Having just spent a couple of weeks in Australia, I thought it was a great time to reflect on a number of pressing issues both for our business and the world in general.
Discussions around The Future of Work continue to be hotly debated, a vital element of which talks directly to everyone in the HR, Staffing and Recruitment sectors. The changing nature and flexibility of workforces and their associated expectations and requirements are matters needing urgent attention.
The world of work is being constantly redefined — by new technology, changing attitudes, demographic shifts, and wider macroeconomic developments. This has led to significant ongoing growth in the global temporary workforce, raising questions about who is taking care of the needs of the individual.
Our own research reveals that temporary workers both want and need a greater sense of connection, inclusion and community in an increasingly fragmented workforce. They can suffer from feelings of isolation and are less supported than permanent employees when it comes to many aspects of their wellness. Despite the supposed sense of connection that comes through social media platforms, isolation and loneliness are on the increase so we must be aware of human needs and feelings.
On this theme, I was delighted to spend time last week in Sydney with Richard Branson, Lynette Mayne and other Australian business leaders from Virgin Unite’s B Team Australasia to discuss various global challenges. As we spoke, New South Wales was facing its worse fire danger in history so the urgent issue of climate change action could not have been more relevant.
One of the B Team’s key projects is focused on defining strategies and actions around the challenges associated with the FoW which includes the 100% Human at Work initiative. With the many pressures impacting future workforces, it is even more essential that the human element is not forgotten so 100% Human focuses on the principles of purpose, respect, belonging, equality and growth around the individual. In turn, this will create happier and more productive working environments.
This is right in our zone at Talent, so I am naturally delighted to be working with the B Team board to share ideas and provide our support in driving this movement.
Whilst in Australia I also spent some time with our entire ANZ team at a gathering in Melbourne where I explained that I am firmly of the belief that the traditional model for supplying and supporting temporary and contract workforces needs to be reviewed. This is the reason why we have invested further in the development of Talent Engage, an industry first, digital life hub and wellness community for contractors and freelancers. Engage provides access to a wide range of wellbeing programs that nurture the individual’s professional, financial, social, physical and emotional needs. Importantly Engage recognises and rewards loyalty in a world where this is becoming increasingly overlooked.
Having successfully rolled out version 1 of Engage in ANZ, we are very excited that development is well underway for version 2 which will be available next year to include the UK, German, and US markets. With a focus on wellness and loyalty, we intend to create the world’s most rewarding, empowering and enjoyable experiences for temporary workforces by addressing the needs of each individual.
The FoW and all its implications are already here so let’s make sure we take action now!