The referenced article was originally posted on the Workforce Institute.
Mark Wales looked around at the people attending the International Workforce Management Summit. He noticed something indicating that there has been a seismic shift in workforce management. 10 years ago that same conference was filled with HR and IT professionals. Today, however, it was exclusively professionals in Operations.
He described that this shift symbolizes an overall trend in how companies look at their workforce today in this article. In almost every industry, we are seeing more and more companies see their employees as strategic assets - not just a manageable expense.
Why the shift?
With every passing year companies learn more about the value of their employees. The workforce that used to be considered a “controllable expense” is now being considered a strategic asset - even in industries such as retail. Organizations have learned the value of not only providing more training and opportunities to their employees, but also how much they can learn from them to help improve their own sales and operations process.
What are the benefits?
We believe that this shift will continue to lead organizations down the path to providing better work cultures for their employees. More companies are seeing the long-term benefits of investing in their employees at the expense of bottom-line in the short-term. Employees that are better trained, in better work environments, doing more purposeful work, inevitably provide a better experience for the end customer - driving greater profitability. Mark mentions that there is a “new generation Operations discipline” that is still focused on profitability, but chooses to get there by enhancing both the employee and customer experience.
How will this shift impact Workforce Management?
Due to the sheer mass of change from widely held institutional beliefs, this shift is not going to occur overnight. We continue to see gradual changes from the norms throughout the industries that we work in, but this is an evolutionary process for many companies who are just starting to learn the true impact that their employees can have at all levels of their business. Until then, we will continue to see progress in the ways that companies hire, train, and make decisions at all levels of the organization.