Future of Work for NFPs
On 21 October 2021, we hosted a special webinar with PwC Australia to talk about the future of work for not-for-profits.
On 21 October 2021, we hosted a special webinar with PwC Australia on the future of work for not-for-profits.
Our panelists shared their expertise in digital transformation and trends members of the not-for-profit community need to look out for as we recover from the pandemic:
- Jess Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Good Things Foundation Australia
- Vishy Narayanan, Chief Digital and Information Officer, PwC Australia, Board member of Good Things Foundation Australia
- Lawrence Goldstone, Lead Partner, Future of Work, PwC Australia and Chair of the Board at OzHarvest, Australia’s largest food rescue charity.
JESS WILSON: Hello everyone that is joining us today. There are quite a few people that are coming on in but I think we are going to get started because we only have an hour and we have a lot to get through. I’d like to welcome you to this webinar today, which is a fantastic collaboration between PwC and the Good Things Foundation. A special event for Get Online Week so for those of you who don’t know I’m Jess Wilson, I’m the CEO of Good Things Foundation Australia and it is my pleasure to welcome you to this session today. Get Online Week is a fantastic event that we hold every year and we hold events all over the country to raise awareness of digital inclusion and to encourage people to get online. But before we start, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today. I’m coming to you from Dharug and Gundungurra country in the beautiful Blue Mountains just west of Sydney and I’d like to encourage you to acknowledge country as you introduce yourselves in the chat panel. I would like to pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge that this land has never been ceded and that we continue to have much to learn from Indigenous ways of knowing and being in our country. So it is brilliant.
Cass, if you wouldn’t mind switching to the next slide while we are here. We are here in Get Online Week, and there are over 500 events happening over the country this week. So it is brilliant for the second year in a row for us to be doing a webinar with PwC. So it is brilliant to have a familiar face, Vishy Narayanan, with us today and a new face Lawrence Goldstone. So brilliant to have you both here to talk about a really important topic, the future of work for not-for-profits because it is both digital and it is changing so a fantastic opportunity to talk about this today.
If we move to the next slide the Good Things Foundation, for those of you who don’t know, although I have seen quite a few familiar names in the chat panel as you are joining us today, is a not-for-profit organisation focussed on improving people’s lives through digital technology. We believe everyone in Australia deserves to have access to digital technology and the skills and confidence to use it.
I think, Cass, if you can move through, the reason that we do this is because we know that so many people are missing out on participating in the digital economy and this digital nation is a document that we created – a digital Nation report this year that outlines the key areas and the key people that are missing out in our digital world. People with disabilities, people who are from First Nations communities, people on low income, low employment, new migrants and refugees. For those of you work in the not-for-profit space this is not new for you. They are the people you are supporting every day and we want to make sure that they are able to equally participate in the digital world. Really that comes down to you and comes down to the support that you are able to provide so, Cass, if you can move to the next slide.
What we know is that from the new Australian digital inclusion index which was released last week one in four Australians are digitally Excluded. That’s 28% of our country are digitally Excluded so they are not fully participating in the digital world. One in ten are highly excluded. That means they are really, significantly excluded from the digital world. We also know from the fantastic report by Infoxchange and connecting Up which I know there is a new one coming out soon that 49% of not-for-profit staff are not confident using technology so that is a significant issue for us if the people that you are supporting are not able to use technology and the people in your organisations are not confident to use technology, there is a challenge for us there. Particularly because of the impact of the pandemic.
Now we know that to reach those people the Good Things Foundation model is to build capacity in community organisations like yours and we have a network of over 3,500 community partners across the country that have helped us to reach 1 million people in the last four years to build their digital literacy and their digital skills. So it is really, really important that we are here today to talk about what does the future of work look like for not-for-profits, what is the importance of digital and how do we use it to make sure that we are supporting people to fully participate in the community today.
Cass, thank you. I suppose what we know is by working through community organisations, by building capacity in community organisations, that we have been able to improve vulnerable people’s digital skills, their digital confidence, their online safety and their social connection. So it is fantastic that these kinds of programs actually do make a real difference in the community. And, the Be Connected program that we deliver has been shown to create a social return on investment of $4 for everyone so that is also a good position for Governments and investment in this kind of program.
Now before I continue I did mean to say at the start that we are recording this event so that it will be able to be shown later on but also we have closed captioning happening as well so there is a button down the bottom of your screen that says “live transcript” so if you would like the captions to be visible you press that button and you will be able to see that live transcript there.
Look, I think you have probably heard enough from me. I’m really excited for us to be able to introduce our special guests today. So I’d like to just take a moment to introduce who we’ve got here. We have Lawrence Goldstone who is a partner at PwC Australia. He leads the firm’s future of Work agenda so it is brilliant. I am really excited to be hearing from Lawrence today about the great resignation of March 2022 that everybody is talking about at the moment. Lawrence is passionate about disruptive models of change and bringing new perspectives to executives and boards. He brings 25 years local and international experience and he is the chair of the fantastic organisation OzHarvest which is Australia’s largest food rescue organisation. Has played such an important role over the past 12-18 months particularly. Lawrence sits on the board of for purpose co and advices several start-ups. We will hear from Lawrence later. I will now introduce Vishy Narayanan the Asia Pacific’s digital inclusion officer at PwC and is a member of the Asia Pacific executive team. He is passionate about driving change and helping to strengthen PwC’s innovative culture and the digital mindset across the whole of the business. He serves as a non-executive director of the boards of Innowell and funnily enough of Good Things Foundation. I would like to congratulate Vishy, he has been on our board far a whole year now. It has been brilliant to be working alongside brilliant. He is a non-executive advisor to curious thing and Australian AI start-up and LBW Trust a charitable trust promoting information in cricket playing nations. I will hand over to Vishy to talk about digital upskilling now.
