When it comes to what talent management in the future might look like, a 2020 study points to three defining priorities among knowledge workers.
The last year has forever changed the way employees view and approach work, but one thing holds true: Businesses that want to attract and retain the talent they need to move forward must understand the top priorities of their future workforce. They must embrace new, flexible work models and cultivate a workforce that can design their own careers. Employees want to determine when and where they work. They want to work with a diverse team. They want to be measured on the value they deliver, not the volume they deliver. And they expect to be given the space and trust they need to do their very best work, wherever they happen to be. Companies that understand and embrace these wants and needs will not only boost the motivation and engagement of their existing workers, but will gain the attention of the brightest new recruits and take their business to new heights.
1. Employees overwhelmingly expect flexible options.
According to the study, 88% of knowledge workers say that
when searching for a new position, they will look for one that offers complete
flexibility in their hours and location. Also 83% predict that in response to
the global skilled talent shortage, companies will leverage flexible work
models to reach out to suitable candidates no matter where they live — yet,
only 66% of HR directors feel the same. What’s more:
- 76% of the workers polled believe that employees will be more likely to prioritize lifestyle (family and personal interests) over proximity to work, and will pursue jobs in locations where they can focus on both — even if it means taking a pay cut.
- 83% of employees think that workers will be more likely to move out of cities and other urban locations if they can work remotely for a majority of the time, creating new work hubs in rural areas.
In order to position themselves to win in the future,
companies will need to meet employees where they are.
want to re-imagine how productivity is measured.
In the future, companies will need to rethink how they
measure productivity because traditional metrics — and views that real work
can’t get done outside the office — will no longer cut it. According to the
study, today’s employees want to be measured on the value they deliver, not the
volume. And they expect to be given the space and trust they need to do their
very best work, wherever they happen to be.
- 86% of employees said they would prefer to work for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output. What does this mean? New employees want to work for a company that cares less about the qualified work output they are able to produce, and more about the impact they can deliver to the business in a holistic sense.
- But there is a gap here, with just 69% of HR directors saying that their company currently operates in this way, and only half of HR directors saying that their organization would be more productive as a whole if employees felt that their employer/senior management team trusted them to get the job done without monitoring their progress.
Forward-thinking companies will focus on
closing this gap, and will design people-centric experiences that give
employees the space they need to unlock their full potential and deliver
want to work with a diverse team.
One thing on which both employees and managers seem to
agree? Employees want to work for a company that prioritizes diversity.
- 86% of employees and 66% of HR directors assert that a diverse workforce will become even more important as roles, skills, and company requirements change over time.
- Honest, accessible metrics around your diversity progress and remaining gaps are critical to ensuring that efforts to build a diverse team are measurable, targeted, and impactful.
Takeaway for Leaders
What should the major takeaways be for business leaders
when it comes to the implications of these findings?
1. See the forest through
Without the restriction of location, business leaders
must look at their recruiting from a broader lens and expand the potential to
attract employees who can boost an organization’s creativity and productivity.
They might, for instance, dip into untapped pools of
talent such as the “home force” and bring back parents who’ve put their careers
on hold to care for children, or people who left jobs to tend to aging
relatives. It could also mean looking to Baby Boomers who’ve retired, but who
still want to work a few hours per week. And it could mean enlisting more
part-time, contract, and gig workers — who make up a larger percentage of the
workforce than ever — to take on more hours. And, of course, it means looking
for global talent that may reside anywhere.
Prioritize learning and development.
New business models sparked by the pandemic and changes
in customer preferences and needs have given rise to new roles and
opportunities for companies — and their employees — to grow. Upskilling and
reskilling will be critical factor in capitalizing on them. As the study found:
- 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors believe that workers will need to hone their current skills or acquire new ones at least once a year in order to maintain competitive advantage in a global job market.
- HR directors believe that ensuring that an organization has the latest collaborative technology in place to enable agile learning is the most important factor in recruiting and retaining the best talent, and 88% of employees confirm this notion, saying that they look for this when searching for a new position.
