Workforce & Culture

Strategies and technologies to support the evolving workforce

Last year's economic challenges led organizations to reevaluate costs, prompting a need for creative solutions. Executives stressed the importance of developing individuals and fostering a culture of openness, curiosity, and continuous learning for business resilience. The outlook for this year is more optimistic, with people at the forefront of opportunities. Whether in business, HR, or technology leadership, investing in people's skills remains a strategic approach. Here are four key trends shaping organizational innovation in 2024.

Attract and retain top talent

A culture of innovation will attract innovative talent. Build—and keep—the team you need by setting a clear vision of where you are headed and empowering them to lead.

Educate and empower teams

Talent will show up for you if you show up for them. Invest in upskilling and reskilling for your workforce to help them grow into what they want to be.

Adapt to a new world of work

Great technology is ineffective without great people. Supply your teams with the tools and resources they need to innovate and succeed wherever they are.

Conversations with Leaders

In part one of this two-part episode, Tanuja Randery, Managing Director of AWS EMEA, sits down with Mark Read, CEO of WPP, the world's largest marketing and communications company. They discuss Mark's career journey, his leadership style, and WPP's "Build Better Future" strategy focused on people, planet, clients, and communities, as well as the company's efforts towards diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. Stay tuned for part two, coming tomorrow.

 Listen now


Now more than ever, companies need to get creative. Success comes down to an investment in people and your culture.”

- Maureen Lonergan, VP, AWS Training and Certification

Maureen Lonergan presenting at event

Leaders have identified that the gap in talent is currently one of the biggest challenges hindering growth. To close this gap, start by looking within and fostering a culture that empowers teams to learn, invent and grow—that will in turn create a more agile, stable and resilient business.

How do you scale your business from an in-person analog model to potentially impacting millions of lives? Hear from Matt Kaplan, CEO, and Eric Rice, Chief Creative Officer of The PeaceLove Foundation, as they share how they made the leap to digital products in service of their mission to improve mental wellbeing through creativity and storytelling.

Innovation and opportunity are two sides of the same coin in the critical currency of the talent market. The demand in the talent market has been growing exponentially with companies seeking to grow dynamically and acquire top talent where possible. Companies seeking to be innovative, forward-thinking leaders with ambitious goals for the future need to deeply understand that in order to meet those mission-critical business objectives, they need to have the workforce to deliver upon them. Demand for skills-based roles has been increasing and specifically, technical skills roles, as companies seek to digitally transform their organizations. AWS has grown exponentially from its debut in 2006 and has adopted the same culture of continuous learning within its “Day 1” lifestyle.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is strategic workforce planning?

Strategic workforce planning refers to the careful process of assessing the current skills and performance of employees and anticipates future hiring needs. It aims to achieve stable staff levels across departments, make the most of employee skills to optimize organizational efficiency, and ensure that the workforce is aligned with the business objectives. Done right, this process helps leaders plan ahead to face head-on any coming challenges in workforce management and better address any current and future skills gaps.

An effective strategic workforce plan considers the HR requirements as well as the financial, analytical, and procurement aspects of the business. It's an ongoing process that requires all staff members to be on the same page. Departments must also be able to communicate clearly to ensure the plan effectively delivers on the company's KPIs and targets.

Successful strategic workforce planning involves the constant evaluation of employees and their performance. It minimizes the chances of unpleasant surprises that might come with the ever-changing workforce needs.

Organizations can create a successful strategic workforce plan by analyzing the data obtained from HR, finance, business analytics, and procurement teams. This plan should meet the short and long-term objectives of the business, support accelerated growth, and yield a higher return on investment.

Q. What are the benefits of workforce management?

Workforce management is a critical function for any business that wants to optimize its human capital because it helps ensure that employees are able to contribute effectively to the organization's success.

The benefits of implementing a workforce management system in an organization include the following:

● Enhanced employee productivity – by setting performance-driven objectives and ensuring that employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to meet those targets, workforce management motivates employees to perform at optimal levels.

● Improved employee morale – when employees feel that their work is meaningful and that they are contributing to the organization's success, they are more likely to enjoy their work and have higher morale.

● Reduced turnover – happy and engaged employees are less likely to leave an organization, so workforce management can help reduce attrition.

● Better customer service – when employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the needs and expectations of customers, customer service quality goes up.

● Improved financial performance – when the organization achieves its goals without incurring unnecessary costs, its financial performance is significantly improved.

Q. What is the future of work?

The future of work describes possible changes that might be seen in the workplace and among the workforce in the coming years, whether due to the influence of technology, generational elements, or social trends.

The future of work is changing rapidly, with new technologies and working models emerging all the time. Businesses need to be agile and adaptable to stay ahead of the curve and retain their workforce.

HR professionals and managers should perform a detailed analysis of the future of work and inform the C-suite of their findings. Leadership should then make forward-thinking decisions that will allow the company to thrive and employees to feel valued. If needed, integrate these decisions into strategic plans that highlight an in-depth understanding of the future of work.

The three main components outlined in the models of the future of work are as follows:

● How the work is done

● Who does the work

● Where and when work is done

Although businesses focus mainly on technology when discussing the future of work, other factors like the gig economy and contingent workforce also play an integral role in determining how work will be done in the coming years, who will do it, and from where.

Q: What is workforce diversity?

Workforce diversity is about creating an inclusive environment in the workplace where employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. This means creating a workforce that includes people of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities. Respecting individual differences can bring added value to any organization.

A diverse and inclusive workforce helps attract and retain top talent, boost creativity and innovation, and improve the bottom line by building a stronger workplace culture and creating an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

The ability to manage a diverse workforce is a core competency for managers and organizational leaders.

The fundamental principles of workforce diversity are:

Respect for individual differences – workforce diversity recognizes that people have different values, beliefs, cultures, and experiences that should be respected. It acknowledges the unique contribution that everyone can make to the workplace and values the diversity of perspectives and experiences that they bring.

● Inclusion and participation – workforce diversity fosters an environment where everyone feels included and respected and can participate fully in the workplace.

● Equity and fairness – workforce diversity ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace, regardless of their background or circumstances.

● Positive work environment – workforce diversity creates a positive and productive workplace where people feel respected, valued, and engaged.

Q: Why is a diverse workforce important?

A diverse workforce is an important asset for any organization. Here are a few reasons why:

● Diversity leads to a more innovative and creative workplace. Employees from different backgrounds and perspectives can bring new ideas and approaches to problem-solving, resulting in improved products, services, and processes for the company. Reaching new markets also becomes easier with a diverse workforce.

● A diverse workforce helps a company better understand and serve its customer base. When the workforce reflects the diversity of the customers, employees are better equipped to understand and meet their needs. As a result, customer satisfaction and loyalty improve.

● Diversity helps create a positive work environment. Employees who feel valued and respected are more likely to be productive and engaged in their work.

● In many countries, employers are required to ensure that their workplace is free from discrimination based on race, gender, religion, etc. A diverse workforce helps meet this obligation by ensuring compliance with anti-discrimination laws.

● Studies confirm that companies with a more diverse workforce tend to be more profitable (with a 35% advantage) than less diverse competitors. These businesses can better respond to changes in the marketplace because they have employees with different perspectives and backgrounds.