VISHY NARAYANAN: Good afternoon all. I’m coming to you from Wangal/Gadigal country in NSW and am really privileged to be on the board of Good Things Foundation. So thank you for the opportunity to come and share some insights with you again. So I’m going to talk about driving digital change and technological change through upskilling. That really the focus and my colleague Lawrence, who we have worked very closely over the past 12-18 months, will share some insights on the future of work and then take some questions.
So let me start with the good news. We have just launched the PwC’s 2021 not-for-profit CEO survey. You can go Google it online and find it. It has some fantastic insights. A couple of key insights. Compared to last year, more not-for-profit CEOs have said digital upskilling of employees has become a greater priority as a result of COVID-19. So I think it is no surprise there but it is great to see that this not-for-profit sector acknowledge this. The second data point that we have is more not-for-profit organisations are providing employees with skills and training to prepare for the impact of new technology, which is a really interesting stat if you look at what Jess shared earlier that that was one of the gaps that was called out the need to establish new ways of collecting and collaborating. That has been good to see. What is most pleasing from our perspective is it is not just the upskilling, it is the benefits that upskilling drives. We have all implicitly and tacitly know that the benefits are there but we are now starting to see that come through the survey. So in this year’s result there has been a 9% uplift in not-for-profits that are tying digital upskilling programs to organisational growth. There are other stats like collaboration and effectiveness but this is a really promising statistic. Also there is a 10% uplift from last year on not for profit CEOs saying they are starting to make progress, albeit moderate, on defining the types of skills that are required to drive future growth. So all this points to the right direction of travel in terms of viewing digital upskilling as a priority. In an environment where the demand for services is up, as you would know, volunteering has been – and revenue – is challenged in the last 12-18 months. The opportunity that upskilling presents to drive growth productivity and employee engagement is critical. I am glad we are starting off on a positive note. But it is not all a bed of roses. There are some challenges. So when we look at the not-for-profit sector and these stats, I think it is interesting when you start to look at the ranges of organisations. So for not-for-profits that are between $10 million to $100 million in revenue, I think we are starting to see over 90% of their employees are people receiving the skills but if you take a slightly different lens of not-for-profits who are under $250,000 of revenue, then there’s a staggering drop of less than 50% of employees that have received the skills. That is a pretty big gap and one that be need to look at. Given more than 66% of charities registered at the SCNC are considered small this is a gap both noticing and one we have to collectively look at addressing. The consistent challenge, as you can see on the right is 16% increase from last time is the lack of resources to conduct upskilling programs. The budgets, the challenges on budget. The one thing I will leave you with as a thought as we go into some examples is there is a direct link between digitisation and improved service delivery and a lot of organisations are under immense pressure to keep your administrative costs low. So are there opportunities to look at your operating costs and looking at how you can deliver your mission more efficiently through digital and that might help you start to come out of the more traditional ways of doing things and embracing digitisation as a way forward. Food for thought. I know it is not easy. I know the difficulty of this. I lived in the other environment as well but this is just an idea to think about.
Here are some things we heard. Unsurprisingly, but pleasingly, the number 1 skill that came up, the top ranked skill was data analysis and analytics. I know each of you have to provide voluminous amounts of reporting and analytics and stats to back the funding organisations to justify it to look at outcomes, to report on progress. From my perspective the fact that this has been highlighted as a key skill area is good because we can now focus on providing some tangible opportunities to improve data analytics and visualisation capabilities. The second, we’ve all lived through this, right? We are all now experts on Zoom. We are all now experts on teams and anything that the internet can throw at us in terms of new skills. That didn’t happen by accident, that happened by design in terms of what COVID and remote working has taught us over the last 12-18 months so the second-ranked skill is training in new software and program. That is a statistic that is the rate of change in terms of introducing new technology over the last 12 months is greater than the last 20 years. So just think about the amount of change we have all faced. The third again is we have all been working remotely behind a screen in our own hopes or in remote areas so the need to still get work done, the need to still collaborate, the need to still work with teams has been critical so we have taught ourselves how to do that and that has been an area of focus. That has been great to see. How do we bring this to life? I get asked this question a lot, “Vishy, this is all grit you sit in PwC and do this, I am sitting in an organisation with five or six people, how do I drive this?” This is an area we spend a lot of time thinking about because digital upskilling I would argue is even more important for smaller organisations and population than some of the largest ones. First is learning and community. Find opportunities to share what you are learning with your colleagues and introduce an upskilling segment in your monthly team meetings and just have a lunch and learn or a session where you can share. The second is – this is where I think a lot of organisations have benefited – is encouraging curiosity and experimentation and celebrating the successes, create is employee of the month, the dig call employee of the month, create leaderboards internally to facilitate healthy rivalry and competition. These are all mechanisms that you could use to drive curiosity and experimentation. But it is really important that whatever skill you learn, especially technology, it needs to be applied within two to three weeks otherwise it is lost. We have to go back and learn it. So please focus not just on acquiring the skills but also the application of the skills and the data example earlier might be a good one to look at skills. Finally, this is the hardest part, dedicating time for learning. It is not six hours, it is not 12 hour, it is an hour a month, it is an hour a fortnight. You will be surprised how much can be achieved by just dedicating that time.
