a new job. Excerpt from A New Vision for HR Management: The Workforce Ecosystem by Karie Willyerd, VP of learning and social adoption at SuccessFactors, an SAP company. Read the full paper here. 14

Conversations on the Future of Business Learn More • Conversations on the Future of Business • Conversations on Unlocking Human Potential • SAP Center for Business Insight • SAP Business Innovation Blog: Unlocking Human Potential © 2014 SAP AG or an SAP affiliate company. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or for any purpose without the express permission of SAP AG. The information contained herein may be changed without prior notice. Some software products marketed by SAP AG and its distributors contain proprietary software components of other software vendors. National product specifications may vary. These materials are provided by SAP AG and its affiliated companies (“SAP Group”) for informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind, and SAP Group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to the materials. The only warranties for SAP Group products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and other countries. Please see http:/ / for additional trademark information and notices.

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