As businesses are forced to change, become more agile and disruptive in order to be competitive, the pressure on employees to adapt is increasing.

However, organisations are left in a digital wasteland, as employees resist keeping up with or are unable to handle the rapidly changing technology.

This has been costing them profits, market share and leaving them battling to survive.

The Chameleon – technically savvy

According to the 2016 Accenture Technology Vision Survey, a new type of worker has entered the marketplace – the ‘chameleon’.

The chameleon can quickly adapt to change, learn new skills and seamlessly move from one assignment to the next, making them a valuable asset to businesses. They are contributing to a new trend that Accenture refers to as the ‘liquid workforce’.

In the same survey, in which 3,100 executives were interviewed, 80% said that within the next three years, the ‘chameleons’ will be their most valued workers due to their proficiency with digital technology and ability to embrace change.

They are also willing to work as part of a team, open to training and have a constantly evolving skills set.

Attracting and keeping the chameleon

Businesses need to create a flourishing environment to attract chameleons, and more importantly, to retain these agile workers.

The first and most important step is to move away from rigid business structures and create an environment where the chameleon can achieve the intended change. HR needs play a part in this change by moving away from people management to embracing the concept of ‘orchestrating talent’, and this, to optimise the organisation’s output.

Leapfrogging into the future

As these digital natives are increasingly becoming the largest sector of the workforce, businesses also need to change to be able to engage with them differently.

Rather than seeing themselves merely as ‘employees’ in the traditional sense, the chameleons see themselves as ‘customers’ of a business – and expect the management style and internal technology processes to reflect this.

Systems such as HR and Payroll solutions, as well as business management solutions, need to be intuitive and offer the same user experience that the chameleons get from the platforms they use in their personal lives.

‘Chameleons’ also have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge so skills development is very important. They look for employers who provide consistent online learning experiences, access to courses and information that can help them learn new skills rapidly.

Genuine innovation requires diversity of thought. We are creating a culture in our business where the very best talent is hired, nurtured and supported. Changing the way we do business by hiring the chameleon will enable us to leapfrog into the future.

Heidi Duvenage | Head | Sage Talent Solutions | | |



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