Yesterday we looked at McKinsey's recent survey How Companies Act on Global Trends, and we particularly looked at the #3 issue, "increasingly global labor/talent markets" - one of several which directly affected workforce.  But if you look at the 14 top trends, I think you'll see workforce impacts in all of them (my comments in brackets suggest just a few of the ways your workforce might be impacted):

  1. Faster pace of technological change (our workforce needs to adapt and succeed)
  2. Increasing availability of knowledge/ability to exploit it (changing the need for specialization, among other impacts)
  3. Increasingly global labor/talent markets (see yesterday!)
  4. Shift of economic activity between and within regions (changing where we need work done or delivered)
  5. Growing number of consumers in emerging consumer economies/changing consumer tastes (our workers are consumers too - read: "changing workforce tastes")
  6. Development of technologies that empower consumers and communities (and workers!)
  7. Adoption of increasingly scientific data driven management techniques (impacting the workers who act upon them)
  8. Increasing constraints on supply or usage of natural resources (our workforce needs to innovate to respond, but also requires employers be more responsible in use)
  9. An aging population in developed countries (aging population = aging workforce, and changing demands for services)
  10. Geopolitical instability (impacts globalization and workforce confidence, even in geographies not directly affected)
  11. Shifting industry structures/emerging forms of organization (including workforce responsibilities, relationships and design)
  12. Increasing sophistication of capital markets (impacting our business plans and so our demand for talent)
  13. Growing consumer demand for corporate contributions to the broader public good (growing demands for social and environmental responsibility from our employers if we are to be retained)
  14. Growth of public sector (shortages in the public sector itself, changing landscape of talent competition)

Some or all of these trends will impact some or all of your future workforce, and need to be incorporated into workforce planning.  In a good workforce planning process, your business leaders identify, filter and assess the impacts of trends such as these via a structured process called Environment Scanning.  Then structured techniques allow you to incorporate their impact to your workforce plans - no rocket science required! 

Is your workforce planning approach helping your organization prepare for a future impacted by these global trends