Even as the tools and technologies of work are transforming the talent landscape, organizations should recognize that better outcomes are clearly tied to actions that are more human-centered and inclusive. Piecemeal solutions that aren’t built with people in mind won’t create as agile and resilient a workforce as is needed to meet both cyclical and structural challenges with positive momentum.
As the “next normal” presents a vision of how work has been reimagined, organizations should consider evolving their strategies in five areas:
Reinvent with intent for the Great Rebalance:
Organizations need to position themselves to deal with cyclical market challenges, while understanding that structural changes in employee priorities around total rewards, hybrid work, and overall culture require adaptation and resilience. Legacy talent strategy models and organizational structures aren’t built for this dynamic environment.
Equalize the internal and external labor markets with EVP and learning pathways:
Securing in-demand skills relies on your organization’s ability to find and build talent within your current population or future hires. Companies need to ensure total compensation and careers are equalized in internal and external labor conditions. This includes internal adjustments of total compensation packages to match inflation, and total rewards programs that promote well-being for a diverse workforce. Refining approaches to talent sourcing and upskilling/reskilling can promote workforce stability and capability growth.
Define and cultivate a people-first culture (humans at center) with trust:
Leaders should not underestimate the importance of trust and empathy to driving better outcomes. Shifting from a “me” mindset to a co-created “we” mindset will unlock productivity and connection through teaming. One way to build trust is through transparency and measurement of behaviors, attitudes, and outcomes from a variety of data sources. Understanding the metrics can then lead to more fully activating a sustainable “we” and “enterprise” mission, purpose and culture.
Right-size and elevate the “destination office” and experience:
For knowledge workers especially, work flexibility is a baseline expectation, with more than a third wanting to be fully remote. Organizations should assess which roles can be most efficiently done remotely, and build touchpoints, technologies, and processes to customize hybrid work, learning and culture for this new normal. A “head in the sand” approach to workforce mobility ignoring tax and legal rules doesn’t position an organization for success. Sourcing talent across jurisdictions requires guardrails to limit exposure while maximizing the benefits of flexible work for the business, and for the mobile employee experience. Real estate is not a primary driver for employee sentiment, but it does drive culture and productivity and intent to stay, so having the right amount of well-designed real estate that promotes social connections and collaborations will have high ROI.
Prioritize people amid generative technology:
Optimism around the potential of GenAI and the importance of a seamless user experience with technology represents an opportunity for employers and employees to co-create new expectations around benefits, capacity and safety. New technologies present challenges around cybersecurity, compliance and workforce equity. Technology won’t completely upend the structural talent issues facing employers, but to fully benefit from new tools, the workforce needs to be trained and empowered to reimagine work in a way that embraces new capabilities, and still keeps humans at the center.