Why Flexible Businesses Deliver More

Alex Zietek

The warning signs have been there for a while. The exponential growth of digital advancements over the last decade, buffered by a daunting skills gaps across global industries. Increasing market volatility and competition. Employees demanding more value and flexibility in their work, and employers demanding more value from their workers. In a world in which the business and employment landscape is constantly changing, the capacity to adapt to these changes, without impacting productivity or profitability, has now become a critical business objective.

Long gone are the days in which mechanistic businesses can create plans ahead of time and expect them to remain on course. Long gone are the days in which human capital needs can be dissociated from the overarching business strategy. It’s now time to fully recognise, and accept, that proactivity is key now, that business models need to be accelerative and adaptable, and that a workforce needs to develop that is as equally nimble and talented, so as to keep up with the pace of change and consistently respond to these ever-shifting demands.

It’s quite simple: to prepare for the future of work, your business needs to be more flexible. And here’s why:

Digital evolution necessitates flexibility. Technologies can be disruptive, and are constantly evolving, so your business needs to be prepared to embrace that volatility. Linear strategies will simply not work; an agile and innovative workforce is needed to oversee your own digital development, whilst implementing and managing the right changes along the way. Millions of jobs will also be displaced by automation, and millions of new roles will emerge as a result of this new division of labour between humans and machines. Companies, therefore, need to prepare their workforce for these changes, in order to adapt and develop quickly in the face of large-scale disruptions.

Traditionally, businesses have adopted very reactive models when facing technological developments, but this type of model is far too costly and risky in today’s landscape. It’s also foolish to fight change. Instead, you need to build an adaptable and integrated system that can be operated with speed, innovation and customisation. Training needs to be provided to all of your employees in order to create a technologically-astute workplace culture. Flexibility means consistently evaluating how well your current technology supports the needs and directives of your business, and then making the changes necessary to ensure that this is always the case.

Movement is key. Only a flexible and responsive organization will be able to maintain a competitive edge in the digital world of the future. Accepting change as an inevitable part of the business environment, will undoubtedly enhance your business opportunities whenever change arrives.

We’re also drowning in data.

Technological advancements, and improvements in analytics, now means that we have more business data to sift through than ever before. Whether its information about your own business performance, your customer activity, or your competitors, the sheer volume of data that is available today can feel rather daunting. Yet access to such an enormous stream of intelligence should only be seen as a huge business advantage, and not a headache. If you can deftly bring in the right people to interpret this evolving stream, it will allow your organisation to forecast the successes and failures of your planned course, and nimbly adapt your strategies accordingly to ensure continued prosperity. If your organisation is too rigid, the challenges that come along will detrimentally disrupt any business that is too slow to adapt to change.

Any business that advocates agility, collaboration and innovation, will ultimately attract and retain the best talent. In a changing workforce environment, predicated upon employee satisfaction and workplace flexibility, the current generation of employees want to be part of a culture that fosters fluidity and creativity. Some will demand flexi-time, some will want to be reskilled and retrained to build their own career models, some will want to work remotely, and some will demand an improved workplace culture. It’s not about caving to employee demands, but about evaluating your own business and seeing where you can complement and satisfy your workforce and your business directives simultaneously. When your organization is flexible, and accommodates your employees' needs and schedules, they will have a healthier work-life balance, will be more satisfied with their jobs, will enhance their performance, and, crucially, will stay with your company in times of talent scarcity.

The availability of skills remains the top business concern for CEOs (at 79%). Owing to the sheer difficulty of finding in-demand talent in today’s marketplace, many organisations are beginning to re-consider the shape and size of their workforce. 67% of business leaders now claim to use temporary or interim professionals to support their projects, and 50% of executives have tapped into the independent workforce to help find the talent they require on a permanent basis.

By introducing such a flexible recruitment model, businesses are able to nimbly introduce the right specialists at the right times, to drive performance, introduce and integrate fresh skills within the existing workforce, and sustain the long-term direction of the business.

Building a flexible team with a wide range of skills to complement each other, will create a fluid unit that can handle a diverse range of challenges, and improve the efficiency of your business.

Ultimately, traditional organisational structures are now completely ill-suited for the future needs and expectancies of the future workplace. This is a world in which business leaders need to draw from a much wider pool of talent to build an adaptable team (a mix of full and part time employees, freelancers, consultants and alumni) in order to access niche skillsets, create efficient and cost-effective business strategies, and quite simply, to get things done.

Plan to be flexible – workforce planning will require numerous iterations and optimisations throughout its cycle in order to remain competitive. Plan out what work will be done in-house, by man or machine, and what work can be outsourced to contractors or contingent employees. Plan how to build a strong value proposition for talent, that involves developmental training and re-skilling, in order to establish a stable talent management system that can iteratively identify, recruit, deploy and develop the flexible workforce of the future.

As the future of work evolves, the pace of change will intensify, and to deliver on that pace, teams have to become more agile and dynamic, anticipating change and accessing the right talent to match changing needs, on-demand.

A more flexible organisation will grow much more quickly than a rigid organisation, because it is always seeking processes, opportunities and methods that work better than the ones it already implements. When you enable your company to become adaptable, it is able to evolve with the times, will survive longer, and will maintain operational efficiency.

A more flexible approach to the way work is organised helps businesses attract and retain the best talent, save money, reduce risk and allow for more innovation in the workplace. Creating an efficient workforce model is about being adaptable to shifting markets, changing customer needs, and evolving employee expectations, all at the same time.

The need to stay flexible and stay ahead of the competition has never been greater; as a business, it’s time to change or fall behind. There’s no more time for delays.

Savvy business leaders know what needs to be done in order to prepare and develop their organisation for the future of work. Becoming a more agile, fluid and adaptable organisation is arguably the most critical step that businesses have to take as part of their future planning enterprise. Most organisations have realised this - the real diff­iculty lies in actually finding the right people who can both initiate and implement that change, from the leaders who will harmonise HR and business strategies, to the flexible workforce who will deliver those strategies and grow the business.

This is where Talmix fit in; we know that in a talent-short and time-sensitive market, the challenge of finding these in-demand people who can plug your skill gaps, lead your transformations, or organize your workforce, is difficult, laborious and often very costly. Our aim at Talmix is to enhance, and accelerate, the accessibility to such critical talent so that businesses are not left stagnating in their quest to ensure that their organisation is prepared for the future of work and is able to achieve its strategic goals.

We believe in being fast, in being flexible and in being flawless. We aim to help businesses nimbly introduce the right specialists at each stage of their journey into the future, building an expert and flexible team to improve adaptability and efficiency, drive strategy, and sustain the long-term direction and growth of your business.

Start your journey with Talmix today, and we’ll help you stay one step ahead of the game at all times.

Alex Zietek

Alex is Marketing Manager at Talmix, developing, executing and managing campaign strategies and 5 a-side tactics.