I want to in the next slide talk to you about an example of an awesome organisation that I have had the privilege of knowing, getting to know and spending a little bit of time with their CEO and their board, Meaningful Ageing Australia. They are a charity that focuses on helping the senior citizens to respond to their social, emotional and spiritual needs. COVID brought significant disruption to their business. They were very much a physical business and they had to quickly look at how do they use digital to drive their awareness. Their website needed a refresh. They had limited resources. There was a look of awareness of what they had. What they did was they really looked at their website and said less is more. Let’s not try to put everything else in there but let’s streamline it and be more targeted at those that need this information. They launched a really good app called Akira and they did it in record time and that was the focal point of all their activities to drive engagement and awareness. They embraced virtual events like all of us. The output was there was a much better user experience, their quality resources had more reach through remote events et cetera and regardless of geography and they received positive feedback. It wasn’t all, again, positive. There are some lessons learnt. As we all know sitting behind a screen an running events can be incredibly important. Jess would know this just given the week of events you are running this week. It is also the importance of prioritising these initiatives become really critical in light of time capacity constraints. I want to call out one skill that wasn’t necessarily called out in the survey but it is really won’t. It is cyber. We might think we are a not-for-profit, why is cyber important, we don’t have the time to invest in that. I would say you just have to look at the front page of The Australian last week where an organisation’s patient information was leaked. This is an organisation that’s in the mental health sector. So unintended consequences but can be incredibly time consuming and resource sapping if we don’t invest in that first. So although it didn’t come up as the top four or five skill I would ask that each of you please go back and do a little bit of research on your own platforms and technology and look at the cyber capabilities and make sure you are doing enough to protect not only your own data but your client’s data, your patient data and third-party data. That is an important part of running online businesses.
So next – the last slide that I will talk to and then I will hand over to Jess, is we don’t want to just leave you with this talk, we want to give you some resources at the end of it. I am really pleased if some of you attended last week’s event, we had a place mat, this is a build on the place mat, on the three areas of focus. The first one is data and analytics. Last time we talked about the personas of digital learners, observers, I don’t know where to get started, explorers – I’m curious but I’m going to slowly start learning a self-based learning and accelerator is the impatient technologist that wants their hand at every quilting they can get at. We have divided the place mat up across the three personas and three areas of focus. We will leave you with this at the end of the session. I would say thank for the opportunity. Digital upskilling is absolutely critical and I’m really glad to have the opportunity to come and talk about one of my favourite topics with really impactful network. With that I’m just going to hand back to you.
JESS WILSON: Thanks, Vishy. There are a couple of questions that have come through and I think they are quite interesting ones, one that I kind of had as one of my areas as well. You gave an example of Meaningful ageing and what a great organisation and fantastic journey they went on. One of the questions is actually about given the demographics of the clients and actually what we know about the demographics of the staff often in organisations that are supporting older people, how did that organisation engage with the clients and the staff around doing that? I think that is the big challenge that we’ve got at the moment, particularly in those types of organisations?
VISHY NARAYANAN: It is a great question. The one thing I have learnt is once – where there is a need sometimes people do put themselves through the learning pathway. A great example – one of the organisations I used to work before I came to PwC was in hearing loss. It is looking at how we restore hearing through implantable technology and hearing technology and a lot of their customers were in the older demographic. For them the fact that independence gives them an ability to leverage digital technology. So one is the need. The second is having a mechanism of a bunch of trainers so it is not sometimes the end user themselves that might need to use the technology, it is their network. Meaningful Ageing’s entire strategy is influencer based. It is not based on the end user but it is actually looking at their carers and the neighbours or the carers or their community of influencers and giving them the tools and skills so they can then maybe print them out or take a more hard copy version or download it onto their phone and play a video when they are in front of the end user. So I think there is an element of, I think, using a wider network. If you can’t go direct to the customer or to direct to the consumer then you may need to leverage something else.
JESS WILSON: Through the Be Connected program we deliver, it is all about those digital mentors that are there to help people and whether that’s creating digital mentors with the staff team or whether that’s within older people or from family or friends I think that’s definitely the way – definitely the way to go. There is another question here Vishy and it is an interesting one. I suppose around the niece for data analytics and the updating of technology and software, Janine’s got a question around maybe – is there something around software providers and what software providers are doing to make this easier for people because it is really complicated the use of technology and things can be really a hard? Have you got insights into what some of the tech companies are doing around trying to make this move to digital easier?
