He pai te tirohanga ki ngā mahara mō ngā rā pahemo engari ka puta te māramatanga i runga i te titiro whakamua.

The traditional career model is best characterised by the romantic vision of a fresh graduate standing at the coffee machine, daydreaming of their future self in the sprawling executive office behind them. However, today’s reality is that many top performers are not interested in moving up the hierarchy by waiting for their managers to retire or change companies. The 21st Century Career, one of Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends, describes the modern career as an “upward arc, with progression and promotion at various times — but nothing like the simple stair-step path of generations ago”. If companies fail to rethink career models from the ground up, they may find that the “upward arc” takes some of their best talent to other organisations.

The positive news is that organisations tend to believe they are responding to this shift in career model. In fact, 75% of New Zealand respondents report that career paths at their organisation are not based upon simply moving up the hierarchy. However, while this shows that we are thinking about the organisations of the future, there seems to be a lack of preparation to work in these new ways. Charting a new course for your organisation can involve tried-and-true strategies such as structured training or internal secondments, but in today’s HR landscape, keeping a competitive advantage will increasingly require data-driven solutions for L&D, and opportunities for internal mobility that directly respond to the best interests of your people.

STEM fields are as important as ever, but organisations are increasingly demanding “soft” skills -- writing, research, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication. Non-technical disciplines can develop the emotional intelligence that bridges the gap between those with high technical expertise and the business users, whose complex problems need to be fully understood to achieve desired outcomes.

With predictions that as many as 800 million current jobs may be automated by 2030, today’s employees demand skill development as part of their career. New Zealand is producing over 43,000 graduates a year from our globally respected institutions. Despite this, the Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report finds that “solutions will not come from the education industry”. No matter how multidisciplinary and practical our degrees become, five years of study before a potentially 50 year career will never be sufficient for the changing working landscape of the 21st century.  The “half-life” of a learned skill has fallen to five years – and, in that timeframe, many graduates have already moved on from their first job. At the same time, more than half of surveyed companies said they have no programme in place to build skills of the future.

Organisations of the future need to empower employees at every level to chart their own career. I am grateful that, at Deloitte, roles are diverse and employees are granted a great deal of freedom to pursue personal goals. Leading organisations are taking a different approach, with digitally-enabled paths for their employees. The L&D functions within the most innovative companies are moving from a reactive model, where training has been traditionally developed to bridge skill gaps for critical capabilities, to a proactive model, providing a variety of learning choices beyond what an employee’s role requires, even using analytics to recommend development opportunities to an individual.

Closer to home, Fonterra has recently announced their “Amplify” programme, which will support employees to explore their passions at work. Amplify allows Fonterra’s 22,000-plus employees to create a profile, which an AI system then matches with hundreds of project postings from across the organisation. Employees will be able to spend up to a third of their time away from their substantive role, working on these projects. This programme not only helps develop and engage employees, but also shows Fonterra’s preparation for the growing “gig-economy” (a key theme of Deloitte’s most recent Future of Work report).

Providing your employees with a 21st century career will not only keep them engaged and motivated, but will also pay a double-dividend by allowing you to retain employees who have diverse skill sets. Deloitte New Zealand’s Human Capital team can support you in planning the future of your workforce, designing your organisation to prepare for automation and the gig-economy, and developing your people with cutting-edge learning solutions.

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