Future of work: The Great Reflection

Whether you call it The Great Resignation, The Great Rotation or The Big Quit, it’s trend that’s causing many organizations to perform what Gartner is dubbing The Great Reflection. And that means they have to evaluate and reimagine the future of work.

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future of work

Much has been said (and written) about the future of work, particularly around the technology and tools required to support hybrid workplaces. But a critical component in building a resilient workforce is attracting and retaining top technology talent during an IT skills shortage.

The labour market significantly tightened up in 2020 and 2021, particularly in IT. Perhaps more alarming, a  global Gartner survey found that only 29.1% of IT workers have “high intent” to stay with their current employer.

Whether you call it The Great Resignation, The Great Rotation or The Big Quit, it’s trend that’s causing many organizations to perform what Gartner is dubbing The Great Reflection. And that means organizations have to evaluate and re-imagine the employment value proposition.

Employment value proposition

“The hyper-competitive talent landscape has exposed those strengths and weaknesses in organizations, whether it be attractiveness of the culture, the strength of purpose in quality of managers or desirability of the new work models coming out of the pandemic,” said Rob O’Donohue, senior director analyst, during a Gartner webinar.

While compensation is the No. 1 factor for both attraction and attrition, Gartner’s research data shows that not far behind is work-life harmonization, as well as job stability and future career development opportunities.

While it’s important for CIOs to benchmark their compensation plans to understand if they’re on par with the market, they should also reflect on those other factors—particularly since they could serve as differentiators in a competitive marketplace.

When it comes to retention, compensation continues to be the top reason why employees stay. But No. 2 is manager quality.

“Then you have respect, recognition, future development opportunities—all of them tying back to the quality of the manager,” said Mbula Schoen, senior director analyst with Gartner, during the webinar.

“Which means as we look at our talent strategy, we also need to take two steps back and understand (that) we probably need to upskill and reskill our people managers so that they have the skills, the competencies, the tools to deal with a dramatically changed workforce.”

A human-centric approach

That takes on added importance in remote and hybrid work environments where a greater degree of trust is required on both sides.

Gartner recommends a human-centric work model that includes:

  • Working hours: empowering people and teams to decide when they do their best work
  • Office centricity: recognizing employees can be fully productive remotely, while the office is best suited for collaboration
  • Meetings: using asynchronous and synchronous collaboration tools for decision making, collaboration and creativity

Aside from providing flexible work experiences, Gartner also recommends building organizational resilience through a “blended workforce of full-time equivalents.”

That could include private talent pools who have an established relationship with your organization, partner organizations and public talent pools such as freelancer marketplaces and talent exchanges.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that The Great Resignation would be followed by The Great Reflection. So when considering strategies around the future of work, keep in mind that those who lead the pack will be those who have taken the time to reflect.

Images: jeffbergen/iStock

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