VISHY NARAYANAN: Yep. Another really good question. Frankly this is not just a challenge for not-for-profits, it is a challenge for all organisations because technology organisations are fantastic. We work with all of them but their entire business model is to bring you in and lock you into that ecosystem and get you to use as many of their products and platforms as possible. To me a simple way would be to go online and research what some of the more Government-backed organisations are doing in terms of – so for example in NSW there is a – the NSW Government has a chief data office and they provide some fantastic visualisations. So it is going back and looking at what more mass or public sector organisations are using and following that line might be a good starting point rather than – what I would not advocate is looking at the really – the brand new technologies that are really shiny that come into the market. By all means play with it but don’t integrate that into your business model. Look at the ones that are successful in your market and go talk to them. I think software – you’d be surprised that software vendors love to have case studies on their websites. So if you go and have a conversation and see – they really subscribe to what you are doing you may be surprised they may give you a significant commercial benefit in response to being a case study for them so leverage that as well if possible. Don’t tell them I told you that though.
JESS WILSON: Fantastic! Thanks, Vishy. So tried and tested is probably the better way to go if you are starting out. I have noticed some great resources coming through in the chat panel as well for people to look at so please check out the chat panel, make sure you are clicking through to some of those resources people are putting up all the time. There is one last question for you before we move on to Lawrence and this one is from Jo Cavanagh who you will know as the chair of the Good Things Foundation Board. What do you think not-for-profits might prioritise to ensure their workforce can improve digital access for clients. That is the thing we are passionate about is making sure that actually clients and people accessing support services are able to improve their technology. So what are the – you know, what are the first steps? Is it important for us to do a digital skills audit of the employees, what do you think are the first steps there?
VISHY NARAYANAN: Two things, so definitely a digital skills audit is part of it. I think that is a really good starting point. The second thing for me is to look at the services that are delivered. So you actually need to look at which services are delivered through the physical means and which of them can actually span to a digital means. A bit like the Meaningful Ageing example and once you have done that just focus and deliver one of two of those and sort of follow the skills line right from the end user through to the organisation providing it and make sure you deliver that. I would just pick one or two and go hard rather than pick 30 and do them somewhat well. I would just pick two and do them really well. It starts with a digital skills audit and also giving employees the ability to grow their own skills because not everything is provided in the workplace. I also want to re-stress that. Some of this is things that people learn in their own time and when your Netflix goes down there is no manual. We learn how to go fix it. Some of the stuff is self-taught at home and the other is done through the workforce and through collaboration. That is how I would do it but that is a really great question.
JESS WILSON: I think that is right. I think we all need our colleagues and our supporters around us to help us when something goes wrong, right? I’m always asking, certainly my team member, “I’m not quite sure how to do this.” We have the whole conversation about how to connect a digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate to the NSW service app. It was a challenge there for just about everyone let alone people who are lower digital skills. Thank you so much, Vishy, that was brilliant. I know we have more time for questions after Lawrence has spoken as well. If you have further questions for Vishy please keep putting them in the chat panel.
Lawrence, I’m really, really excited to have you in this conversation today and to be hearing a bit more about the future of work. It is a conversation that’s happening across multiple sectors at the moment. It is not just the not-for-profit sector, it is everywhere. What are the things we can learn from what we’ve experienced over the last 18 months and where are we going? So I’m going to hand over to you now to talk to us about the future of work. Thanks, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE GOLDSTONE: Thanks, Jess and thank you to everyone for having me here today. I am here on Gadigal Land of the Eora nation. As Jess said in the future I am the future work lead at PwC Australia and proud to be the chair of the board at OzHarvest. What I thought I would do today is share some broader market insights around the topic of future work, appreciating these might not be relevant to every single organisation. We have many different sizes of organisation on the call today but worthy to cover as some of the main trends that will affect us and then focus in on three of the key areas getting a lot of attention at the moment and looking forward to robust Q&A as this topic always brings up lots of different conversations.
On the page you are looking at now as we look out to 2030 there are a number of major factors that will impact what work will look like. There is already five generations working side-by-side in the workforce. 50% of the workforce will be millennial by 2025 with some forecasters saying 75% will be millennial and Gen Z by 2030. Emerging generations are said to have an average of 17 jobs over five careers so the very definition of work, work-job, work-career, work-life will be very different. Flexible work will become the normal with part-time and gig roles set to increase year-on-year a trend we saw pre-pandemic and very likely accelerated as a result. The fastest growing cohort in Australia is over 65s with double the number of Aussies aged 65 plus, this will become a major issue with an ageing population and you add that to the 1.1 million less people we will see in Australia as a result of the pandemic, this is going to be a real challenge around future funding around impact on the health industries, specifically areas in the aged care sector. Just nod towards automation, a third of industries such as retail financial services manufacturing, have an expectation of roles being automated. This doesn’t necessarily mean job loss but could be retraining, adjacencies and new skills will be required. My main point on this one is as scarily fast as it looks like we are moving it will also be the slowest pace of change for the rest of our lives so it is more of a question of hang on.
