The New War on Talent: 3 Changed Expectations from Employees

We’re on the cusp of a new world of work brimming with possibilities to change how we collaborate, innovate, and deliver. As Canadians’ ways of working and their relationships with organizations change, now is the time to build stronger business resilience and maximize your employees’ potential. How do you plan to prepare for the future of work? Where do you want to see your business in a few years?

In this article, I will help you uncover and examine the perceptions of employees and employers regarding return-to-work plans, the digital workplace experience, and why it is important to allow room for a healthy work-life balance to attract the talent you need.

1.   Remote work is here to stay, so be prepared.

According to a survey conducted by PWC, the majority of Canadian employees (82%) worked primarily from an external workplace before the pandemic; today, that number is down to 27% with 59% working remotely. This is most evident in Quebec and Ontario, which were hit hardest.

As the world adapts to the new working environment, companies are trying to develop best practices for remote working and reentering the workplace. The vast majority of employers (78%) expect employees to return to work at least partially in the next three months, but just one in five employees wants to return to work full time.

In general, employees want to choose between working from home or in the office depending on their needs, and the larger the company is the greater the demand for remote working. Do you have a strategy and program for a mobile workforce that considers these preferences? Are there other things you could do virtually? By identifying how and where to create flexible office environments, your organization can access new talent sources and cut costs.

2.   Employees want a better work-life balance.

Employees say overall work-life balance (particularly for families with children), productivity, and communicating with co-workers without traditional in-person interactions are their top three challenges. However, many Canadian workers say their productivity has increased because of the pandemic. It seems that employees are largely split on whether productivity has risen, fallen, or stayed the same. A significant increase in output occurred in the financial services industry during the pandemic, with almost half (46%) of employees reporting higher productivity.

As for employers, they cite maintaining morale and company culture, adjusting to changing customer needs, and connectivity within a virtual environment as their top three challenges.

What can you do to keep your employees engaged and help them thrive in the new world of work? Do your leaders have the right tools? The companies that are most likely to succeed in virtual and hybrid working environments are those who think differently about accessing talent and building engagement and trust.

3.   Employees want upskilling opportunities

In uncertain times, employers who invest in their people fare better than those who don’t. More than two-thirds (67%) of Canadian employees who report receiving upskilling opportunities are more productive and more confident in their organization’s leadership. In addition, those with more opportunities to upskill are more likely to have access to the right tools for their jobs. Employers are slightly more likely than employees to say they offer upskilling opportunities, suggesting they could do more to improve access to them.

With remote working becoming the new norm, the need for digital transformation and enablement is increasing. The majority of employees and employers believe their company has the tools to help employees succeed in their careers—but a majority of employees (72%) and employers (68%) think the pandemic will exacerbate existing inequalities in access to technology. During the pandemic, public sector workers in education, government, and health care reported that they did not have access to the tools they needed to do their jobs.

Do your people perform to their fullest potential? By investing in your people, you invest in your future. And while you are at it, employ a workforce strategy that will help you develop new ways of working in a disrupted world.

I know what it means to live a life that is full of ups and downs. I’ve been there. You may be on the top of the mountain or at the bottom of the valley. But nothing lasts forever. The only constant in our world is change. To learn more about how you can make a difference in the success of your business and attract talent to your organization, visit my website today to discover the power of the Maestro Mindset!

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