Text size: A A A

Successful digital transformation is about combining talent and technology

The balance of power between employers and employees is shifting, with workers able to pick and choose their next job based on the alignment of values, professional development opportunities and work-life balance.

Meanwhile, conversations about Australia’s ‘great resignation’ continue to become louder as employers prepare for potentially record-setting labour shortages. Set against this backdrop, we have seen a fundamental rethink of how to attract and retain talent over the past 18 months.

The pandemic has made workers reconsider their careers, with two in five Australians getting ready to leave their current roles within six months. This threatens to amplify existing public sector recruitment challenges, with Delivering for Tomorrow: APS Workforce Strategy 2025 predicting widespread skills shortages during the next decade. Digital literacy is one of the most pressing issues.

Job security and stability have always been attractive reasons for people to enter the public sector. However, as we head into a period of post-pandemic economic recovery, employees are more open to taking risks and trying something new. Employers need a clear focus on building and growing capabilities to succeed amid strong competition for specialist talent and expertise.

Building skills and retaining talent

COVID-19 has accelerated the public sector’s understanding of its people and their skills. It has also raised an important question: How do we maintain these people and develop them?

The APS Workforce Strategy report states that 94% of agencies with critical skills shortages use special measures to retain people with in-demand skills. Facilitating flexible working arrangements was one of the commonly used tools agencies employed to retain those skills. This is now a basic expectation.

Yet, the report also states that less than half of APS agencies are actively and strategically planning for workforce skills and capabilities. HR leaders need to be clear on the strategic priorities of their organisation, the changes needed from a capability perspective, and how best to achieve their goals. Technology also plays a significant part because digital processes help accelerate employee development, which has a positive impact on engagement.

At SAP, we believe it is critical for our customers to provide their employees with the right development and learning tools to provide career-building blocks inclusive of learning and development pathways. Linking these to job profile frameworks provides transparency across the workforce and, most importantly, career progression empowerment to every individual. Organisations that actively support employees through professional growth will keep them engaged while improving retention rates.

With increased attention on the health and wellbeing of employees while managing remote teams, HR teams also need to rapidly turn ongoing feedback into action. As organisations bring employees back into the workplace, it will be more important than ever to monitor changes in employee sentiment.

Enhancing workforce productivity

Successful adoption of a capability framework requires detail and thought. Everyone involved needs to clearly understand their role, including the capabilities and skills associated with successfully completing their work. That’s the foundation. 

As the APS continues its drive towards a fully digital government, automation will alter how employees work and the skills they need. Automation can also boost employee satisfaction, with repetitive manual work often cited as a source of public-sector job dissatisfaction. It’s positive to see the public sector looking to automation as a way of solving low-value repetitive tasks. 

Technology partners such as SAP are also actively embedding that capability into end-to-end business processes. Matching technology with people is a good way of bringing career pathways to life. It’s never been more important to connect workers with individualised recommendations to fuel personal growth and development, which increases organisational agility.

It’s about looking at the projects and activities within an organisation and bringing the right skills together to get them done. A collaborative approach helps manage the allocation of the workforce and puts people on the right path. Using the data available, our customers can make faster and better-informed decisions.

Technological advancement will be a significant part of the public service organisation’s transformation as it works to reach its 2025 objectives. That success will also depend on the people in the sector. If your people are not empowered and engaged, they’re not going to be productive and may not stick around. Without the right focus from the right people, you won’t meet your objectives.

New technology will continue to evolve, disrupting the nature of work and how people do their jobs. Succeeding in an increasingly digital future means bringing people and technology together more than ever to support citizen expectations across the public sector workforce.

How technology and the pandemic have changed the workplace for good

How cloud-based technologies are helping the public service function more efficiently and safely

Using cloud-based services means government institutions are 'future-proofed; advanced technology also makes the public sector more appealing to recruits.
collaboration-lobby

Beyond the water cooler: how we need to collaborate in a digital world

While working from home might be good for focus, how does it affect collaboration, brainstorming, networking and day-to-day mentoring?…
Firms and government departments will need to make offices more interesting places to occupy if they expect younger workers to give up working from home.

The changing role of city offices as more employees seek to work from home

Firms and government departments will need to make offices more interesting places to occupy if they expect younger workers to give up working from home.
check-phone-night

Radical workplace changes needed to improve work-life balance

Public-sector unions are seeking to enshrine in agreements 'the right to disconnect', particularly for employees in high-stress environments.
business people-parental leave

Welcome to the new ways of working: flexibility, trust and empowerment

The pandemic has given people a taste of a more flexible working life. Most people want to spend some time in the office and some…
Two years ago, for a Sydney worker, a meeting in Melbourne meant two flights and a long day. Now it’s far more likely to be a Zoom call.

Hybrid power: where future employees will choose to work

No one is surprised to learn that the percentage of people working from home in Australia has leapt from 8% to 40% over the past…
Sustainable economic development requires a skilled and educated workforce made up of people who are adaptable to changing technologies.

The keys to developing a skilled and educated workforce

Sustainable economic development requires a skilled and educated workforce made up of people who are adaptable to changing technologies.
Generational shifts within the labour market and fluctuating levels of digital literacy require close attention when it comes to upskilling.

How we need to prepare workers for jobs of the future

Generational shifts within the labour market and fluctuating levels of digital literacy require close attention when it comes to training and upskilling.

Improving employee experience starts with effective listening

Every manager, whether they realise it or not, has an unspoken contract with every one of their direct reports that starts the moment a professional…
Employers need a clear focus on building and growing capabilities

Successful digital transformation is about combining talent and technology

Employers need a clear focus on building and growing capabilities to succeed amid strong competition for specialist talent and expertise.