This is just a very quick definition of how we think about the topic of future work. I’m not going to go through it in too much detail but we really see four types here, the kind of work we do, so that is in compliance, regulation, different flexible work arrangements thinking about different roles where they be gig role, onshore, offshore and that is an interesting thing that hasn’t hit the not-for-profit space so much but will do so in years to come. The kind of workforce we need for the right people, right space, right time. Are work spaces really been in place, especially those who are office based. For those thinking through a digital hybrid space. Very much underpinned by this whole experience of work, so how we energise and inspire our people, cultures, behaviours and very much around leadership. These are just how we think about this as a topic.
Move on to the next slide, just at a macro level, we start to think and help our clients to think about work over a number of horizons. So around rebuild, re define and reimagine. This is just important to think through because we got this tendency certainly in this country and over the last period of time to be very focussed on horizon 1 thinking and it will be really a critical or the organisations of all shapes and sizes to be looking around horizon 2 and 3 and we will talk a little bit about what that looks like later on. Some organisations have had to go back to horizon zero into the crisis management side and haven’t been able to adapt but I wanted to be clear that this needs a mix of short-term and long-term planning and investment with confidence to look at a changing future. This topic very much is one that is quite fluid.
So if we move on I will talk to you about three big bets or three areas that have a lot of focus at the moment. We just talked about the first one so if we move into the first round skilling as a differentiator in the war for talent. This is skills – in many ways these are horizon two and three type thinking so how do I invest into the skills I will need into the future so thinking beyond just what do I need for now but what kind of organisation and challenges do we have and how do we look towards rebuilding those skills pathways. They are skills that are both human and technical. The growth of human skills if you lock at the World Economic Forum eight of the ten top skills of the future are the human skills so those type of skills is critically important. With 80% saying in the survey there is a made for digital upskilling as a high priority this is one of these key areas. For not-for-profits recognising there simply isn’t the same level of investment and we know that so it is finding ways to be creative. I think we saw 77% might be quoted on this later on by Jane, 77% of CEOs in the survey said that the greatest challenge to upskilling is time and resources so we know this. So looking at resources like LinkedIn learning or trying to build more partnerships to get that learning will be critical for the not-for-profit sector. There are key outcomes and benefits that a upskilling program can have like employee engagement and high workforce productivity and there are really key benefits in investing in skills for the future.
If I move on to the next slide and this is a term that you will hear an awful lot, it is going to be overused and for those that are interested, we are launching a new report on this very topic tomorrow and I will put up details and send them out to register. It is a free session. We have about 1,500 people joining tomorrow so will be very happy to have a few more attending in around the employee value proposition or this area around the EVP. It will be titled winning the war for talent. That will give you some of the stats from this survey this, is just from for-profit organisation but I believe it has relevance across the sector. 38% of workers expect to leave their roles in the next 12 months that is quite low comparable to global stats predicting between 50% to 60% of people looking to change roles. Half of execs have no plans to update their EVP in the next 12 months we creates a real challenge and interestingly within the data 53% of respondents say they expect to stay five years or more. If we have people leaving in the short term and people staying in the long term, where do your high performers sit. Are they leaving or staying longer? This topic of great resignation, to give it some sense it is restlessness after this significant period of lockdown. Sociologists talking about this introspection around work-life, life-work balance and really looking at job and career change and what has really been building in the background for some time as people have been reluctant to change employers over the past 18-20 months, we have really got this building of tension. So whether workers are seeking greener pastures or looking to make a change next year there is this sort of cliff happening where we will see people walk out of the door. My question to this group is this a threat or an opportunity for the NFP sector and the reason I say is it a threat or opportunity, firstly don’t assume that this challenge haven’t going to affect everybody on this call. Some of those same impacts and some of those same stresses and strains affect all of us. People will be looking left and right and going, “Why I joined, is that why I remain and why I stay?” I think there is a real opportunity here when we think about the employee value proposition and in the data we looked at there is topics like working alongside enjoyable co-worker, work-life balance, team spirit, flexibility and the strength of purpose as the reasons people stay. These are things in abundance at many of the organisations on this call today. There is an opportunity to be very attractive to the sector that may have an awful lot of churn. It is about attracting the right people in a competitive market and so as I said, hope you can join tomorrow for those that would like to know more about this but I do think this presents a real opportunity to think differently about our future workforce given the talent market that is going to look to move around and be more flexible. That could be being more creative around secondments or short-term roles or trying to attract people in board or observership roles to get them into your organisation, it is very, very pertinent right now.
The final one, if I go to the next slide on the decade of the chief mental health officer, so this is profiling the rise of mental health and wellbeing. I don’t mean that everyone will have the chief mental health officer at their organisations, PwC has just announced our first formal role and now have a chief mental health officer, mental health and wellbeing will be one of the really big challenge areas and most critical areas. Wellbeing ranked number two after pay and remuneration. When you dug deeper into what sits behind it, mental health and wellbeing is now the second most contributing factor to an organisation’s EVP. Everybody on this call, regardless of size of organisation knows there’s been a lot of burn out and fatigue into this sector specifically but into all sectors. It has risen through the pandemic but to be honest some of those conditions were pre-existing, pre-COVID conditions that have just been amplified through the environment that we just came out of. I think one survey by X factor collective found that 38% of people are working longer hours compared to 17% pre-pandemic and that comes with less volunteer sport and less income. So a really challenging environment that we find ourselves within. 57% of the NFPs in the CEO survey have implemented mental health and wellbeing plan, a great statistic. That also means that almost half haven’t. So the question there is what are we offering to our employees and how do we ensure that we are creating the best, most supportive, workforce that we can have. You can see the average ROI and this is a pre-pandemic ROI and I hazard a guess it has gone up significantly, especially with the advent of digital tools out there to be able to support and they can be rolled out pretty easily and cost effectively at organisations.
