How to develop your workforce for the future

Developing your workforce for the future isn’t simple.  In fact, it’s complicated and it’s not something you can complete once, put it on the shelf to get dusty and not think about it again.

What it really takes is alignment with strategy and support from the top down and the desire to continually change and transform the workplace to cater to the demands and needs of the future.

The success in which you navigate the future is a leadership challenge that requires focus and capability development of the workforce of today with an eye on the future state and implications of Industry 4.0.

Previously, Mining Leaders Group asked senior leaders in the mining and METS sector across Australia how ready their organisations and workforces are for the future. Here are some of the key capability findings;

Since undertaking the survey, it’s been great to see the progress and the shift towards creating shared value for all stakeholders and the realignment of company purpose.

However, there is significant opportunity we have identified to build the capabilities required to unlock the latent workforce potential and systematically develop and transform the workforce across the value chain.

Whilst collaboration and clusters continue to be the buzzwords regularly used, and abused, due to the insatiable rate of change truly creating collaboration partnerships remains one of the greatest opportunities of the sector to meet the great challenges.

For CEOs and senior leaders, they should pay particular attention to developing capabilities in the following areas:

So what are the key takeaways for each segment of the mining sector?

Miners that thrive will unlock the next wave of human potential and productivity by augmenting not just what, but how work is undertaken leveraging technology. This requires agility and systematically developing new sets of organisational and individual capabilities across all levels. Workforce transformation is a strategic issue requiring focus, insight and support of your senior leaders. How have you factored the opportunities and risk of the future minerals workforce in your strategy and life of mine plans?

Developing innovation and collaborative capabilities will be critical to keep up with the rate of change and technological advancement expected over the next 5 to 10 years. Competitive threats and opportunities are likely to increase from organisations entering from outside the sector. How are you forming strategic, transformational partnerships and evolving your business model today?

A key challenge will be re-skilling the workforce to meet changing needs particularly when faced with a misalignment of jobs, skills and locations. The workforce undertaking routine manual and routine cognitive work are at the greatest risk of being impacted by technological advancements and globalisation. How are your policies and services engaging and educating an older workforce, building technical capabilities and helping create learning organisations within the sector?

If you need help navigating this for your organisation, get in touch and we can help start building your roadmap for the future.

Brett is the Managing Director and founder of the Mining Leaders Group. Brett works with a range of executive teams and high potential leaders in mining companies, METS and industry bodies in Australia, South America, Asia and Africa focused on driving individual, team and organisational performance.