The New Shape of Work interview series addresses the challenges and uncertainty brought by the coronavirus and how to transition to a more agile workforce for the future.

This interview brings us a conversation between Norman Dreger, Mercer Partner and multinational client group leader, and Kate Bravery, Mercer global advisory solutions & insights leader, covering four global talent trends that are reshaping HR strategies and prompting organisations to reimagine the employee experience:

  • Focus on futures – With a new, more responsible mandate emerging, the challenge for business is to rethink what makes corporations successful. COVID-19 has accelerated this trend by testing our business models and digital capabilities.

  • Race to reskill – Organisations are looking to embark on transformation, but nearly all reported significant skills gaps. Executives shared that their investment in learning was the number one HR initiative they thought would deliver business return. But employee uptake of retraining opportunities has lagged.

  • Sense for science – The use of AI and predictive tools has quadrupled. While this is helping to answer business questions, it also raises questions about protection versus privacy and using the data ethically.

  • Energise the experience – delivering on the employee experience is a top priority, and many organisations are redesigning their structures to be more people-centric.
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Interesting moments from the interview:

  • Energising your employees

    "Energised employees, or people who are energised by the job to be technically correct, are six times more likely to work for a company where leaders effectively balance economics and empathy in their decisions. And we definitely have a lot of decisions do to economic challenges that companies are being faced."
  • Having a blended work experience

    "We found that those employees that were more energised by their job are five times more likely to say they want to stay with the company, four times more likely to say they’re thriving, and they're also much keener to adopt reskilling. So the question now is how can we take that learning and apply that to energise people in a remote or blended work experience."
  • Reskilling environments

    "When we spoke to employee about why they hadn't taken up with reskilling they said things such as: there's a lack of time at work, I want to spend my free time and other ways, or even if I do reskill our company is not going to value it and I am not going to get opportunities. So if we think reskilling is critical for our transformation, we’ve got to look differently at lifelong learning and start to look at performance management, and new structures that can support a much more aggressive reskilling environment."
  • Prioritise employee health and well-being

    “We also saw, particularly the younger generation, Gen Z, coming into the workforce concerned about things such as mental well-being and financial wellness. We’ve never quite seen that before. I think maybe for some of these colleagues, growing up through the first recession and seeing the impact of that on their parents has made them a lot more cautious about the world of work. And that's influencing everything from the type of companies they're deciding to work for and how they're evaluating companies at this time.”

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