The pandemic exposed weaknesses that many companies may not have even known they had. The global talent shortage, the need to scale up tech operations quickly to accommodate remote work and other digital operations, and managing the rising demands from people looking for more from their professional lives, have shaken many businesses to their core. Forcing most to reflect, regroup and reset as they seek a new and more sustainable path for the future.
As we continue to navigate the new reality, organizations are taking a much harder look at places where they were left exposed and identifying opportunities to reduce or mitigate risk or otherwise use this time as a way to reboot their operations for a leaner, more efficient future.
In ManpowerGroup’s latest report, The Great Realization: Accelerating Trends, Renewed Urgency – we take a closer look at the top trends companies need to know as they hit the reset button.
Trend #1: From Net Zero to Net Positive
Transparency around Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), the rise of stakeholder capitalism and the convergence of standards and reporting is creating greater urgency for companies to take the lead. 2 in 3 organizations report ESG as a crucial focus for their organization, while 60% of companies are tying ESG goals to their purpose. Focus on climate action has entered the mainstream with many businesses making commitments towards a Net Zero future, though the next frontier will be S – a companies’ social impact. Success will come when the S is about People & Prosperity – becoming creators of talent at scale, championing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and improving employability and prosperity for all.
Trend #2: Optimizing Workforce Via Strategic Talent Management
New, nimble operating models and people practices will emerge to respond to transformations in the market – from digital technologies to changing consumer preferences. The ability to turn data into meaningful insights will be critical to manage human capital risks, including the responsible integration of gig, freelance and contract workers. 68% of companies cite “consolidation of staffing suppliers” as a workforce management strategy currently in place in their organization. Vendor consolidation and resiliency will be at a premium to mitigate uncertainty and manage workforce risk.
Trend #3: Businesses Emerge as Most Trusted
The fracturing of trust towards the government and the media has put employers in the driver’s seat to become the most trusted source of information. Embracing a values driven agenda becomes a net positive for attracting and retaining talent. In fact, 7 in 10 workers say having leaders that they can trust and follow is important to them, and 2 out 3 people want to work for organizations whose values are the same as theirs. Employees increasingly demanding “empathetic” action with expectations from all sides of the political spectrum that CEOs will lead the way. The role of business will continue to broaden into areas from advocating for racial equity to championing vaccination and voting rights.
Trend #4: New Definition of Risk and Resiliency
As the pandemic continued to impact our lives, we heard more and more about the fragility of the global supply chain. Even before COVID hit, the strength of the supply chain was being questioned due to factors such as climate change, evolving consumer demand, and the global talent shortage. Over half of organizations are currently assessing their extended supply chains (e.g. third parties, sub-contractors) in order to reduce risks, nearly 40% plan to do so in the next two years.
In order to reprioritize risk, organizations are rethinking their logistics strategy. Mono suppliers and vertical supply chains are out, and circular, networked, regional, resilient, and sustainable are in. Supply chain resilience and vendor consolidation will be at a premium to mitigate uncertainty and manage risk.
Now is the time to embrace a shared vision of tomorrow. The sudden transformation of how business is done is going to have a lasting effect. As we’ve learned, some of these changes are closer to what workers wanted all along; flexibility, work-life balance and more. The trends known were coming are here and their adoption is accelerating as a result of the pandemic. Companies are becoming increasingly sophisticated as they are forced to adapt and hit the reset button while driving innovation that will sustain operations for years to come.