My last slide and points here are so where do you start? What do you get on with? It is always the question that is asked. Some of it is just about acting. It is about acting out whether that be around investing in the digital or the analytic skills that we talked a little bit before about, having some no regrets moves, things to experiment with, new connections and ways of getting people in. I think to be bold, there is an opportunity to make a bigger lip in the horizon 2 and 3 thinking to reimagine not just a system that we had but to rethink in the future how can we tap into a new talent pool, how can we think differently about collaboration, cross sector new partnerships, even cooperation within the sector. Wouldn’t that be wonderful to break down some of those barriers as well? I have some resources I will share afterwards. They include – they are just on that next page, they include tomorrow’s webcast on EVP. There’s a future work conversation series that is free for everyone to tap into. We have an amazing website with contexts, podcasts, skilling, opportunities, we will make the links available and hope there are some useful resources there. Jess, back over to you.
JESS WILSON: Thank you so much Lawrence. So much interesting information about what’s going on in our world at the moment. One of the key things that I have a question about that that links to a question on the chat panel here, that there is a significant growth in the aged care and disability care over the next few years. We will need a lot more people working in that space. I am quite curious about how – based on the big, big resignation, and these are significant increases in employees that we are going to need, what are the opportunities and what are the things that are really important for people to be talking about in their employee value propositions so that we are attracting the right people to these roles?
LAWRENCE GOLDSTONE: I think being clear about the employee value proposition and being clear about what that is for you and for your workers is the first piece. In terms of attracting new skills, there is only certain talent pool and we have a finite number of resources so this whole movement will create opportunity and I guess it is thinking a little bit differently. Thinking about secondments versus everything has to be a fixed full-time worker or into short-term cracks. We also, and this is a really a challenging one, I don’t think it has hit the not-for-profit sector yet because it feels when we talk about offshoring or people in non-face-to-face environments that it feels a big leap but it really want be anymore especially with hybrid work. There are lower cost alternative models onshore as well as offshore. There are 3 billion people in a three-hour time zone from Sydney to Perth if we went vertically up. I am not saying we are going to start offshoring but if we need analytic skills or data skills we need to think broader around where we get them because we only have a certain talent pool and the competitive market place right now for some of those skills is hot. So if we are going to get the right people with the right skills we will need to think more creatively.
JESS WILSON: I suppose one of the other – the related questions is around how – about the diversity of the workforce and the opportunities that this creates to open up to significantly more diverse groups of employees, particularly looking at neurodiverse communities or different abilities, different opportunities, the future of work creates a whole lot of opportunities there as well not just challenges.
LAWRENCE GOLDSTONE: It does. There are pros and cons from the last eight months’ worth of experiment. Some groups have found being able to work hybrid and remote really encouraging and it has broken down boundaries and been more inclusive and for others it has found them to be less inclusive and created a shadow onto different abilities but I think what it’s done is opened up a new opportunity to think differently about skills that we bring in, where people are based, how they choose to work. I do think that within the current environment we have more opportunities to bring in more neurodiverse – more people with different skills and abilities and actually because of new technologies that allow us to collaborate differently and work more asynchronously as well as synchronously, so more working together as well as offline and not staring on a Zoom every single minute of every day is really valuable, but it is an opportunity to think differently. My point about mature age workers what an opportunity to bring in some skills when we think about leadership and career growth and how do we support this new generation coming through to actually find new opportunities to bring mature age workers back into the workforce because some of them most want to, some of them unfortunately need to. We have to think differently. That is the challenge of having an ageing population as well.
JESS WILSON: That’s right. You know, your stat about there being five generations in this current workforce is a challenge and an opportunity, I think, and so it is about how do we make sure that we’re supporting the needs and the different needs of all of our employees and what they look like. I’m going to open up to other questions now for all of you. If you have a question for Vishy or for Lawrence, we are going to have a bit of a conversation now in the next 10 minutes. So if there is anything in particular that you’re really interested in finding more out about from Lawrence or from Vishy then please put those in the chat panel here. I think there’s an interesting conversation around collaboration in the space and so – I mean this could go to either of you. The opportunities that digital provides for collaboration but also the challenges that it provides, a lot of people talk about you know actually wanting to get back into the office to be able to collaborate but, you know, what are the important parts do you see around the use of digital technology for collaboration in the not-for-profit space and also that the challenges that the virtual world creates? I’m going to go Vishy for that first and then Lawrence.
