Redefining the future of work: Organizations must move from surviving to thriving

Businesses are coming to terms with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.

The speed of advancements– such as AI, robotics, autonomous transport, Internet of Things, 3D printing and big data analytics among others – is unprecedented, and affecting almost all industries.

It’s a reaction to the changing profile of consumers led by millennials, who prefer round-the-clock services across all sectors. Organizations are rethinking their traditional business models and adapting to the new business landscape.

Business leaders, HR professionals and employees are asking pertinent questions:

  • How do we build for a digital future?
  • How can we attract and retain talent?
  • What does success look like in this new world of work?

Against this backdrop, organizations need to distinguish themselves from others. Thriving organizations --  those that transform their work environment into a compelling experience -- will be most successful in building the workforce of the future.

According to Mercer’s latest research, “Thriving in an Age of Disruption,” which surveyed over 800 participants in 57 countries across 26 industries, only 52% of respondents said their organizations were committed to creating an environment where employees are able to THRIVE.

Thriving organizations need to be planned and built. As automation - driven by AI, robotics and machine learning - replaces jobs that are repetitive and low-skilled, companies must develop strategies that reskill their workforce. Exceptional organizations transform work into an experience that meets employees’ needs and unlocks their potential. Only 2 out of 5 employees polled, believe their company has a compelling and differentiated value proposition. For those employers already engaged on this journey to become a thriving organization, headline results show that growth and development are what matter most, followed closely by fair access to opportunities and equity in pay. Notably, Mercer’s research finds that employees who are energized and bring their authentic selves to work are 45% more invested in their role.

The research shows that a trusting work environment, a feeling of personal accomplishment, faith in senior leadership, clarity around career paths and a strategy that is responsive to external market shifts and societal needs explain 79% of employee confidence in the company they work for. Employees stay invested in an organization that creates staying power through a unique proposition that offers purpose and belonging and creates a differentiated experience that supports career growth and personal wellbeing, in addition to a fair contractual arrangement. 

The Mercer Thrive report suggests critical priorities to help companies accelerate their performance and enable them to transition into the future workforce.


Nuno Filipe dos Santos Gomes
by Nuno Filipe dos Santos Gomes

Partner, Mercer Career

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