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Navigating the future of work: Insights from the CIPD Northern Ireland Conference 2024

22 May 2024
Roisin McKee, Director for Northern Ireland, People 1st International

The recent CIPD Northern Ireland conference brought together thought leaders and professionals from across industries to delve into the evolving landscape of work and workplaces. With a focus on future-facing strategies and inclusive practices, the event offered valuable insights into fostering resilient, thriving, and equitable workplaces.

Here are some of the key takeaways that are set to shape the future of work:

  1. Responding to changing job needs

Peter Cheese, CEO of CIPD, emphasised the imperative to upskill and reskill the workforce in response to evolving job demands. With half of the current jobs expected to require reskilling within the next five years, organisations must prioritise learning and development initiatives to stay ahead in the age of digital disruption.

  1. Harnessing the power of AI

Acknowledging the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI), there was a call to experiment with AI applications to enhance learning and development, data analytics, and HR functions. By embracing AI responsibly, organisations can unlock new opportunities for value addition and strategic innovation.

  1. Building inclusive workplaces

The importance of fostering inclusive workplaces emerged as a recurring theme. From promoting diversity to embedding fair work practices, creating environments where all individuals feel valued and empowered is crucial for driving business success in the future.

  1. Prioritising soft skills and leadership and management

The significance of soft skills and effective leadership and management in cultivating resilient workplaces was emphasised strongly. By investing in coaching and people management training for line managers, organisations can nurture a culture of continuous growth and development.

  1. Strengthening inclusion through age-inclusive practices

A panel discussion underscored the need to invest in age-inclusive practices, recognising the diverse contributions of different generations in the workforce. From embracing neurodiversity to implementing reverse mentoring programmes, fostering intergenerational collaboration is key to building inclusive workplaces.

  1. Promoting well-being

With stress, anxiety and burnout on the rise, it is crucial for businesses to recognise the impact this can have on their workforce. Investing in measures aimed at promoting employee well-being is critical. This includes flexible working options, promoting work-life balance, and creating a supportive and open environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health concerns.

  1. Personalising employee experience and enabling business transformation

Organisations are urged to prioritise employee experience by offering personalised rewards and holistic support. Enabling organisational transformation requires visible leadership support, effective communication, and collaboration across multidisciplinary teams.

  1. Ethical adoption of AI

As AI adoption accelerates, it’s crucial to prioritise ethical considerations and responsible practices. Businesses must be mindful of data security and the potential impact on workforce skills, while also embracing experimentation and knowledge sharing.

  1. Driving change for positive and inclusive environments

The closing keynote Cally Beaton emphasised the importance of driving change towards building positive and inclusive environments. Celebrating diversity, fostering resilience, and maintaining a proactive approach to talent retention are essential for creating workplaces where every individual can thrive.

In conclusion, the CIPD conference provided valuable insights into navigating the complexities of the future of work. By embracing innovation, fostering inclusivity, and prioritising employee well-being, businesses can position themselves for success.

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