Thriving organisations – those that transform their work environment into a compelling experience – will be first in building the workforce for the future. Yet, only half (52%) of organisations worldwide have committed to help employees thrive at work. Mercer’s newest research, Thriving in an Age of Disruption, provides a blueprint on how to build a thriving organisation in this era of disruption.
“As digitisation and disruption shape the next decade of work, companies that develop people strategies around these areas now will lead the way later,” said Kate Bravery, Global Practices Leader for Mercer’s Career business. “Thriving organisations do not happen by chance – they are deliberately designed and intentionally built. Most importantly, they create an atmosphere that enriches the lives of their workforce by meeting their needs and empowering them to contribute.”
“With the lingering uncertainty around Brexit, emerging skills shortages and impact of four generations in the workforce, UK businesses need to support and empower their existing employees or face losing them to competitors,” said Julia Howes, workforce analytics specialist at Mercer. “UK businesses are slowly understanding the urgency of these workforce challenges. Those that are acting now will succeed in growing and retaining their top talent, ensuring they have the skills needed for future success, and building a workforce energised to deliver exceptional performance.”
Growth and development matters most to employees
Exceptional organisations transform work into a compelling experience that meets all employees’ needs, unlocks their full potential and enables them to successfully transition into the future workforce. For those employers already engaged on this journey to become a thriving organisation, 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 energised and bring their authentic selves to work are 45% more invested in their role.
An inclusive and trusting environment leads to commitment
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. “Although this research shows that key indicators of a thriving workforce are also drivers of employee confidence, many of today’s people practices fall short in inspiring the very people at whom they are aimed. These findings suggest a new mandate for designing the future of work,” said Ms. Bravery.
The Mercer Thrive report suggests four critical priorities can help companies accelerate their performance and enable them to step successfully into the future of work:
1. Craft a future-focused people strategy: Organisations need to approach their people strategy with as much dedication as they do with their innovation and digital strategies. Thriving organisations treat their workforce as an asset in which to invest – not simply a business cost.
2. Curate a compelling employee value proposition: People want jobs that work for them. They want tools to manage work and life in a way that is personalised, flexible and unique to their own interests and aspirations.
3. Create a thriving work environment: Individuals thrive when work is challenging and purposeful, when they feel empowered to make decisions and when they are connected to colleagues and experts.
4. Cultivate a lab mindset: To stay ahead in changing times, cultivate a mindset that encourages experimentation, design thinking, balanced risk taking and a climate of continuous learning.
The case for building a sustainable, thriving environment that prepares companies of all sizes for the changing future of work is strong. According to Mercer’s research, organisations with agile and purpose-driven cultures are more likely to have annual revenue growth and employees who are energised by their job are more likely to stay and contribute to the company.