Reset for relevance. Build resilience by leading with values and an adaptive design.
Our 2022 Global Talent Trends Study brings together the voices of C-suite executives, HR leaders, and employees from Australia and around the world and reveals what’s keeping them up at night as well as their hopes for the future. Their stories point to the need for a more Relatable Organisation, one that challenges legacy notions of value-creation and redefines its contribution to society. Uncover how organisations are taking advantage of the opportunity to redesign work, working and the workplace.
Since early 2020, the pandemic has kept many businesses operating in crisis mode. Some have been fighting for survival, others struggling to keep up with a surge in demand — all trying to rise to the occasion and be there for their customers and their employees. Despite extreme uncertainty, our 2022 Global Talent Trends study shows that, looking back, two in five Australian executives say that their business was able to weather the unforeseen challenges. Now the challenge is to remain relevant beyond the crisis.
Staying relevant means adapting to changing values of customers, employees and investors. This demands a reset of priorities and a new work operating model that is adaptable, connects people to work more seamlessly, and re-imagines the talent experience. Organisations that walk the talk on their core values – through company purpose, work standards, and investment strategies – will better relate with their stakeholders and be better positioned to deliver business outcomes. The challenge is embracing a new work operating model with enough adaptive capacity to enable workers across the organisation to make value-driven decisions day to day.
Employees want to work for companies that reflect their personal values.
Translating values into commitments, and standards into practices, is critical to becoming a relatable organisation. Companies need to be more nuanced and personalised in how they respond to the changing sentiment. This will require new organisational skills of listening, learning and adapting to identify and address unmet needs.
Most organisations are still at the beginning of their journey. Here we recommend a few approaches to either get yours started or accelerate your transformation.
1. Build a multi-method approach to listening.
Utilise techniques such as team dialogues, virtual town halls, digital focus groups, pulse surveys, employee resource groups, and networks to understand and respond to the values and preferences of multiple stakeholders and stay connected to wider worker sentiment.
2. Come off mute and make your values heard.
Define the values that you seek to uphold inside and outside the organisation and translate these into brand commitments and practices that reflect what you stand for – from fair pay, social justice, and DEI to climate change and other ESG factors.
3. Drive a culture of accountability for social responsibility and employability.
Extend beyond the Executive or Board mandate by embedding ESG metrics in goal setting, executive incentives, agile rewards, and performance management.
Suggestions to Accelerate
1. Broaden your reach/impact.
Ensure your Sustainability leader embraces the people and social side of ESG, and that HR takes the opportunity to influence and enable the sustainability agenda. Extend commitments to include your external business ecosystem.
2. Motivate with progress.
Enable the workforce to evaluate and take action on ESG topics such as their own carbon footprint and contribution to DEI commitments. Publicly share metrics and communicate progress.
3. Design ways of operating that focus on building adaptability.
Define what jobs could be fully or partly agile, and consider the infrastructure needed to support flow-to-work models. Use AI-powered talent intelligence/ marketplace platforms for greater visibility of work opportunities and capacity to respond.
“The global pandemic has driven dramatic changes in the way people work. Our clients have seen a rise in employee expectations and demand around purpose-led initiatives and approaches to work. Values-driven topics are top of the agenda: DEI, sustainability, and social impact. Most recently we’ve been working with a global client on designing their operating model to achieve their sustainability vision and targets.”
- Ben Haste, Organisation and Workforce Transformation Leader, Mercer
Organisation and Workforce Transformation Leader, Mercer