A liquid workforce delivers the flexibility and adaptability firms need to be competitive in today’s rapidly changing business world. In my previous post, I shared how successful firms organise around business outcomes, rather than organisational competencies, and how a liquid workforce is a key component in this progressive business model. In this post, I’m going to share how you can help your firm leverage a liquid workforce to deliver better results across the business.

Creating a liquid workforce mindset

A liquid workforce is more than a business model. It’s also a culture shift. Therefore, the starting place for making a liquid workforce work for your firm is creating a liquid workforce mindset. Here are six things you can help your firm do to create the right environment for getting the greatest benefit from a liquid workforce:

  1. Understand the skills and capabilities you have within your workforce (human and machine) as well as the desires and aspirations of your people.
  2. Make workforce development (attracting, retaining, and training) a core competency.
  3. Become more outcome-oriented and fluid in assigning resources.
  4. Empower collaboration and new ideas regarding how to get work done.
  5. Seamlessly manage a distributed workforce.
  6. Create an organisation that facilitates, rather than impedes, change.

As human resources professionals, you play an important role in ensuring your firm fulfills on the liquid workforce promise by demonstrating leadership, facilitating change management, helping to create a flexible and adaptable organisational culture, and ensuring regulatory compliance and good governance.

Implementing a liquid workforce

When your firm is ready to implement a liquid workforce, follow these six steps:

  1. Create your workforce strategy, based on desired business outcomes.
  2. Analyse which skills you have and those you need to meet business needs and outcomes.
  3. Build a strategy to expand your workforce capabilities, leveraging from internal, external, and digital resources.
  4. Create an engagement strategy that appeals to Millennials and the changing needs of Baby Boomers and Gen X, because they are the workforce of the future.
  5. Formalise your approach for developing a diverse talent source ecosystem so that your firm will always be ready to meet resource needs.
  6. Pilot a project as a means to test your liquid workforce capabilities and prove organisational value.

Leveraging a liquid workforce is by nature an iterative process―always changing and adapting to changing circumstances. By building learning, flexibility, and adaptability into both your firm’s culture and workforce management processes, you can help ensure your firm will be ready for the changes to come.

For more information about adopting the liquid workforce into your workforce strategy, please see Accenture’s 2016 Technology Vision report, Liquid Workforce: Bank on “fluid” teams focused on results

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