Since the onset of the pandemic, 8% of Canadian workers quit their jobs, and another 17% are thinking about leaving, according to a survey by LifeWorks. It’s hard to know the reasons behind all of these changes, but one thing is clear: Organizations need to prepare their workforce to adapt and change with the times. Here are tips for building a future-proof workforce for your agency.
Expand beyond traditional education
Reskilling is the process of encouraging your workforce to constantly grow and develop professionally, rather than waiting for a big event to happen to learn new skills. This is not only enriching for your staff, but it’s also helpful for your agency. It allows you to quickly respond to changing circumstances.
Educational opportunities don’t have to be limited to traditional degree programs, however. Innovative options could include:
- Online courses or seminars
- Certification programs
- On-the-job training workshops
Sharpen technology skills
A “skills mismatch” may be responsible for some career disruptions, as some workers struggle to keep up with changing workplace requirements. Staying up to date with changing technology and social trends is a great way to prepare for unforeseen events. Government agencies may find that developing new apps or increasing automation for certain tasks makes business more convenient for constituents too.
Offer flexible opportunities
Help your staff prepare for the future by ensuring they’re comfortable working under evolving conditions. For example, make sure that your employees can effectively and securely work remotely. This will prevent disruptions if work needs to done on your office building or if there’s a health emergency—like the COVID 19 pandemic. Workers may need to brush up on cybersecurity best practices to ensure they can protect themselves from cyber threats. They may also want to spend some time learning how to use different devices or tools to help meet citizens’ needs. Offering opportunities such as flexible scheduling or job-sharing can help staff adapt and prepare for the future.
Treat problems as lessons learned
As your agency prepares for the future, problems are bound to pop up. Treat those issues as opportunities to revamp processes or protocols. Help keep constituents’ and staff’s questions and concerns top of mind by scheduling town halls or meetings for them to share their opinions. Ask for recommendations and requests to help pinpoint needs and shape goals. And remember: Any obstacle your agency discovers now is a valuable learning tool to help prevent confusion later.
Prep for the long term with a future-proof workforce
From opening educational opportunities to adapting to unusual working conditions, developing a future-proof workforce will take diligence and time. With intentional initiatives, your government agency can ensure your employees are prepared and citizens’ needs are met, no matter the circumstances.