Workforce Management Trends for Digitally Disruptive Times

published Sep 24, 2018
2 min read

Digital Workforce Management

Business objectives, product road maps and marketing strategies – these traditionally long-lasting plans are now subject to rapid changes which makes them increasingly short-lived, and the idea of ‘disruption’ is thus the narrative of our iterative times. To thrive and compete in a market that is looking for instant gratification and to work with the fluidity of the millennial workforce, organisations need to rethink their workforce management strategy altogether.

The good news though is the fact that businesses across the world are experiencing a culture shift in employee engagement initiatives which brings the following set of best practices to the forefront. A sweet spot between human resource management and traditional resource management is probably where we are headed! Here is a quick look –

1. Do You Have the Remote?

Catching up with the changing dynamics of the workforce landscape is an absolute necessity today. Five years ago, your offline teams probably handled secondary operational duties like telesales or back-end support. But given today’s digitally equipped, hyper-specialised gig workforce – your developers, marketers or your leadership team could all be placed anywhere in the world.

This makes nurturing and enabling a healthy, virtual workforce inevitable. In simpler words, if you fail to harness the bandwidth of these specially skilled resources spread across the globalised marketplace, your battle for good talent is already lost. Making cost-effective and educated hiring decisions can no longer be ignored.

If you are wondering about managing remote teams without either micro-managing them or ignoring them, effective best practices include prioritising communication and collaboration, harnessing scientific resource scheduling with visually effective tools and working towards achieving a uniform culture fit.

2. Don’t Miss the Train

Given that PMI’s latest in-depth report is a great benchmark, it becomes official that employee engagement and training are more crucial for organisations than ever. Being an employer in the times of unforgiving digital disruption has its fair share of ups and downs but regardless, training and employee skill development cannot be points of negotiation. Adopting a project management styled philosophy for operations as well as employee career growth initiatives, are measures that are worth taking too.

The report summarises it in the best possible way with the following lines – “Disruption is the new normal, and success relies on a workforce that can manage the impact of new technologies. Project leaders are essential in tomorrow’s changing landscape. According to a 2017 report by the Institute for the Future and Dell Technologies, 85% of the jobs that will be available by 2030 haven’t even been invented yet!”

The message for employers remains loud and clear – participate or perish.

3. Resource Is the Source

People productivity = organisational productivity. Yet, the best of organisations tend to get this simple logic wrong often enough to lose project hours as well as talent. People’s productivity is a lot more than the hours of work you can extract from them. As detailed here, it is crucial that leaders and work cultures alike focus on the quality of work delivered, as opposed to just the time spent on a project or task. This makes logical and tangible goals the measures of success as opposed to just the hours put in.

The utilisation and allocation principles of resource management also focus on this idea of optimal and full spectrum skill utilisation of people, the starting point of which is to yet again be ‘workforce ready’ bridge skill gaps and plan capacity as project demands shift course. Workforce planning is gaining momentum even as we speak and is no longer a back-burner initiative like it used to be.

4. Measure for Measure

Peter Drucker’s “if you can’t measure it, you cannot improve it” is an epiphanic statement that is applicable to any metric – including those that measure workforce productivity and engagement levels. So building holistic metrics is a very important step towards creating and sustaining value – that employees see in your enterprise and the value they themselves add to projects and tasks.

So in order to have a holistic metric, make sure to measure productivity from multiple perspectives – those of quality, time, innovation, research and growth. As a combination, you will see revenue generation finding its own niche, even as you measure other parameters. Learning growth and self-actualising careers would be the most valuable assets you could give employees.

How would you describe your team culture? Would it be more progressive given the contingent workforce or is it still full-timer focused? Start your introspection, make a list of your go-to practices and share your stories!


Aakash Gupta
Saviom Software’s subject-matter expert of resource management, Aakash Gupta is a propagator of industry best practices and enjoys writing about latest markets trends of the space.