Digital HRDigital TransformationThriving in an age of disruption 

Thriving in an age of disruption 

Disruptions are shaping the next decade of work. If your organisation is not developing people strategies that account for this wave of disruption your company might become blindsided. In this VUCA environment you need to consider the ten points below:

Disruptions are shaping the next decade of work. If your organisation is not developing people strategies that account for this wave of disruption your company might become blindsided. In this VUCA environment you need to consider the ten points below:

  • Changing customer needs and expectations – Customer facing services are expanded, enhanced, segmented and tailored.
  • Robotics and Manual Automation – 40% of current roles may be displaced.
  • Analytics, AI and Cognitive Automation – Cognitive automation may hollow out the middle of the professional career path.
  • Innovation and technology acceleration – The people implications of technology strategies are not being thought through.
  • Agility, simplicity and collaboration – The world now requires rapid responses, a focus on design and project-based work across teams and silos.
  • Freelancers and the gig economy – A growing pool of independent workers and specialist skills available on demand.
  • Employee wellness – Embracing the “whole person” and supporting their financial, emotional and physical well-being.
  • Changing worker preferences – Employees want recognition and rewards for a wide range of contributions.
  • Skills scarcity and experience gaps – The UK is facing an unprecedented shortage of workers and skills, and consequently career paths require acceleration.
  • Leadership scarcity – We can no longer rely on employees as both a leveraged resource and feedstock for future leaders.

Thriving organisations
These are organisations that transform their work environment into a compelling experience – will be first to manage these disruption, build the workforce for the future, and create competitive advantage.  Thriving organisations do not happen by chance – they are deliberately designed and intentionally built.  However, only half (52%) of organisations have committed to help employees thrive at work.

Growth and development matters most to employees

Exceptional organisations transform work into a compelling experience that meets all employees’ needs, unlocks their full potential and enables them to successfully transition into the future workforce. For those employers already engaged on this journey to become a thriving organisation, headline results show that growth and development are what matter most, followed closely by fair access to opportunities and equity in pay. Notably, Mercer’s research finds that employees who are energised and bring their authentic selves to work are 45% more invested in their role.

An inclusive and trusting environment leads to commitment

The research shows that a trusting work environment, a feeling of personal accomplishment, faith in senior leadership, clarity around career paths and a strategy that is responsive to external market shifts and societal needs explain 79% of employee confidence in the company they work for.

Four ways you can develop your business into a thriving organisation:

  1. Craft a future-focused people strategy: Organisations need to approach their people strategy with as much dedication as they do with their innovation and digital strategies. Thriving organisations treat their workforce as an asset in which to invest – not simply a business cost.
  2. Curate a compelling employee value proposition: People want jobs that work for them. They want tools to manage work and life in a way that is personalised, flexible and unique to their own interests and aspirations.
  3. Create a thriving work environment: Individuals thrive when work is challenging and purposeful, when they feel empowered to make decisions and when they are connected to colleagues and experts.
  4. Cultivate a lab mindset: To stay ahead in changing times, cultivate a mindset that encourages experimentation, design thinking, balanced risk taking and a climate of continuous learning.

Companies that take the lead will be those that put people at the heart of their business. Thriving organisations seek to enrich the lives of their employees — meeting their health, wealth, and career growth needs. As a result, people feel connected, challenged, and empowered.

Julia Howes
Julia Howes is a Principal in Mercer‘s UK Career business. She has worked in professional services organisations for more than 15 years, and specialises in creating people and workforce strategies based on strategic workforce planning, strategic organisational design, employee research, workforce analytics and workforce metrics.

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