It bears repeating: Organizations will need to prioritize
reskilling and upskilling to attract and retain the talent they need to make
their businesses grow. Those that do will not only boost the motivation of
their existing workers, but will gain the attention of the brightest new
recruits and position themselves to emerge from the pandemic not just where
they were, but in a stronger, better position to move forward.
The last year has forever changed the way employees view and approach work, but one thing holds true: Businesses that want to attract and retain the talent they need to move forward must understand the top priorities of their future workforce. They must embrace new, flexible work models and cultivate a workforce that can design their own careers. In doing so, they will not only boost the motivation and engagement of their existing workers, but will gain the attention of the brightest new recruits and take their business to new heights.
Source: by Tim Minahan via Harvard Business Review
Common wisdom in management science and
practice has it that to build support for a change project, visionary
leadership is needed to outline what is wrong with the current situation. By
explaining how the envisioned change will result in a better and more appealing
future, leaders can overcome resistance to change. But research, recently
published in the Academy of Management Journal, leads us to add a
very important caveat to this.
A root cause of resistance to change is
that employees identify with and care for their organizations. People fear that
after the change, the organization will no longer be the organization they
value and identify with — and the higher the uncertainty surrounding the
change, the more they anticipate such threats to the organizational identity
they hold dear. Change leadership that emphasizes what is good about the
envisioned change and bad about the current state of affairs typically fuels
these fears because it signals that changes will be fundamental and
Counterintuitively, then, effective change
leadership has to emphasize continuity — how what is central to “who we are” as
an organization will be preserved, despite the uncertainty and changes on the
This is a straightforward and actionable
notion that we put to the test in two studies. The first study was a survey of
209 employees and their supervisors from a number of organizations that
announced organizational change plans (including relocations and business
expansions, reorganizations, structural or technical changes, product changes,
changes in leadership, and mergers). The focus was on how effective the
leadership was in stimulating employee support for the change, measured through
supervisor ratings of employee behavior. As predicted, results showed that
leadership was more effective in building support for change the more that
leaders also communicated a vision of continuity, because a vision of
continuity instilled a sense of continuity of organizational identity in
employees. These effects were larger when employees experienced more
uncertainty at work (as measured by employee self-ratings).
In the second study, we tested the same
idea using a laboratory experiment so that we could draw conclusions about
causality. 208 business school students participated in the study, and the
context was potential changes in the school’s curriculum. They received one of
two messages allegedly from the dean of the business school. One conveyed
a vision of change for the curriculum, and the other conveyed the same vision
of change but also conveyed a vision of continuity of identity. Independent of
which message they were exposed to, students received one of two versions of
background information that suggested either low uncertainty or high
uncertainty about change outcomes. We then assessed their sense of continuity
of identity and their support for the change as expressed in actual behavior:
help in drafting a letter to persuade other students to support the change. The
results of this second study were similar to those of the first: Support for
change was higher when the vision of change was accompanied by a vision of
continuity, because in this case people’s sense of continuity of identity was
higher. Again, the effects were stronger when uncertainty about the change was
The implications of this research are
straightforward. In overcoming resistance to change and building support for
change, leaders need to communicate an appealing vision of change in
combination with a vision of continuity. Unless they are able
to ensure people that what defines the organization’s identity — “what
makes us who we are” — will be preserved despite the changes, leaders may have
to brace themselves for a wave of resistance.
Source: Harvard Business Review – by Merlijn Venus, Daan Stam, and Daan van Knippenberg
As many states are set to reopen, employers are developing new procedures to keep their teams and customers safe. While this includes a lot of logistical planning, the physical well-being of employees is not the only thing to consider. Employees will have different emotional and psychological responses to these changes. Regrettably, mental and emotional health is discussed less frequently.
Anxiety is a natural reaction to an uncertain future. Employees not only worry about their physical safety but their job security as well. If employers don’t help manage this anxiety in their employees, it will affect engagement and productivity.
Here are five things that employers can use
as a framework to build re-entry plans and assess progress in their employees:
- Make employee’s well-being your top priority. Employees want reassurance that their companies will put people first. Companies are offering more support to frontline workers and more paid sick days. Addressing employee concerns and remaining committed to their health and safety, especially during difficult times, goes a long way.
