Today’s forward-thinking business leaders are shifting their focus towards creating a more human enterprise, with resilience and agility at the forefront in order to meet the extraordinary challenges that surround us and lie ahead. They are creating these enterprises within, and because of, an environment fraught with risks: economic, political and social uncertainty, brought on by an ongoing global pandemic, rapid digitalization and the deepening crisis in Ukraine. How do they transform to deliver a more sustainable and secure future of work?

 

First and foremost, leaders are recognizing that the established, functional response to work and workforce issues is no longer fit for purpose and needs to change. Consider this: according to Marsh McLennan’s 2022 Global Risk Report, executives ranked employment and livelihood crises as a top global risk concern over the next two years, beating out economic stagnation, debt, climate change and, even, infectious disease. In response, progressive organizations are both rebooting their work operating system and embracing new work standards.

 

In a rebooted work operating system, organizations transcend their legacy of jobs and jobholders to apply four principles that enable more agile and resilient connections between people and work. They are:

 

  • Start with the work not the job
  • Fuse humans and automation
  • Envision the full array of work engagements
  • Flow talent to work

While a rejuvenated work operating system creates value, good work standards deliver on organizational values. Mercer’s recently released Global Talent Trends study found that one in three executives believe investing in good work standards will deliver the greatest ROI, and 88% of HR will make such standards a priority this year. Created jointly by Mercer and the World Economic Forum’s Good Work Alliance, and the subject of the recently released study, Good Work Framework, encompass:

 

  • Fair and equitable pay
  • Job flexibility and protection
  • Health and well-being
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Employability and learning

By creating and delivering on values, organizations build human-centric enterprises that are ready and able to institute anticipatory, agile transformation.

 

On May 25, I explored these ideas with global senior business leaders and thought leaders at Mercer’s breakfast at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

 

Joining me at the breakfast was a panel of senior business leaders who shared cutting-edge ideas and real-world examples for driving human-centered transformation:

 

  • Kate Brennan, General Counsel, Marsh McLennan, and Chair, Management ESG Committee
  • Alain Dehaze, Chief Executive Officer, The Adecco Group
  • Denise Dresser, Executive Vice President, Communications, Media & High Tech, Salesforce
  • Jenni Hibbert, Global Managing Partner, Head of Search Go-To-Market, Heidrick & Struggles
  • Tanuj Kapilashrami, Chief Human Resources Officer, Standard Chartered 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can view insights and highlights from our session, including a recording, on our event site. Additionally, I share my reflections from Davos in a recap article with Forbes.

Ravin Jesuthasan
By Ravin Jesuthasan

Global Transformation Services Leader, Mercer

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