HR must embrace accelerated change to overcome the top challenge of attracting and retaining talent
LONDON, Nov. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Unit4, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for mid-market services organizations, today announced the people and HR-related findings of its second annual Business Future Index.
Having surveyed 3,450 respondents across 12 global markets to understand how much people, policy and technology changes have accelerated over the past 12 months, the Index revealed significant concerns with flexible working strategies despite a dramatic acceleration in its adoption. With competition for talent growing, there is a danger that failure to improve working policies and implement the right tools could lead to more employees choosing those employers who offer a more flexible approach.
Flexibility important but implementation inconsistent
The Business Future Index found 92% of respondents stating that their organizations have now adopted some form of flexible working policy. However, it also reveals there is much work to be done to apply these policies more equitably and ensure employees have the right framework and tools to enable such approaches. For example, the Index discovered:
While the reasonably even split between the different types of flexible working is understandable given that not every organization can offer complete remote working, other data suggests an imbalance in how such policies are applied. While 55% say flexible working applies to all employees, more than a third (35%) say it only applies to some employees dependent on job role, and 9% suggest it depends on the manager’s discretion applying only to some employees. Given that less than one fifth of employees experience flexible working without restrictions, there is still some way to go to improve such policies and, therefore, it is critical organizations move quickly to avoid loss of talent.
Big drivers for workforce strategies: recruitment, diversity and technology
Attracting and retaining talent remains the top priority for all organizations across the globe in the year ahead, but the Index reveals further challenges impacting workforce strategies, including:
Re-skilling talent (51%) and implementing a successful flexible/hybrid working policy (50%) also make it onto the list of top business priorities, compounded by 51% who believe that the real need to enhance talent strategies will hinder their ability to achieve their objectives.
Diversity is still an area where attention is needed, because although there has been an increase in the number of respondents saying their organizations plan to improve diversity compared to last year’s Business Future Index, still only a quarter say they will focus on it. Organizations that outperformed their business targets for 2021 were more likely to be further ahead in planning changes to their diversity policies compared with organizations that had performed less well.
“Given the need to attract a broad spectrum of talent into organizations from different demographic groups to meet demand for skills, the Business Future Index shows businesses must make diversity a higher priority,” said Tania Garrett, Chief People Officer, Unit4. “Along with investing more in reskilling their existing workforce to help meet future requirements, the Index clearly shows there is a close correlation between investment in innovative technologies and a positive impact on recruitment and retention.”
The people-related data in the Business Future Index 2022 highlights the impacts of accelerated change on workforce strategies, some of which are positive. What is clear is that those that had accelerated change in the last 12 months have seen their employees benefit from better well-being and team collaboration. However, there is still progress to be made as a failure to react to the evolving workplace and make the right investment decisions will see complacent and reluctant organizations fall behind in the competition for talent.
Unit4 commissioned independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne to undertake the quantitative research that this report is based on. They interviewed a total of 3450 respondents in May and June 2022, from 12 regions: US (1000), Canada (150), UK (400), Germany (400), France (200), Netherlands (250), Norway (200), Denmark (100), Sweden (200), Belgium (150), Australia (200) and Singapore (200). Respondents were from all private and public sectors (including IT and technology; business and professional services; education; and charity and nonprofit), and from organizations with 200-20,000 employees. Respondents from all departments and seniority levels were allowed to participate. There are also references throughout to historical data conducted using the same methodology in 2021. The findings from this research programme can be found here.
Unit4’s next-generation enterprise solutions power many of the world’s most people-centric mid-market organizations. Our state-of-the-art cloud platform, ERPx, brings together the capabilities of Financials, Procurement, Project Management, HR and FP&A onto a unified cloud platform that shares real-time information and is designed with a powerful, people-centric approach, so employees can benefit from better insight and become more effective and increasingly engaged. It supports rapid and continuous change while delivering individualized fit for customers at scale, delivering the right tools to unify the processes across their organization, and connect their people. Unit4 serves more than 6,000 customers globally including, Bravida, Havas, Migros Aare, Americares, Save the Children International, Action against Hunger, Metro Vancouver, Forest Research, Southampton City Council, Selkirk College, FTI Consulting, and Surrey County Council.
For more information please visit https://www.unit4.com/, follow us on Twitter @Unit4global, or visit our LinkedIn page
Global Communications Manager, Unit4
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