A Counter-Intuitive Way to Prepare Your Employees for the Workplace of Tomorrow


Attitudes towards investing in people are gradually starting to change.

As technology transforms the future workplace and the employee base starts to reflect an ageing population, companies are starting to realise that they need to give their people the skills to manage their future career as well as the narrow scope of their current role.

They might be able to do their job today, but what about the job of tomorrow?

 It doesn’t matter whether they will be working for their current company or for someone else – it is essential that the employers invest in them as people, not as employees.

It might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that companies should be helping their people to prepare for a future that may lie elsewhere, but unless there is a visionary shift in attitudes, underinvestment in this area risks leading to a collapse in productivity. When technology starts to take the strain, the (human) future of work will be collaborative, creative and driven by thinking rather than doing. It will differ from today in many ways.

I am not just talking about assembly line work in factory – this concerns a whole swathe of white-collar workers. Much of the boring routine work that dominates their day will be automated, and they will be expected to add value in other ways that the machines cannot.

In this human-led future, only the right people with the right skills will thrive.

At Directioneering, our ethos is to help your people become future ready – so they can make the right moves in the chess game of their career, ensuring that they are riding the wave of change rather than being engulfed by it.

Admittedly, it sounds like I am suggesting that companies should teach their people “how to leave,” but in the quest to retain the best talent, why would you not want to support your people in a holistic sense rather than a narrow way that is defined by what they need to do for their employer at the current time.

You will engender loyalty and you will create ambassadors.

The nature of this support will vary by function and by industry, but, for me, an employer should be asking their people a simple question: what could your career look like in 5-10 years and how can we help you to get there?

As the leading career transition specialists in Australia, we are used to looking beyond the immediate next step forthe candidates we work with. Our job has not been done when they sign their next employment contract. Our job has been done when they have become a valued contributor over the longer-term.

Just in the same way that we help people to find roles where they will be retained, in my view, it is the role of an employer to help their people create a fulfilling career where the skills that they are learning today will lead to the eventual achievements of tomorrow.

We will be exploring the future world of work over the next few blogs. Some might say that it requires an element of gazing into a crystal ball, but there are already trends that are having a very real impact on career paths.

If you choose to support your people to get ahead of these trends, you will be helping them to grow. Surely that is the worthiest of goals.