2019: The Year of The Agile Workforce

2019: The Year of The Agile Workforce

Businesses today are placing ever-greater importance on the agility of a workforce. So much so that the flexible nature of a company’s workers will soon become a competitive differentiator. So, the message is to move with the times or face being left behind.


Building an Agile Workforce

It could be argued that the majority of contingent labour within the EU life sciences workforce already provides a high degree of agility. Yet, that does not mean there is the organisational structure that allows for transformation. According to the Accenture study, Injecting Agility into Medical Technology, only 23% of MedTech companies have the highest confidence that their company’s operating model fuels strategic growth initiatives – one of those being the need for an agile workforce.

It reports a seismic shift in the fundamental forces driving the industry’s move from a product focus to an outcomes focus. This has created the opportunity to achieve greater agility, profitable growth and a competitive edge.

Kelly Service’s Talent in Science Survey has taken a closer look at how life sciences workers feel about two key aspects of the workforce agility agenda. These being: working across borders and the prospect of their work augmented by technology.

Working Across Borders

Almost 5% of the working population relocated or were commuting across borders for work purposes (0.6%) in 2016. Looking at the life science sector specifically, 56% of survey respondents had either moved between countries (25%) or within a country (31%) for work.

Interestingly, with Brexit on the horizon the sector may see a surge in relocations. 14% of life sciences professionals in the UK that say they’ve never relocated could be prompted to move overseas if there was a negative change in economic conditions.

So, for organisations, the need to do more to attract workers across borders is set to intensify. Understanding why people opt to relocation (in the majority of cases it’s driven by career aspirations) will be key, as will supporting these workers in their move.

The Arrival of AI

It seems that the EU life sciences workforce is well prepared for automation – and many workers view this positively. More than seven in ten say they’re prepared for AI to impact some or all of their current role. About the same amount - 74% - see it as an opportunity to enhance their output.

A positive mindset from employees is half the battle for many organisations. Now, they need to capitalise on this by entering into a dialogue with workers in order to gain their valuable insights on how best to capitalise on this opportunity.

Building an agile workforce will help companies to reduce costs, drive innovation and product commercialisation while attracting the very best talent.

Why not find out more how Kelly Services can support your organisation in this.