3 Global Trends Affecting Your Employees

Gone are the days of a workplace that doesn’t reflect reality. We expect work to evolve in line with society and social norms and we expect to be treated the same at work and outside of work. In addition, the convergence of three global trends confirms that, more than ever, work is becoming more integrated into our lives. Awareness of these trends will help businesses better understand their employees in an effort to refine workplace strategies.

Flexibility
From an employment perspective we have already seen the lack of flexibility play out as the great resignation. Employers need to be more flexible supporting staff to step outside their normal job role and engage in dynamic teams supported by the concept of personalisation through the ‘whole self-model’, where companies make it possible for employees to share more than just skills and competencies – but also individual work styles, aspirations, motivations and learning preferences.

Another example is customised benefit packages like SAP’s global “Pledge to Flex” program. According to Debbie Rigger, Head of Human Resources at SAP ANZ, SAP has always provided workplace flexibility.

“What we needed to do was package this up into a program that our people could relate to and one where everyone can run at their personal best,” said Rigger.” Our Pledge to Flex program has provided a trust-based environment empowering our people to choose how, when and where they work based on individual choices.”

Purpose
Brands are recognising the importance and role they can play in uplifting people during times of uncertainty. In this context employees are also re-evaluating their lives and work, and many now expect their jobs to be a significant source of purpose in their lives.

A recent McKinsey report indicates that people who live their purpose at work are more productive than people who don’t; they are also healthier, more resilient, and more likely to stay at the company and when employees feel that their purpose is aligned with the organisation’s purpose.

The benefits expand to include stronger employee engagement, heightened loyalty, and a greater willingness to recommend the company to others. contribution. Processes that allow employees to document and track their contribution linked to compensation processes should be a habit at your company.

McKinsey identified a ‘purpose hierarchy gap’ with executives nearly eight times more likely to say their purpose is fulfilled by work and nearly three times more likely to say they rely on work for purpose than others.

In exploring this gap further, McKinsey found that frontline managers and employees are ten times less likely than management-level colleagues to say that they’d had opportunities to reflect on their purpose, and nine times less likely to say that they’d had a manager foster opportunities for them to work on purposeful projects.

Highlighting the importance of providing all staff the time to reflect on their own sense of purpose, and how it connects to the company’s purpose, concluding that when this is provided employees are nearly three times more likely to feel their purpose is fulfilled at work.

Sustainability
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) regulation is no longer a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and ‘to what extent’. Australian regulators including APRA are looking at Enterprise Sustainability Goals credentials and released CPG 229 affecting banks, insurers and superannuation trustees and is undertaking a Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) of Australian banks, with results to be released this year.

ASIC has noted greenwashing and commenced a review of ESG-focused financial products and will consider action ranging from engagement to enforcement. ASIC is also continuing to monitor net zero statements in both fundraising documents and in the market generally and will take regulatory action where warranted.

Employers must be ready to be held accountable and be prepared to produce key performance metrics related to the organisations’ purpose statement including ethical efforts through Sustainability reporting and ESG goals, diversity, equity and inclusion and the employee review process.

Deloitte insight research found that high-growth brands put a premium on accountability, with 93% indicating that they have established key performance metrics related to their purpose statement (versus 72% of negative-growth organisations) such metrics include those pertaining to product portfolio measurements (50%); diversity, equity, and inclusion (47%); and the employee review process (44%).

As we are encouraged to bring our ‘whole selves’ to work, understanding of these key global trends and their applicability to the workplace provides employers insights to assist in refining their people strategies. Is your company ready?

This article originally published on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes