How do CEOs view the worker of the future?

8 min

re.set - Training

All trends and data present a scenario where the future worker will be part-time, autonomous, socially conscious, motivated by knowledge, and nonconformist.

This is not a distant reality but an imminent change already reshaping the work landscape as we know it.

"The worker of the future no longer considers employment as an end in itself but as a means to achieve other goals in their sphere. They need employment to cover basic needs such as economic support and aspire for their work to reflect their values and contribute to their personal growth," comments Santiago San Martín, CEO of Grupo Faster. 

Data confirm this evolution of priorities: 66% of young professionals in the U.S. are already balancing parallel jobs, while 76% harbor ambitions to undertake their ventures. These are not just numbers but indicators of a profound change in the dynamics between employers and employees.

Even in Spain, where many young people still aspire to the stability of becoming civil servants, the entrepreneurial spirit is growing significantly. Today, 40% of Spanish youth are willing to undertake ventures. This trend aligns with the global desire for independence, self-realization, and flexibility.

As noted by Nacho Huidobro, CEO of Darwin & Verne. "Flexibility, understood in different ways, is imposed as the basis for establishing the labor relationship: flexibility in hours, salary, reconciliation, performance, workplace... supported by the idea of work as a right (not a conquest) that serves vital goals."

An emerging workforce arrives that will make us redefine work models.

In the post-COVID era, we reached alarming figures of job dissatisfaction, with up to 77% of the workforce showing signs of "silent resignation," a quiet but powerful signal of disconnection with an estimated economic impact of 88 billion dollars. This lack of employee engagement with their company is not only due to job dissatisfaction; it is a symptom of a more profound longing for autonomy and a purpose aligned with personal values.

As Jesús Ponce, CEO of Novartis España, points out, "Their decisions are very directly related to the purpose of the company and their perspective towards it." Aligning workers' values and aspirations with the company's is essential for fruitful and sustained collaboration.

An insatiable appetite for skill development will also characterize the future workplace. Sixty percent of workers are expected to seek training to improve their skills by 2027. For Paul Carr, CEO of Welocalize, "the value that Generation Z will place on training will accelerate even more in the future, precipitated by companies adopting AI, which will require substantial retraining of talent."

Are Companies Ready to Not Let Talent Escape?

The implications of these new employee demands are profound for companies.

For example, traditional compensation and professional development models will need to be revised to align with the changing spirit of the new era workforce.

Companies will have to innovate in compensation structures to adapt to the trend of part-time and project-based commitments; and future benefit packages will have to be as diverse as the workforce they intend to serve. This could mean integrating offers that support family planning, sustainability, and mental well-being, reflecting the current talent's broader social and environmental awareness. Even as Jesús de la Fuente, CEO of Graphenea, highlights, "In the future, we will see a search for reward in the experience and challenge that work poses", making benefits focus more on creating new opportunities that satisfy curiosity and ambition.

On the other hand, the days of linear professional paths are giving way to a multidimensional approach. Progressive organizations will recognize and reward not only vertical promotions but also the lateral acquisition of skills and multifunctional contributions. To this trend, we must add the role that Artificial Intelligence will play in redefining roles and responsibilities in teams, forcing the adaptation of professional development plans in real time based on the technological possibilities offered by AI.

The New Role of the CEO

As leaders and innovators in the business world, the challenge is to accept and leverage this change. For Edu de la Herrán, CEO of Manufactured, “The new generations are smarter, more critical, creative, and independent. As leaders, the first mistake we can make is to think they don't have much to contribute and rely on the old school of 'because I said so or because it has always been this way." The second, and even worse, is for leaders to stay only in appearances, pretending to listen and sending superficial communications without genuinely committing to constructive dialogue and the professional development of their teams.”

Promoting a work environment that supports autonomy, encourages continuous learning, and aligns with social and environmental responsibilities are the keys for companies to convert the unique attributes of the emerging workforce into a decisive competitive advantage.

The road ahead demands agility, empathy, and a bold and imaginative revision of the work culture.

Are we ready to meet the workforce of the future, formed not only by our staff but also by freelance partners and advisors, in shaping a dynamic, sustainable, and satisfying work environment?

The answer to this question will define the next era of business success.


(1) 2023 Fuente: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

(2) Estado del lugar de trabajo global de Gallup: Informe 2023



Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to receive the latest news from our blog

Start working better