2022 has the potential to be one of the most transformative years in recent history. From workers taking more control of their professional lives to the seemingly never-ending struggle of employers to recruit and retain talent to the rapid acceleration of digital adoption to businesses realizing they need to become more sophisticated; several trends have emerged that will impact organizations of every size and the people who work for them.
It’s those transformative emerging trends that is the focus of ManpowerGroup’s latest report and look at the 2022 labor landscape, The Great Realization: Accelerating Trends, Renewed Urgency identifies the top 20 trends that will shape the world of work throughout the course of the year and beyond.
The Trends Driving Transformation Are Not New, but Newly Urgent
The impact of the pandemic combined with the acceleration of digital transformation will continue to bring profound transformation to global labor markets and workforces. ManpowerGroup’s data, insight and global relationships with clients, candidates and partners, reinforce that the structural changes and trends we have predicted for some time continue to accelerate.
- This recovery is unlike any we have ever seen - demand for skills is at record highs in many markets with unemployment levels still high while workforce participation stagnates.
- Uneven economic growth continues with some markets recovering well while others lag, hampered by Covid variants, vaccination rates and challenges to a previously hyper efficient supply chain.
- Experimentation with new work models is widespread, as hybrid and remote work (formerly ‘telecommuting’), increase flexibility and will continue to do so into 2022.
- Employers continue to seek flexible and strategic workforce solutions to meet the strong demand for their goods and services today and for long-term sustainable value creation.
Coupled with uncertainty and the emergence of new trends, organizations are realizing they need to do more to attract and retain skilled, diverse workers post-pandemic and people are looking for more from their employers to thrive and succeed at work.
The Power Returns to Workers
Now, perhaps more than ever, people want their employers to offer more. They want their mental health and well-being prioritized, while also looking for purpose, flexibility, competitive pay, good working conditions and skills development. Additionally, many people also expect a stronger stance from their employers on socio-economic issues too. With nearly half of all workers saying they’d move to an organization for better well-being, if a current employer fails to check the boxes their employees are looking for, they run the risk of people leaving for better working situations as well as more progressive companies.
Global Talent Shortages Continue to Challenge Organizations
The battle for talent is increasingly more challenging with nearly 70% of employers reporting they can’t recruit enough people with the skills they need as a global talent shortage continues to impact organizations around the world. Shifting demographics including shrinking birth rates, reduced mobility across borders, and the rise in more people opting to retire earlier than anticipated means talent is becoming increasingly scarce. Businesses must now get even more creative to recruit, retain, reskill, and upskill top talent.
Tech and Digitization is More Important Than Ever
Investment in digitization accelerated with more than 80% of organization accelerating their digitization efforts as a result of the pandemic, and now every company is a tech company. Consumers and employees alike now expect technology to make the way they live and work easier. With this shift, there is new urgency for organizations to upskill their people so they can translate data into insights, make data-driven decisions, and combine the best of human and machine learning for new value creation.
Companies Take Control of Their Own Fate
The pandemic laid bare several harsh realities for companies who had become too reliant on others to keep their operations running smoothly. In fact, 83% of organizations believe they need greater speed and agility to better cope with change. As a result, companies are becoming increasingly sophisticated; transforming the way they do business, and seeking nimbler operating models, more resilient supply chains, greener options, and more consolidated partners and solutions in response to heated competition, unpredictability and greater transparency.
While these topic areas and the respective trends within each are not new, they have taken on a renewed urgency as we continue to transition to the next phase of what the new normal looks like. These 20 trends, and what they mean for the future of work and workers, represent the tipping point for what we see on the horizon in terms of how businesses around the world will need to evolve and adapt in order to operate in this new era of normal. Change is constant, and no organization is immune to the way the current playbook is being rewritten.