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Survey fatigue? Blame the leader, not the question

This is a Golden Age for employee surveys. The assessment industry is dramatically growing, creating more options than ever, while new tech-enabled assets and increased accessibility make surveys easier than ever to deploy. This comes on top of a shift towards prioritizing employee listening—particularly in light of COVID-19. Yet, we often hear from clients that their people suffer from survey fatigue, leading to a hesitancy to deploy diagnostics. While survey fatigue is real and deserves ...

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The future of work: What next?

People have struggled to predict the future of work since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Concerns that machines would replace humans in time became worries about robots and artificial intelligence (AI). But until the pandemic, few companies had effectively considered the issue in depth. Doing so now promises to open up a slew of opportunities for organizations to better deliver on their value proposition to all stakeholders, build competitive talent competencies, and adapt to the ...

Three mindset shifts to become a data-rich platform for growth

Organizations that build data-rich technology platforms reap substantial benefits. They can accelerate innovation by launching new products and services based on insights gleaned from data and create personalized customer experiences that keep people coming back for more. In these organizations, data doesn’t just show what is happening in the business; data becomes the business. This is one key to success in an increasingly “winner takes all” economy, where our research ...

Grief, loss, burnout: Navigating a new emotional landscape at work

People have had to navigate an all-new emotional landscape amid the COVID-19 crisis. As we look with hope to the post-pandemic recovery, leaders must continue to address complex and uncomfortable topics such as grief, loss, and burnout that many employees will still experience for a long time to come. In extracts from a McKinsey Talks Talent podcast episode—“Grief, loss, burnout: Talking about complex feelings at work”—Bryan Hancock and Bill Schaninger discuss what they ...

Reimagining the virtual workplace around inclusion and engagement

While the COVID-19 crisis has tested organizations and people in multiple ways, employees have shown resiliency and determination, proving that they can be highly effective in virtual environments. However, flexible working models do not automatically drive inclusion or employee engagement. In fact, they can undermine those goals if not deliberately and thoughtfully addressed. Inclusion has gained importance as organizations realize its link to engagement. Employees who feel very included are ...

A new value agenda is taking shape—are you ready?

It used to be a given that companies that were disciplined about resource allocation, made bigger bets, and recycled capital faster than competitors were significantly more likely to outperform other players and maximize shareholder returns. These companies made the right investments in three areas: business as usual, transformation, and net new initiatives. But the rules that companies used to rely on for value creation and performance are quickly evolving. What’s changed? Corporate ...

How people—not just policies—make or break inclusive workplaces

Recent and urgent reckonings about race and sexual harassment have brought diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) front of mind for employers. Organizations that implement DE&I assessments and strategies enable high-performance cultures, protect themselves from reputational risk, and concretely demonstrate commitment to organizational values, which all positively impact business performance. Perhaps most importantly, though, is that organizations are recognizing that pursuing ...

Rethink reskilling for the post-pandemic world

The COVID-19 crisis has supercharged transformations driven by automation and digitization, resulting in a corresponding skills shift. An estimated 107 million workers may now need to switch occupations by 2030, about 12 million more than our pre-pandemic estimate. Demand for basic cognitive and manual skills will fall, while the need for technological, social, and emotional skills will increase. While this shift was already underway before COVID-19, we now expect an acceleration. For ...

Advance learning to shape the future—and deliver today

Anticipation of the post-pandemic future, coupled with growing demand for the new, emerging skillsets needed for the jobs of tomorrow, is pushing leaders to prepare for unprecedented organizational change. In our view, nine imperatives are critical to becoming future-ready—and accelerating learning is one of them. If accelerated learning is implemented successfully, the rewards are more innovation, expanded capabilities, and the ability to reskill in real time. When it comes to ...

Craftsmanship: The key to developing talent in an agile organization

When building an agile organization, there is no single “off-the-shelf” model for developing talent. But a team-based organization should start with taking a deeper look at the themes of alignment, motivation, and craftsmanship. In particular, the idea of craftsmanship features in all success models as a means of encouraging individuals to continually hone their skills to foster the behaviors and competencies required in a team-based organization. Growing from novice to ...

How to reenergize your organization to overcome pandemic fatigue

Pandemic fatigue is real: Some 75 percent of employees in the U.S. and close to a third in the APAC region report symptoms of burnout. The number of those who rate their mental health as “very poor” is more than three times higher than before the crisis. Encouragingly, companies are waking up to the need for greater compassion to unleash the full potential of their people. There are no easy answers, but these five actions have shown to be effective in reenergizing organizations. ...

Three podcast episodes to tackle today’s talent challenges

COVID-19 has dramatically altered the talent landscape. Paradoxically, unemployment rates remain remarkably high even as organizations struggle to address emerging skills gaps associated with the future of work. Now more than ever, talent must be central to leaders’ decision making. We created the McKinsey Talks Talent Podcast to help leaders navigate this fast-changing landscape and prepare for the future of work by making talent a competitive advantage. Our conversations ...

Inclusion doesn’t happen by accident: Measuring inclusion in a way that matters

Research overwhelmingly supports the same conclusion: Companies must aspire to have a diverse workforce. Decades of empirical research show that more diverse companies outperform less diverse companies (2015; 2018; 2020). Coupled with increasingly stronger norms around social justice, more and more companies feel compelled to focus on recruiting and promoting a workforce composed of individuals from differing backgrounds, experiences, and identities. However, diversity alone is not the full ...

Organizational effectiveness for sustained performance and health

Many organizations today find themselves in a continuous state of flux driven by a series of seemingly endless organizational redesigns. They must confront the brutal reality that as the pace of business accelerates, by the time one redesign is finally complete, it’s time to start another one. To get off this “reorganization treadmill” and change the performance trajectory, organizations should move away from episodic “cure-all” transformations to building ongoing ...

Build your organizational identity

Have you ever wondered how organizations can have beautiful visions and values statements on their walls, but walking through their hallways leaves you with a different impression? It often feels like two different worlds—what is said and what is real. However, organizations cannot afford this misalignment; without clear connections among why they exist (purpose), what they offer (value agenda), and how they operate (culture), they will struggle. Organizations of the future have closed ...