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Enablers for success: Future-fit workforce

Higher education: Fit for the new normal

Irrespective of an institution’s purpose, size and shape, we think there are six enablers of success that every institution will need in the new normal: Financial flexibility and sustainability, Student-centricity; Vibrant partnerships and networks; Future-fit workforce; Tailored learning experiences; and Community trust.

A workforce with the right skills, agility, tools and ways of working will be essential to thriving in the new normal. What does your institution’s workforce of the future look like? Have the below factors been considered?

  • Talent and skill model: Talent and skills frameworks for academic and professional staff that are cognisant of the future of work in universities, can be crucial in guiding employees and lifting their capabilities. Such frameworks can help you to identify the competencies your institution needs to deliver on its brand. For instance, do you recruit people with industry experience to enable greater commercialisation of research, or do you look at other mechanisms including partnerships, contractors or casual employees to meet this need?? Additionally universities need to consider the balance of casuals, different grade academics, teaching only, research intensive and teaching and research staff to best meet their financial, research and education goals.

  • Performance and incentives: Performance indicators and incentives should be optimised to encourage collaboration, innovation, and efficient delivery. They ensure all staff are focused on shifting your institution to where it needs to be to succeed in the new normal.

  • Enhanced staff engagement: Given a unionised workforce and academic allegiance to rigour, truth and consensus decision-making, a bottom-up participatory approach to effecting change is more likely to succeed. Working with – not against – university staff and students will require bespoke change management expertise.

  • Collaborative ways of working: The more that your students, faculty and professional staff effectively collaborate, the greater their impact. Knowledge grows faster when faculties share and build on ideas; students are better equipped for their careers when collaborative working is second nature; a university excels when its staff and students  solve issues together. The successful institutions of tomorrow will be built on high-performing collaborative behaviours of its people.

  • Digital tools that unlock staff capabilities: Modern and intuitive tools and processes that alleviate administrative burdens and enable more time on high value work are crucial to realising an institution’s ambitions and maintaining a happy and productive workforce.

Contact us

Chris Matthews

Partner, Education & Skills, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 424 305 210

James Twaddle

Partner, Advisory, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 3634

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