VISHY NARAYANAN: Just coming off mute. I think, as I said earlier in the presentation, first is being able to work – do work as a starting point. I think we’ve all noticed that when the lockdown happened it caught most people by surprise and then the way we responded to that by putting together ways of connecting with others in your teams and their workforce, that is to me the table stakes, the opportunity to do work from anywhere is the starting point. Then work, as Lawrence said really well is split into different types of task. You don’t do the same thing at work. There are some things that are more knowledge-intensive work where you get a whole bunch of information and you need to be left alone almost to go and do the work. The other is the ideation stage which is how do I actually try to get multiple views of the same topic. Then it is how do we break up into small groups of three, four, five and start to progress that? So depending on the nature. The first is the ability to get everyone connected and have that. That is the starting point to me. Then it is the ideation stage. That is where I feel sometimes digital or virtual means don’t always get the best outcome because what happens is you have one person speaking right now, you – two people might have really good views but online we wait for one person to make the point and then someone else might forget it so sometimes a healthy interjection in a more physical context is better. It sounds a bit chaotic but that is better from an ideation. But in terms of getting work done, this way might be a really good way because you don’t have the distractions of people walking past your desk all the time. It is really figuring out the nature of work and then collaboration. Some things need physical presence but some things may be more prone to doing remotely. Lawrence, I know you also have some thoughts on this.
LAWRENCE GOLDSTONE: I spent my whole career in collaboration and bringing groups together in physical means to solve big strategic, complex problems so I love a – I am a massive believer in the power of people coming together yet I also think the opportunity that exists and just the fact that we have changed so much and need to stair into this is it is going to be harder and harder and harder, if not near impossible, and challenges around mobility to get everybody together for long periods of time. I do think it is picking the right environment for the right work that needs to be done. I agree with where Vishy went and around complex problems and the need to have groups together absolutely face-to-face you can’t move beyond but I do think virtual technologies have come a long way and there are real opportunities. The challenges are people aren’t necessarily skilled in how to use them and feel like we need to then bring somebody else in. We have to get familiar. We have to be willing to practice and experiment and not let perfect get in the way of progress around using some of these different tools that are out there to collaborate. If the speed of ideation versus the challenge of different problem solving are very different needs and different tools you can use to get engagement but to bring in the views of a disparate workforce or your stakeholders or whole ecosystem which is phenomenal. Now you can go what we used to do with a group of eight of us what if we could do with a group of people across our ecosystem or end users to give us input. We have to think differently around the tools that we use to solve different interventions.
JESS WILSON: Absolutely. I think one of the challenges as you kind of said is that we are not necessarily used to this. I think – so one of the questions is actually around how do we support our people to think about change and doing things differently? We have been through an enormous change, we have had to change really quickly right at the start of the pandemic and flip how we were doing things but we’ve all kind of got used to how we are doing things again now so coming out of that we are going through another change process and going through that emerging space and into looking at the future focus. What are some of the ideas and thoughts you have around the – around supporting our workforce to go with that change and to think creatively and think flexibly when everybody’s pretty tired at the moment?
LAWRENCE GOLDSTONE: I might go first on that one. My first point would be acknowledge everyone is tired at the moment. There is a right time for this conversation to be had. Fatigue is real. The burn out the real and just the weight of what’s been happening and the run and the pace, especially for all those in frontline and essential roles which most of not-for-profits and charities have been en masse over the last 18 months. That said, there are some good tips and learnings from what we have gone through. Actually when the pandemic started comms and communications from our leaders and tapes and organisations to recipients was almost immaculate because we were in that crisis moment where we had to be crisp, clear, make decisions and give confidence. We have reverted back to type and not giving confidence around direction, confidence around outcomes so a strength of a strong narrative in knowing what you are doing, what you are standing for, where you are heading to, what you are planning is really important. The second thing I would say is ask. We can’t make those decisions and the more dangerous point is trying to make decisions for a vastly changing workforce and work environment based on people who have been through their own experiences and moving into potentially a different age category, so I put myself in that too, we are not necessarily representative of the workforces coming through. We need to involve them so seeing lots of those engagement models around designing – being willing to experiment in designing new work models and designing ways of coming back and how do we want to work differently and what does flexibility and choice mean? I think asking – although if you ask you also have to act.
VISHY NARAYANAN: I might add one more, is learn from two sectors that have to do this well is start-up and technology. This is where you look at how they approach this in terms of the change and how they operate sort of and learn with change. I think that’s – make friends or create remote communities with people that work in tech organisations. There is a lot of organisations out there that do the outreach in this. So just go connect with them and get some tips and tricks from there because it is not that hard, it just takes the first step and the second step and acting, as Lawrence said, not just information.
JESS WILSON: Fantastic. Yes, lots of communication, engagement and action sounds like the key thing. I think one of the key things that a lot of organisations have kind of a decentralised workforce as well and a digital environment and one of the things we are really looking at as a sector is how do we make sure that we are supporting the understanding of what the outcomes are on the ground. So what are the – what is the social impact of what we are having, what we are doing right now and what are some of the tools that people can use or the approaches to really looking at how we collect that data. Have you got thoughts and ideas around that?
