Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report

From great resignation to great reimagination

Reimagining work, workforce, and workplace

Off the back of COVID-19, the Great Resignation is here to stay—with CEOs ranking a labour and skills shortage as the #1 external issue expected to influence or disrupt their business strategy in the next 12 months.

Every nation and region face different labour trends and challenges. Workers everywhere are interested in exploring alternatives, under differing circumstances. For Malaysia, 85% of companies are focusing on internal mobility versus external hiring, with a focus on soft skills, including problem solving, communication and strategic thinking skills.

Recent research also suggests that women, non-white employees, and those in lower-wage jobs are the workers most likely to consider making job changes. Both Deloitte Global’s Women at Work study and more recently, our Economics team study findings support this, indicating that globally, the pandemic had a disproportionate adverse effect on women.

Whether driven by a wave of restlessness, fresh opportunities, or ordinary employment churn, workers everywhere are leaving—or considering leaving their current position—or the workforce altogether. Some reasons:

  • Show me the money. Particularly for millennials, the primary motivation may be as simple as salary.
  • Workplace culture and societal impact. Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey suggests that dissatisfaction with workplace culture and an employer’s social commitment are equally important reasons to consider leaving a job.
  • New developments drive choice. Employees want to learn and grow in their positions, and, more importantly, contribute to areas that are important to them.
  • Work-life balance. The pandemic, and the accompanying periods of isolation, gave many people an opportunity to slow down and re-evaluate how they were spending their time.
  • A desire for flexibility. Workers are rethinking not only how many hours they want to work but where, how, and with whom.

All roads point to reimagining work with a tailored approach. While the forces may be similar across industries, the impact on people, their purpose, the work they do, and how they do it will be very different across sectors, businesses and roles:

  • Refocus the Work: Outcomes vs. outputs
  • Rethink the Work: Eliminate unnecessary tasks
  • Rearchitect the Work: Elevate humans and harness technology differently

To unlock ongoing potential, it’s time for leaders to shift their thinking on talent and the very nature of work itself. We believe that begins with our ability to understand industries deeply, connect with their purpose, and see how each role and process serves organisations and the forces at play.

To overcome the Great Resignation, it’s going to take a rethink, reshuffle, refocus, and reset to achieve the Great Reimagination. Organisations have an opportunity to become more human-centric, agile, resilient, and sustainable.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Lee Yun-Han, Consulting Director of Deloitte Southeast Asia.

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