Five steps to prepare your future leaders for the future of work

By Fiona Grandi

I was honored to participate with experts from Edelman, Catalyst and Social Global Leaders in a panel discussion at Enactus about the future of work. Our collective perspective was clear: As a result of radical technology-driven disruption, organizations and their leaders must acknowledge their profound influence on redefining how work gets done.

Here are five key action items to help develop your future leaders as we’re all adjusting to a new normal – realizing productivity in a constant state of flux – while also meeting the needs of an evolving workforce:

  • Build a business strategy for today that anticipates the anticipated skills gap of tomorrow. Your business model is only successful if you train your employees who drive it. Invest in learning and development capabilities that include micro learning, gamification and augmented reality training that are personalized to the employee experience. This shouldn’t be a one-off, but part of a comprehensive career path strategy that addresses changing skill needs.

  • Get ahead of, and truly appreciate, the positive impact of artificial intelligence (AI). AI will eliminate some work within a job and allow workers to focus on more strategic, humanistic, interactive activities. It will take care of the repetitive, mundane, daily activities that traditionally hampered productivity and have become a burden on what would otherwise be an interesting job. People are truly the enabler to AI technology, so instill channels for employees to pursue lifelong learning that supports career shifts as they work more with AI, and as it becomes more advanced.
  • Reinvent the way that work gets done to motivate your employees. With AI mastering transactional work, allowing people to focus on outcome-driven work, we, as leaders, should keep a pulse on the opportunity to continuously reconfigure jobs, retrain employees, and redeploy them into new roles that are purpose-driven. A helpful hint to do this right? Gain insight from your organization’s prescriptive analytics - these can inform the best course for the strategic decision-making that drives workforce changes.

  • Embrace diversity and inclusion to drive a culture of productivity. Business as usual is not an option: companies must evolve to attract, retain, and engage an increasingly diverse workforce or be forced to grapple with group think and a fatigued workforce. At KPMG, we’ve learned that the best ideas come from teams where there is diversity of thinking, which is driven from different perspectives and ages, and diverse skills and backgrounds. Each person, with their unique experiences, contributes to an ideal culture of productivity.

  • Understand that your employees have the same expectations as your customers. It’s not just the customer, but also the employee, who expects simple, frictionless interactions designed around stakeholder convenience rather than business process. They also place great importance on the concepts of trust, values and culture – critical pillars that sustain your organization’s long-term future in today’s disruptive environment. Organizations are expected to demonstrate a higher purpose and positive social impact to sustain workforce momentum.

Taking these steps will help ensure your organization keeps employees engaged and invested in their future impact, while preparing them for the next phase of organizational change. Just imagine - a successful future state of work with your new leaders standing behind it.

Fiona Grandi is national managing partner, Innovation & Enterprise Solutions, for KPMG in the U.S. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Jamie Bredehoft.


Fiona Grandi

Fiona Grandi

Partner, Consulting Head of Markets and Commercial Line of Business Leader, KPMG US

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Jamie Bredehoft

Jamie Bredehoft

Director, Corp Communications, KPMG US

+1 201-505-6074