The last two years have seen humanity tackle and endure all sorts of hardships, with technology thoroughly entrenched into every aspect of our lives.
The need for skills, talent, capability – whatever you call it – is at an all-time high; and as the laws of supply and demand dictate, when demand outstrips supply, change must happen.
Every industry, from hospitality to agriculture to mining to tech is feeling the pinch.
With over 18 months of closed borders and rapid digitisation, demand is outstripping supply – both nationally and globally.
This is no more evident than in the ultra-competitive high skilled technology industry, and as a nation, Australia is woefully unprepared.
There are three ways to solve this problem:
1. Get more people.
2. Drive value not volume of skills.
3. Automate for efficiency.
Get more people
Attracting and developing the best talent is critical for Australia’s long-term economic growth.
We reside in one of the luckiest countries on earth, economically punching above our weight, blessed with a temperate climate, socialised healthcare, great educational services, low crime rates, and a stable(ish) government.
Now is the time for us to campaign for the world’s talent and encourage a “great migration” to Australia.
It would fuel Australia’s economic and social growth for decades to come, and when coupled with a revised view of how the modern workplace functions, can bring that growth to urban, suburban, and rural areas alike.
The time to act not just for Tourism Australia, but for Migration Australia, is now.
In addition to attracting more skilled migrants, we also need to recruit, train, and retain 10xers in as many industries as we can, especially technology.
The “10x engineer" is a popular term in Silicon Valley that refers to a rare engineer who can achieve 10 times more than the average engineer.
These people exist in a range of different roles across a company, not only in IT.
They might be brilliant salespeople, high performing marketers, or an invaluable office manager, among many other roles.
10xers are individuals that bring 10 times the value to their company, as compared to their peers.
They’re in a constant state of evolution and improvement; focused on discovering opportunities for growth, with a bias for action.
10xers work hard and deliver great outcomes, but they also make the team’s work better.
They are force multipliers that have an immediate impact, increasing the talent and productivity that surrounds them.
Drive value not volume of skills
We also need to attract and lead the talent we have, encouraging them not to do more with less, but to do more with more: more skills, more diversity of experience, a wider range of tools, and an emphasis on iterating and innovating for growth.
We need to accept that things are not going back to the way they were.
Hybrid working and decentralisation in industries that have been operating remotely for nearly two years, aren’t going back to “before”.
The employment proposition has changed, and how we lead our people and offer fulfilling and balanced, yet challenging employment will define the companies that win or lose over the next 10 years.
Creating workplaces that excite staff and show them how trying, learning, and succeeding is celebrated, can facilitate growth.
It also incentivises new and existing team members to deliver their best work.
In the long term, it will help Australia overcome the tech talent crunch, by focusing on the value, not the volume of the skills we have.
Review your culture and identify areas for improvement.
If you have 10xers on your books, do everything you can to retain them.
These individuals need flexible environments that allow them to test, learn, iterate, and fail.
They’re the type of people that learn lessons from failure and try other solutions quickly.
It’s critical to highlight how this is part of the organisation’s culture throughout the hiring process – and for it to ring true from day one.
In the absence of this type of culture, 10xers will be the first to walk, knowing they can do great work elsewhere.
Automate for efficiency
To remain competitive, organisations need to continuously innovate, and free up their skilled talent to complete higher value activities.
Automating the high touch “low value” functions of some jobs and using “pay for use” cloud-based technology gives teams the creative space to deliver higher quality and greater value work.
With the right culture and technology foundations in place, every employee has the potential to ‘10x’ and deliver outstanding results for their business.
An example of this is automating the basics, or setting a robust, evergreen cloud foundation in place that can quickly free up developers to deliver higher value work – and therein support multiple departments to deliver better outcomes.
Facilitate the right conditions for all of your employees to 10x – including allowing freedom with when, where and how they work, while also supporting better employee and customer experience – and your organisation is on a fast track to growth.
It might sound simple but creating an environment that supports 10xers runs counter to Australia’s ever-present tall poppy syndrome and most existing workplace norms.
It’s a significant sociocultural shift that requires organisations to rethink archaic employment ideals, to move beyond the video calls that have defined the last two years and forced meetings to update on projects.
It requires a huge amount of trust in your people, a level of flexibility, and a greater focus on collaboration and problem-solving.
In such a labour-short market, it’s undeniable that employees have more leverage than ever before – in both the salaries and working conditions they can negotiate.
10xers rarely job hunt or move out of a company unless their life is made miserable by time-consuming processes, meetings, and non-value-add activities.
If you come across them, hold onto them.
Thor Essman is the Managing Director at native AWS cloud management platform, Stax. Essman has more than 25 years’ experience driving digital strategy and the implementation of enterprise-level digital programs.
This content has been written by a topic area expert and is not a sponsored post or advertisement.