One of the key take-aways from our 2023 Global Human Capital Trends Report is that the workforce of the future will be focused on skills, not jobs; and businesses will need to figure out how they evolve with this change. This will be based on the type of business, their strategy and their readiness to change. The report reveals that a measly 19% of business executives and 23% of workers say work is best structured through jobs.
Responding to what is, a “war on talent”, a growing number of organisations are beginning to imagine work outside of the job—turning workforce management on its head by increasingly basing work and workforce decisions on skills—not formal job definitions, titles, or degrees but skills that can also be found by including contingent workers in their talent pool.
Still very much an ambition for most organisations, this shift needs to be well thought through before being designed and implemented. It requires not only an operational shift but a mindset and policy shift. Attracting and retaining talent requires commitment to implement innovative solutions and fresh policies that factor in the diverse expectations; talent profiles and demands from skilled workers.
With this “war on talent” being one of the biggest risks facing organisations at large, Deloitte has focused on deeply understanding the various threats and opportunities available.
Insights from these studies assist organisations to unlock the full benefits of their entire workforce – including improved business agility and scalability, expanded access to talent and improved worker productivity as well as performance. These insights highlight the need to think of your workforce as an all-inclusive, boundaryless ecosystem, where different types of workers have different needs and make valuable contributions in different ways.
More than half of the respondents surveyed in the 2023 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report (55%) say they already have, or are likely to, switch employment models throughout their careers and with contingent workers already comprising nearly 30% of the total labour pool according to these studies, this represents a significant shift.
Concomitantly, our people are gaining the power to influence how and where they work…and for whom.
What we are witnessing, for instance, is that younger generations view work differently. They don’t see themselves working full time, for a long term; for one entity. Research states that interest in part-time jobs is on the rise among Gen Zs and Millennials.
More than three-quarters (81%) of Gen Zs, born between January 1995 and December 2004, and Millennials (76%), born between January 1983 and December 1994 are interested in more flexible working or in reducing their working hours with only one in 10 having no concerns about making the shift, while others don’t believe it’s a feasible option. They worry their workload wouldn’t be reduced accordingly, that they’d be passed over for promotion, or given less interesting work.
In fact, 56% of Gen Zs and 55% of Millennials think it will become harder or impossible to ask for a raise. This is especially the case for women (59% versus 52% for men across both generations). Another insight is that women want more flexibility at work, but it is still not a reality for many—and this is impacting their career choices.
According to surveyed respondents, more women have left their jobs in the past year than in 2020 and 2021 combined. Lack of flexibility around working hours is one of the top three reasons women left their employers in the past year and is the top reason cited by women who are currently looking to leave their employer.
Yet, as it is with Gen Zs and Millennials; an overwhelming 97% of women believe that asking for flexible work arrangements could adversely impact their chances of promotion at work, and 95% feel their workloads won’t be adjusted accordingly. The benefits of flexible working when it comes to retention are also clear: two-thirds of women plan to stay for more than three years, compared to 19% of women who have no flexibility. Playing a part in this trend is the advances in technology leading to a “anywhere workforce”.
Three quarters of the younger workforce surveyed, who are currently working in remote, or hybrid roles would consider looking for a new job if their employer asked them to go on-site full-time. For women, hybrid work experiences are improving, but challenges remain. 37% of women with hybrid work arrangements report experiencing exclusion from meetings, decisions, or informal interactions. But it’s not all doom and gloom as this figure represents a significant decrease from the nearly 60% of women who experienced this in 2022.
Forward-thinking organisations are shifting their primary focus to an ecosystem mindset that values workers for the skills they provide, regardless of their employment status. If organisations haven’t already realised, it is time to evolve…
We must radically rethink what work means, where it’s done and how people are managed. We cannot rely on how we did things; we now have permission to experiment, pilot and incentive to innovate. We now can, in fact we now must; dare to define new fundamentals.
Insights extracted from the 2023 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report, Women @ Work 2023: A Global Outlook and The Deloitte Global 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey.
Sibongile Mogale is the Business Transformation and Human Capital Offering Leader at Deloitte Africa Consulting. She leads the ServiceNow Alliance and one of the Tier 1 Clients within Deloitte Africa.