Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends study identifies four top
trends shaping the future of work
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends study, nearly
three-quarters (73%) of executives predict significant disruption in the
next three years, compared to 26% in 2018. As executives focus on making
their organizations “future-fit”, significant human capital risks –
including the ability to close the skills gap and overcome employee
change fatigue – can impede transformation progress. Addressing these
concerns is paramount, given that only one in three executives rate
their company’s ability to mitigate human capital risks as very
“Over the last few years, organizations have moved from anticipation to
action in preparing for the future of work. But they risk bewildering
people with too much change, ignoring the values individuals admire, and
inundating them with endless process,” said Ilya Bonic, President of
Mercer’s Career business.
In today’s climate of uncertainty, employees seek stability. Mercer’s
study finds that job security is one of the top three reasons employees
joined their company, and the main reason they stay. Yet, one in three
employees are concerned that AI and automation will replace their job.
The way to help employees feel secure is to foster the human
connections. Thriving employees (those prospering in the areas of
health, wealth, and career) are twice as likely to describe their role
as “relationship focused” and their work environment as “collaborative.”
“The future of work is about connectivity, creating a work environment
that appeals to today’s workforce by building a coherent sense of
identity, sparking connections, and using data to personalize the
experience,” said Kate Bravery, Career Global Solutions Leader at Mercer.
Mercer’s study identifies four top trends that leading companies are
pursuing in 2019: Aligning Work to Future Value, Building Brand
Resonance, Curating the Work Experience, and Delivering Talent-led
Aligning Work to Future Value. AI and automation continue to
transform the competitive landscape – 60% of companies plan to automate
more work in the next 12 months. At the same time, the C-suite names job
redesign as the area of talent investment with the highest potential for
return on investment, and 65% of employees are asking for more clearly
defined responsibilities. The challenge for HR is to build an integrated
people strategy (an approach deployed four times more frequently by
high-growth companies) and leverage the right talent analytics to inform
decisions on the future size and shape of the organization – yet only
one-third of companies have good insights into the business impact of
their buy, build, borrow, and automate strategies. “The key is aligning
jobs and people to where value is being created, and enabling a
mechanism to reward future-fit skills and behaviors,” said Ms. Bravery.
Building Brand Resonance. What matters to employees and job
seekers is the way a company conducts business and upholds the values of
its brand. In a social, transparent world, the lines are blurring
between a company’s consumer brand and its talent value proposition
(TVP). Successful companies ensure that their brand resonates with all
workforce segments – 68% of high-growth organizations differentiate
their TVP to different groups (such as contingent workers), compared to
47% of modest-growth companies. An organization’s total rewards
philosophy is one area where brand values can shine: Thriving employees
are four times more likely to work for a company that ensures equity in
pay and promotion decisions (78% vs. 18%).
Curating the Work Experience. An effective and relevant
day-to-day work experience is essential for retaining top talent.
According to Mercer’s study, thriving employees are three times more
likely to work for an organization that enables quick decision-making
(81% vs. 26%) and that provides tools and resources for them to do their
job efficiently (82% vs. 30%). Personalized and simplified professional
development plans are an ask from employees – more than half (56%) of
employees want curated learning to help them evolve their skills and
prepare for future jobs. Technology plays a critical role – high-growth
firms are twice as likely as moderate-growth firms to provide a fully
digital experience for employees.
Delivering Talent-led Change. To ensure talent is at the center
of change, HR should have a voice in business transformation. This
year’s study found 61% of HR leaders involved in planning the rollout of
major change projects and 54% involved in executing those plans. But,
only two in five HR leaders participated in the idea generation stage of
transformation initiatives. HR sees employee morale as a significant
barrier to making changes stick: “Employee attrition” and a “decline in
employee trust” are two of the top challenges in the year ahead. “These
findings point to the need for transformation efforts to focus on
people-centered design and better talent metrics to understand how
people are experiencing and embracing change,” said Mr. Bonic.
Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends study shares insights
from over 7,300 senior business executives, HR leaders, and employees
from nine key industries and 16 geographies around the world. To
download the report, visit https://www.mercer.com/global-talent-trends.
delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organizations
meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce.
Mercer’s more than 23,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the
firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary
& McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global
professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people.
With nearly 65,000 colleagues and annual revenue over $14 billion,
through its market-leading companies including Marsh,
Carpenter and Oliver
Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly
dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit www.mercer.com.
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