As our Workforce 2020 program heads toward the finish line, we will be posting less frequently on this blog. Of course, we continue to analyze the data—we’re currently working on a short paper specific to the financial services industry, and our series of webinars will run through the next few months.
This research program has taught us a lot about what really matters to employees—Millennials and non-Millennials alike—and how much work executives need to do to meet those needs and achieve their HR goals. We hope the research we’ve documented here has both helped your company change its workforce strategies and made you consider your own needs as an employee.
Thanks, as always, for reading. We will keep you posted as more of our papers and infographics become available, and probably won’t be able to resist the urge to post when we come across a particularly relevant article online. Until then, you can access the reports at Oxford Economics’ Workforce 2020 landing page or the SuccessFactors project page.
Our Workforce 2020 data shows that executives across industries are facing similar challenges when it comes to finding the talent they need. Like executives in financial services, consumer goods, healthcare, and other industries, retail executives are having difficulty recruiting employees with the right mix of skills—and are feeling limited by it.
Retailers should consider developing employees from the inside rather than looking outside for the right candidates. Employees today are dissatisfied with the training and tools available to them, and many say that more development opportunities would increase their loyalty and engagement with their current job.
Well-trained employees with up-to-date skills are essential to building stronger companies. By providing more opportunities for training and skills development, offering more opportunities to pursue educational opportunities, and creating a culture of learning, companies will be able to better-equipped to engage and retain their best employees—and build a leadership pipeline for the future.
For employees—Millennials and non-Millennials alike—obsolescence is a bigger concern than layoffs. But as the chart below shows, only 19% say economic uncertainty is a concern, meaning their worries are likely skills-related.
Employees are not confident in their current skill sets, especially in the Americas, where fewer than 40% say the skills they have today will be what is needed in their jobs in three years.
Technology skills in particular will continue to lag. The need for skills like analytics, cloud, and programming/development will grow sizably over the next three years, but less than half of employees expect to be proficient with most of these key technologies.
Better training and education opportunities would benefit employees and businesses alike. Today, less than a quarter of executives say they offer education as a benefit, and incentives for pursuing educational opportunities are also uncommon. With more incentives to pursue education and participate in supplemental training programs, employees would expand their skill sets and likely inspire peers to do the same—with the added bonus of making employees happier and more engaged.
For a full review of our Workforce 2020 study, click the image below to read our research overview paper.
We’ll also be releasing our series of more targeted think pieces–The Millennial Misunderstanding, What Matters Most at Work, The Leadership Cliff, and the Learning Mandate–over the next few weeks.
Our Workforce 2020 data shows that employees across industries and regions are largely unsatisfied with their jobs, in terms of everything from compensation to leadership and development opportunities.
While satisfaction levels do vary country to country, fewer than half of employees surveyed in every region say they are happy with their job.
What is at stake for businesses that don’t do what it takes to keep their employees satisfied?
Companies are at risk of losing their best employees. And those who do stay in their current job despite their dissatisfaction are will likely not be the best workers—many workers we surveyed say higher compensation, better benefits, and more development opportunities would increase their loyalty and engagement with their current job.
To keep the top employees around and inspire other workers to be their best, executives need to make a point of listening to their wants and needs. Figuring out what matters most to workers will go a long way in building a strong culture, ramping up recruitment, and keeping everyone at the company loyal and engaged.
For more on what makes employees happy, check out our webinar on “What Matters Most at Work” on-demand.
Our Workforce 2020 surveys show that, around the world, employees are unsatisfied with the learning culture at their companies. Fewer than half say their company retains, updates, and shares knowledge, and even fewer say their company offers incentives for pursuing further education.
Executives may not think their employees value learning and development opportunities, but our data shows otherwise. In fact, employees rank supplemental training programs as the top benefit after cash-based incentives like compensation, bonuses, and retirement plans. What’s more, companies’ youngest workers are concerned about their futures—36% of global Millennials say a lack of opportunities for advancement is a top job concern, and just 39% say their company has outlined a clear career path.
What is the way forward for businesses looking to build strong learning cultures? To start, companies can provide more opportunities (even informal ones) for training and skills development, offer incentives to employees for pursuing relevant educational opportunities outside the office, and create an environment in which information-sharing is encouraged and rewarded. The companies that get this right will have better-trained, more engaged employees—and a better shot at success.
Inside a startup bootcamp that’s addressing Silicon Valley’s diversity divide (FastCompany): We’ve talked before about the tech industry’s diversity problem—but there’s a new organization called the Startup Institute that is making introducing minorities to Silicon Valley a top priority.
Trying to solve the great wage slowdown (The New York Times): Last week a group of economists and policy experts published a new report on wage stagnation in the US and outlined some potential solutions to the problem.
More than a third of American workers don’t get sick leave, and they’re making the rest of us ill (Washington Post): Four in ten private-sector workers do not have access to any paid sick leave—which means many may come into the office for financial reasons even when they are under the weather.
Don’t miss the final webinar in our Workforce 2020 series today at 1 pm ET/10 am PT.
Oxford Economics’ Technology Practice Lead Ed Cone will be speaking with PwC’s Sayed Sadjady and SAP’s David Swanson on how companies are bridging the skills gap in their companies. The hosts will also be taking questions from the audience about best practices for cultivating strong learning and development programs.
Today’s attendees will earn a unit of credit toward HRCI certification. Register here.
The more we think about the results of our workforce strategy surveys, the more we realize the significance of the numbers. This data is personal; each stat represents the feelings of a real employee, and each key theme mirrors a thought we’ve all had about our job at one point or another.
It’s no surprise then that these issues are in the news—the search for job satisfaction is important to all of us, and whether or not we find it has the power to change not only our own lives, but also the success of broader companies and economies.
So what does a great place to work really look like? We’ve revealed some of our own strategies over the past few months on this blog. For another take, check out this recent article from Tony Schwartz.
You can still register for the last webinar in our Workforce 2020 series, Bridging the Skills Gap: The Learning Mandate. Next Wednesday, January 14, Oxford Economics’ Technology Practice Lead Ed Cone will be speaking with PwC’s Sayed Sadjady and SAP’s David Swanson on how companies are approaching learning and development.
Attendees will be able to participate in a question and answer session with the hosts and will earn a unit of credit toward HRCI certification. You can register for the webinar here.