From my perspective, I see more short-term work arrangements between employers and employees. Increasing pressure is being placed on both parties to better serve their own interests. In the past, both employers and employees leaned on human resource departments to ensure that professional development occurred. Workers might have some discretion, but many just accepted what came their way, assuming their best interests were also being served.
That nice, neat cooperative world is not as common today. Employers are more conscious of having the right people with the right skills in every position. Employers are making shorter term hiring commitments, so they have the flexibility they want to keep hiring for specific needs. Companies can retain their own employees, if they have been identified initially and the employers make the experience and training investments necessary for these individuals to grow with the organization.
But many companies are not perceptive enough to identify and invest in workers who will best meet their new needs. That forces employees to be markedly more proactive on their own behalf. Individual employees must perceive what skills will be needed in their next jobs and determine how best to acquire those skills. They are the ones who have to push their current employers to invest in them, or allow employees the time to seek professional development opportunities that will put them in good position for their next job, either at their current employer or at another employer.
Both employers and employees must actively engage in predicting future opportunities and preparing for them. Talent development is the key. Both sides of the equation need to develop more insight into what skills need further development and how each can ensure that opportunities for that development occur. The big change is that individuals must take on greater responsibility for creating their futures in the workplace.
Do you think that workers are prepared for assuming this expanded responsibility and willing to make commitments to assure themselves a brighter future? What else might need to be done in this new world of changing responsibility?