Due to the significant workplace technology changes brought on by the pandemic, more than half (53%) of employers plan extensive organisational transformation in the next two years. According to the report, Technology change is business change from the Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) and Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB), many employers see the importance of ensuring their workforce have the right skills to successfully build sustainable organisations fit for the future. More than half (53%) have already brought in key talent to drive this change, with 41% still planning to do so over the next couple of years.
The research illustrates how digital technology and automation is set to transform business models and operations over the next two years, with almost half (47%) of respondents looking to change day-to-day tasks for the workforce through automation. A similar number (48%) plan to develop more digital products and services and around a third (31%) plan to attract and hire key talent to drive the digital change. Interestingly, 30% plan to make greater use of AI in the workplace, providing opportunities for employees willing to reskill. In terms of physical workplaces and premises 40% plan to scale back the use of these and close to half (49%) are looking to expand flexibility around when employees work.
Lisa Lyons, Partner and Head of Workforce Transformation UK, Mercer said: “Employees are now overloaded with a variety of new technology and initiatives. These changes combined with huge organisational shifts put pressure on pay, meaning the job market for high-demand skills is hotting up. Employers are keen to hold onto people prepared to adapt and transform their current skillset to meet new digital needs. However, to help employees adapt employers need to put in place support as well as strategies to reskill.”
The REBA and MMB research shows that most businesses recognise that business transformation needs to be accompanied by fresh thinking on how workforce needs are met. To that end over half (53%) of respondents plan to increase focus on upskilling and reskilling, the initiative most likely to deliver a return on investment[i]. In the area of pay and benefits, 62% plan to align their benefits offering to reflect the changing needs of their workforce, 58% plan to increase the use of data analytics to inform future benefits strategies and 49% look to make benefit offerings more digital. To combat mental health issues brought on by issues such as digital overload and excessive online meetings. almost half (48%) of respondents plan to use wellbeing strategies to drive culture, and 45% will focus efforts on improving digital wellbeing.
Debi O’Donovan, Director of Reward & Employee Benefits Association commented: “How people carry out tasks, as well as what tasks they do when working, is undergoing a revolution as we move from talking digital to living digital. HR teams need to map out, source and mobilise employee capabilities while rethinking how roles are designed in order to ensure that leaders have the right people in their business to meet these new digital challenges. This can only be achieved by creating workplace cultures that engage and care for the people who work there.”
[i] Win with empathy – Global Talent Trends 2020-2021, Mercer