VISHY NARAYANAN: In terms of tools, I will start off and then Lawrence might have some thoughts. To me there are a myriad of tools – I know there are a couple of questions in the Q&A panel about tools et cetera. The first thing I would do is I would go to an established organisation and download their free-mium version first and use them. For example, we use Google at PwC, we also use Microsoft, we have capabilities in some of the more data visualisation areas so Microsoft has the Power platform. So going and downloading some of those open source or free premium kind of tools is a good starting point. The second thing I would look at and this is I would prioritise the ability to share the tools widely across a team of 10 more than the feature parity of the tool itself. It is all well and good that you have a fantastic tool but if you can’t share outcomes or collaborate using the tool it is a end of one it would serve. I would pick things that are pretty much cloud based and work and are easy to share and collaborate and add but have right cybersecurity like I said earlier. That is a consideration – that is why I keep looking at the more established organisations because they spend a lot more in cybersecurity than any of us can. So it is making sure that you pick – sometimes it is form over function but it is also the ability for us to get a scale and ability to share. So there are many tools out there and in the one page that we are leaving with you, there are some tips and tricks on which tools to pick.
JESS WILSON: That’s great. One of the questions, Lawrence, this one is probably for you I think, it has gone down to that kind of idea about offshoring and how we access talent from a different place. So Janine is asking what structural changes are needed for organisations to be able to do that and how might the not-for-profit sector agitate for such changes and how do we resource that? It is a completely different way of working for us?
LAWRENCE GOLDSTONE: It is and I am not a tax or legal expert and my tax and legal colleagues frown at me whenever I say things like that because there are obviously different tax and jurisdiction requirements. But it doesn’t also need to be offshore. I also said that it could be onshore and thinking of different onshore, it just doesn’t need to be in the same city. We set up a skilled services hub into Adelaide as an example to build skills for the future. It is a cheaper, lower cost opportunity for us to build onshore skills. So it might be looking around the country as well, which obviously doesn’t give any legal – it does give some, I shouldn’t say any, legal requirements around work. Offshore will be more complicated and open up different tax obligations but I think the point here is not needing to only employ people that we can see in the same city that we reside if we are going to access a broader talent pool of skills. If we are prepared to bring more flexible and lean into this hybrid future then it will open up a much bigger skill base for us to select from and to be able to target. If we think about it then into that sort of multiple careers, multiple jobs, rise of the gig economy, some of those skills don’t even need to be unique. They don’t need to be only for me five days a week, 365 days a year. Playing into how do I get the skills in when I need them to work alongside core groups as an amplifier is useful. It is starting to think differently about our operating models.
JESS WILSON: I think that is right. I think that is what people are wanting as well. I think that is what our employees are wanting as well to be able to live where they want to live and work – still be able to access that work. We only have a couple of minute s left. I will just go to you, Vishy, just for any last kind of messages, key messages that you think are important to – around the digital upskilling space for not-for-profits, the there any last kind of messages you want to give?
VISHY NARAYANAN: I think start somewhere. I think sometimes we could spend a lot of time waiting for the perfect answer and picking skills. It is okay to start somewhere and three months later realising that is not really the still you needed but that will lead to better answers. So starting and getting this as part of your organisation lead thoughts is number one. Number two, create space to experiment and apply the skill, not just learn the skill. I think that will be absolutely critical. And tie to it the outcomes that your organisation is trying to drive. At the end of the day digital skills is to drive an outcome, not just to have the skill. If the outcome is to provide quicker reporting, if it is to improve the employee value proposition, it is to build a culture of … only you can answer that but make sure it is tied to that. Those are the three tips I can give right now.
JESS WILSON: I would add to that, it is about helping the people you support to get online too because that is key to making sure they are able to participate in the community. What about you Lawrence any last key messages around where we are going and what the future of work for not-for-profits looks like?
LAWRENCE GOLDSTONE: I will stay with the theme of three. Think across multiple horizons so you are not just planning for the now and you get trapped into the immediacy and short-term thinking, start to think through what needed to happen next and where you are leading to. I agree with Vishy, just start, be bold and be prepared to think differently. Partner, collaborate, ask, even bring in what may have been traditional competitors to start to think differently about how you can pool resource, capabilities, learning and sharing. It is not done enough. We are too stagnant in our fight-for model and if we will move through and have a vibrant future we will have to start breaking down some of the old paradigms in different sectors in leveraging the support we are all looking for, which is better impact for the communities and organisations we all work for.
JESS WILSON: Brilliant! I think just to end, I think that is what the community sector does well is to create and collaborate and look at outcomes for communities. That is a great place to end on. A huge thank you to both of you from me for being here for Get Online Week this week. We will finish up here, we are one minute over. Whoops! Thanks everyone for being here. We will be sending out some resources to you after the end of this. I know people have been asking about. That you will get those resources through that. Thanks for being here. Have a great rest of Get Online Week everyone and I look forward to continuing the conversation outside here. Thanks.
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Check out these resources by PwC Australia to keep learning:
- View PwC Australia’s tipsheet on digital upskilling (.pdf) and in PowerPoint slide format (.pptx)
- PwC Australia’s Cyber team have developed free resources available on Infoxchange’s Digital Transformation Hub
- Future of Work website
- New World New Skills
- Future of Work Maturity Radar
- Download a copy of slides used in the presentation (.pdf) or if you need an alternative version email us on firstname.lastname@example.org