The Future of Work Will Be Defined Largely by Your Training Strategy Today


The future of work concept explores how enterprises can integrate digital, phsyical and human solutions to improve productivity. It helps organizations look a few years down the road or decades into the future. Yet, regardless of how far ahead we look, one thing is certain: the future of work will be defined largely by present training.

There is a tendency to conflate the future of work with the future workplace. They are not the same thing. Failing to distinguish between the two creates a real problem as enterprises look to position themselves for future growth: concentrating more on technologies and infrastructure at the expense of the people who will perform the tasks.

Technology Accelerates Ever Faster

Considering the future of work is imperative due to the pace at which technology is accelerating. The further along we go, the faster technology advances. Moreover, every leap in technology seems to be exponentially greater than the previous leap. We are left wondering how today's workforce will manage when the next leap is made.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency to focus employee training more on the here and now rather than what might be coming down the pike. Granted, we don't always know what the future holds. Yet concentrating only on what we know now leads to training employees in technologies and processes that are likely to be obsolete much sooner than originally anticipated.

This means organizations need to approach the future of work from the standpoint of preparation for the future. What do the indicators point to in terms of technology? Where do we seem to be headed in terms of business processes? What emerging skill sets appear to be on the verge of becoming high demand in just a few short years? Our current training methodologies should be built around these sorts of things.

Training Will Shape Organizational Success

The future of work will evolve in a dynamic landscape that will continue to evolve even as we are busy adapting training. But that only makes proper training so much more important. How we train today's workforce will impact the future of work in several key ways:

  • Available skill sets – Everything from AI to automation is changing the way organizations do things. Along the way, the changes are creating demand for entirely new skill sets. Will those skill sets be available when we can no longer afford to not have properly trained talent?
  • A knowledgeable workforce – In addition to new skills, tomorrow's workers will need access to a larger body of knowledge that fosters critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and digital literacy. The time to start producing that knowledge in a quantifiable form is now.
  • A mindset of adaptability – Today's training should be preparing tomorrow's employees with the ability to adapt. The pace of acceleration is not going to slow, so a mindset of adaptability will be critical to keeping things on track.

Thought leaders who understand proactive training and its impact on the future of work are already suggesting a variety of strategies to make sure we are training the workforce properly. Trends like microlearning, experiential learning and personalized training by way of AI platforms have the ball rolling. Now we need to keep it rolling to ensure a better future.

The future of work is less about technology and infrastructure and more about people. Let the workplace be the workplace. In the meantime, adopting a proactive approach to training suggests a forward-looking focus that will prepare workers with the skills, knowledge, and mindset they need to succeed in what will be a very different world.

ISG helps enterprises optimize their investments in training and learning and build a strategy for the future of work. Contact us to get started.