Following a period that demanded reskilling, people will continue to prioritise their skills and pursue opportunities to apply their unique strengths.
The transformation of the global workforce has been a hot topic in recent years, and unsurprisingly so. Driven by the continued impact of the pandemic and strains on businesses amid record labour shortages and shifting worker priorities, its effects have been felt universally.
A recent study by ADP Research Institute has revealed that 64% of the global workforce was negatively impacted by COVID-19 — including 28% who had lost a job, were furloughed, or were temporarily laid off, and 23% who took a pay cut.
These labor market shifts have led workers to reprioritise their needs, further redefining how and where work gets done. As a result, employers face added pressure to adjust to emerging talent demands.
In line with this, the study has showcased four key trends that are driving workplace transformation in 2022.
1. Employee visibility will be redefined
As employers have the opportunity to explore on-site, fully remote, and hybrid workplace models, they will look for new opportunities to increase employee visibility and better understand the needs of a dispersed workforce. According to the study, within a year, COVID-19 has significantly impacted workers’ locations. 75% of the global workforce have made changes or plan to change how or where they live, with an even greater percentage of 85% among Generation Z.
Meanwhile, in Australia, less than half of respondents (45%) have made changes or plan to do so but the percentage was markedly higher among Generation Z at 70%.
To foster connection even in the absence of physical proximity, people data will shed insight into the ebbs and flows of engagement and performance, helping managers pull the right levers to support a high-performing remote or hybrid team. This new dynamic built on mutual trust will help drive employee engagement and performance. The study also found that US employees who have trust in both their teammates and their team leader are seven times more likely to feel 'strongly connected' to their organisation.
With connection driving engagement, employers will need to focus more on their people and reflect on the larger purpose that unites their workforce. Workforce flexibility will stretch beyond perceived limits and employers will embrace people-centered initiatives to build a workplace where everyone can thrive.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies will additionally evolve to drive true, measurable progress.
Yet another change spurred by the introduction of remote and hybrid working as operational and compliance considerations grow, adding to an already complex regulatory environment. In fact, ADP’s HR Survey Series with HR Outsourcing found nearly 20% of US companies with 25 to 99 employees admit they are currently facing challenges with compliance and regulatory issues, which may increase as regulations change.
To adapt and progress, leaders will rely more heavily on real-time data to tackle compliance proactively and guide decision-making.
Quality data will be key in providing businesses with the confidence they need to act. As an example, to better manage return to the workplace policies including vaccination tracking and testing, employers are turning to timely people data.
4. Greater innovation will accelerate growth
As business models evolve amid global shifts, businesses will turn to technology to drive efficiency and expand capabilities by eliminating task work and refocusing efforts on strategic growth initiatives. This digitalisation will not only benefit employers but employees as well, as they seek greater flexibility and control in their employee experience.
With evolving roles comes a surge in skills-based hiring, only further driving innovation. About 28% of workers have reported having taken on a new role or changing role due to pandemic labour market shifts, with this number increasing to 36% for Generation Z workers. Following a period during that demanded reskilling, people will continue to prioritise their skills and pursue opportunities to apply their unique strengths.
To accelerate performance, employers will need to focus on those individual strengths and provide opportunities for employees to develop new skills or embark on a new career trajectory with more opportunities for growth. Additionally, employers will also rely on helpful technologies like machine learning to identify workers with the right skills in unique places, such as pools of former applicants who previously applied for other roles.
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