- Be transparent. Employees want regular, timely updates with transparent information from their employers. Open two-way information is critical for employers to deal with the economic impact of the current pandemic. Organizations that are involved with their team and engage in ongoing dialogue will be better prepared for these difficult conversations.
- Take action to implement public health measures. According to the CDC recommendations, employers should: extensively clean and sanitize work areas, encourage sick employees to stay home and implement flexible sick-leave policies, promote personal hygiene, provide protective equipment, and screen employees before entering the workplace. Employees need to know what measures will be implemented and how they will be enforced. They need to be reassured that steps are being taken and measures will be updated as situations evolve.
- Train leaders and managers to support employees. Leaders and managers will shoulder much of the responsibility when returning to the workplace. Some companies are holding ‘re-entry training” to discuss topics such as dealing with ambiguity, building personal resilience, developing emotional intelligence, and leading hybrid teams. Managers will need to be familiar with signs of emotional distress and regularly check in with their staff.
- Offer flexibility. The large-scale work-from-home environment has demonstrated that work can be flexible and change with the environment. As workplaces reopen, leaders should expect pressure to maintain flexibility, particularly from employees with children and sick family members.
In efforts to keep employees physically
safe, employers also need to consider the impact of the current pandemic on
psychological health. Growing anxiety with re-entry will impact health and work
performance. Taking interest and addressing this anxiety will help companies
cope with this transition and perform better in the long run.
I would enjoy hearing what you are doing to
help alleviate “re-entry” anxiety – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Repurposed from Harvard Business Review
We have been forced to change the way we live and work. Most of us are working remotely and spending more time together than we ever imagined with those who share our home. We cannot avoid this change (crisis) in our lives. Our government has mandated “social-distancing” and implemented numerous Executive Orders to shelter in place.
While not everyone has been impacted by a tragic loss of life to
COVID-19, everyone is experiencing some level of loss right now.
Perhaps it is the loss of income or your job. Perhaps your child
may be missing out on the final days of their senior year in high school or
college. You may be feeling the loss of quality time with important people in
your life or missing anticipated events like a wedding or graduation. Big or
small, these losses can feel overwhelming.
How are you adapting to the changes (losses) in your life?
We cannot avoid unexpected events or crises, but we can use
these moments to challenge ourselves to grow. Stepping
outside of your comfort zone is where the “magic” happens…where you stretch
yourself and achieve something you never thought possible!
Here are 5 ways to help you adapt:
1. Change Your Mindset – The Choice is Yours!
We cannot control the events of change in our life, but we can
control how we react to the impact that these events have on our lives. The
more you use your power of choice and the more you focus your mindset on
positively adapting to change, the more resilient you will be to dealing with
the impact that change will bring to your life.
2. Find Your Purpose
Take time each day to plan for tomorrow. What three things will
you accomplish? Define your purpose. Purpose and meaning in life give you the
courage to step out of your comfort zone – which is where you will find
incredible opportunities for growth and improvement.
3. Let Go
Let go of your missed opportunities and regret things you did or
did not do. You cannot change the past. All you can do is change
the future. A simple exercise to deal with regrets is to write
each one on a piece of paper.
Then, burn them. As they disappear into ashes, out loud say
goodbye to them. It is a very simple but effective way of dealing with the pile
of regrets that you have collected in your lives. Use those ashes as fertilizer
for a new plant or flower and watch how your past lessons can grow into
4. Face Your Fears
Change is scary and it is all about stepping out of your comfort
zone into the unknown. Train your mind to do the things that scare you by
getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Make a list of scary things that
you would like to do but have been too afraid to try them. Put a plan in place
and then go do them! (Refer to #2)
5. Focus on Balance and Health
When you live a balanced and healthy life, you improve your
resilience to the disruptions in your life. Find positive ways to deal with the
stress you face each day. The key is that you commit to activities that enable
you to be resilient, optimistic, physically and mentally fit to successful work
through the impact that change can bring to your life.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Benard Shaw
Sourced from an article:
Adapting to Change: Why It Matters and How to Do It by Kathryn Sandford)