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In Practice

Is the Future of Work Agenda Shifting?

The New Shape of Work interview series addresses the challenges and uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus with a focus on how to transition to a more agile workforce for the future.

The events of 2020 reset the future of work agenda. The workplace and the workforce has changed at an accelerated pace. It’s clear that we’re still figuring out how best to respond to this new landscape. We’re diving into how the future work agenda has been reset, and what individuals, companies and societies can do to not only stay ahead, but to positively thrive in this new world order.

In this conversation, Kate Bravery of Mercer and Till Leopold from the World Economic Forum discuss the double disruption brought on by the pandemic and how it is affecting economies and society. The discussion is underscored by insights from the World Economic Forum’s new “Future of Jobs” research.

Key Insights

On re-skilling the workforce:

“The biggest people risk we’re seeing is that the pace of change, as part of the new skills required to thrive in this new world of work, is overwhelming to many people. According to our “Future of Jobs” research there’s something like 50% of employees will need some re-skilling by 2025.”

On the evolution of roles:

“Around 40% of current workers core skills that they use daily on their jobs are likely to change over the same period.”

On the role of human resources:

“If anyone still had any doubts about the crucial and strategic role that HR should play in an organization, the COVID moment has surely put this to rest. Going forward, I expect to see even more of a focus on employee listening and engagement.”

On the emphasis of digital:

“In our global talent trends report, we’ve seen executives wanting to push the accelerator on digitization. They also want to push the accelerator on gig working and tapping into a wider talent ecosystem.”

On the advent of social impact initiatives:

“One other really positive observation that we’ve been seeing since the pandemic, many companies wanting to anchor to their purpose or their values as they seek to reinvent. … We’re seeing much more verbal and visible pledges around DEI and ESG.”

Kate Bravery

Global Advisory Solutions & Insights Leader at Mercer

Kate Bravery is a Global Advisory Solutions & Insights Leader for Mercer. She has more than 20 years of experience in human capital consulting and helping organizations achieve a talent advantage through people. Bravery has expertise in people strategy, talent management, assessment/leadership development and HR process design.

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