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The changing colours of the liquid workforce

Sam Liew, Managing Director, Technology, ASEAN, Accenture | July 29, 2016
Eighty percent of the 3,100 IT and business executives Accenture surveyed believed that flexible and fluid workers will be their most valuable employees in the digital age. So how do we turn our workforce into one of chameleon workers?

A plug-and-play approach

Chameleons are not always full-time employees, which works well as companies adopt agile business models, bringing in external talent as and when needed to complete teams.

Agencies such as Freelancer.com and Upwork maintain rosters of talent available for short-term projects, giving companies access to a range of deep technical skills, and valuable experience without having to increase full-time headcount.

Technological advances, meanwhile, opens up the possibility of putting together geographically dispersed talent pools, bringing together the best combination of skills, experience and networks.

Creating win-wins

Companies that have successfully courted chameleon workers also need to retain them by aligning HR practices with their needs and aspirations.

Millennials bring with them new attitudes, approaches and expectations of the workplace, seeking flexibility, opportunities for self-development, and regular feedback and encouragement. Dissatisfied with highly structured, hierarchical work environments, they look to shape their career paths and use digital tools to work anytime, and from anywhere.

Only 12 percent of hiring managers we surveyed said that working well in a team and getting along with co-workers was a top priority for millennials. But when millennials themselves were asked, more than three times that number (39 percent) identified teamwork and cooperation as top priority. Similarly, 75 percent of hiring managers expected earning potential to be a priority, which only 44 percent of millennials named.

The right engagement strategy will allow businesses to move forward in the digital era with a team of chameleon workers who are willing to evolve with change and possess the digital acumen to power the business forward. And that creates a critical advantage for any company in an age of disruption.

 

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