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Getting skills transformations right: The nine-ingredient recipe for success

Companies are grappling with an urgent need for new skills to support significant changes in business priorities and in how work gets done. According to our recent McKinsey Global Survey on reskilling, most respondents say that skill building is the best way to close those gaps, ahead of hiring, contracting, or redeploying employees. Sixty-nine percent say they have doubled down on skilling efforts since the pandemic began and are reaping clear benefits. Among organizations that ...

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Four ways that organizations can help tomorrow’s leaders

Employee stress, anxiety, and burnout are on the rise. The pandemic continues to exact a toll on workers, families, and students. For many, time spent working is increasing while that spent with other social groups, like family or church, is decreasing. This matters to organizations, because the well-being of humans is inextricably linked to employee satisfaction and also correlates with customer satisfaction, turnover, productivity, and profitability. Failure to pay attention to and ...

Operating model transformations: Not all elements are created equal

More leaders are asking questions about the future of their organization’s operating model due to the effects of the pandemic. However, successfully shifting to a new way of working requires more than redrawing boxes and lines. McKinsey research found transformations that touched seven or more of the 12 elements of an operating model (see Exhibit) were three times more likely to experience a successful redesign. But, with a dozen elements to focus on, where should an organization ...

Piecing together the talent puzzle: How to bring a redeployment or skilling program to life

In a recent McKinsey survey, 53 percent of leaders indicated that building skills was the best way to close their company’s capability gaps in the next year. In fact, they cited reskilling as the preferred strategy more than twice as often as hiring. It’s no secret organizations see the value of skill building and are acting quickly—over 33 percent of leaders indicated that investment in building capabilities has increased since 2020. While these statistics are compelling, ...

Unleashing the power of communication in agile transformations

More organizations are seeking to become “agile”—a term that began in software development but now encompasses many efforts to work faster and more effectively in teams built around customers rather than silos. Communications around agile transformations are different than in other transformations: Agile is a philosophy rather than an outcome. High-frequency, two-way communication is required to gather sufficient feedback and pivot principles and objectives as ...

Piecing together the talent puzzle: When to redeploy, upskill, or reskill

As organizations approach the rapidly changing, post-pandemic future, one key will be their ability to use existing talent in new and innovative ways and ensure that employees have the necessary skills to be successful. Within the next five years, up to 50 percent of all employees will require some level of reskilling to perform effectively in role, while nearly 100 million new roles are likely to emerge, according to the World Economic Forum. To build an enduring organization—one with the ...

Running on all five sources: Actions leaders can take to create more meaningful work

Research shows that when people view their work as meaningful, their performance and job attitudes improve significantly. Previously, we proposed a strategy that leaders can use to create meaningful work: making the connection to and highlighting the impact their work has on society, customers, the company, team, and individuals’ personal success—otherwise known as the five sources of meaning. Knowing about the five sources of meaning is a great start, but the real magic occurs ...

Personal experience of inclusion: Critical to win the war for talent

Previously, we described the basic building blocks of the McKinsey inclusion assessment and the 10 key management practices to enhance employees’ perceptions of organizational inclusivity. We now shift our attention to the seven practices that help improve employees’ personal experience of inclusion. These are categorized into what peers/teammates do to support their colleagues and how leaders can help diverse teams thrive. While most organizations adopt policies and programs to ...

The future of work: Seizing the opportunities of the new normal

The COVID-19 crisis forced organizations around the world to reevaluate many aspects of their work, workforce, and workplace, while also presenting new risks and opportunities. For instance, new business start-ups nearly doubled in the United States compared to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, larger organizations experienced an “unfreezing” moment in which the status quo of how things were done was disrupted. In turn, this created conditions ripe for large-scale change ...

Everyone needs more of this one skill

Change is constant, unpredictable, necessary, and extremely difficult all at once. For many people, constant change at work—ongoing transformation, different ways of working, demand for new skills—is a significant cause of chronic stress. According to the World Health Organization, even before COVID-19, the global stress epidemic was costing the world at least $1 trillion annually just in measurable areas like absenteeism, and likely much more in innovation and creativity—two ...

The future of work: Managing three risks of the hybrid workplace

With the gradual reopening of nations around the world, organizations have been evaluating post-pandemic working models and the physical return to work. The COVID-19 crisis forced many organizations, particularly those largely composed of knowledge workers, to shift to a remote model. Although there is much excitement over restoring some level of in-person interaction in the workplace, 68 percent of organizations do not yet have a clearly articulated vision or plan in place. As ...

Four ways communications can engage employees on the return to workplace journey

In addition to its impact on lives and livelihoods, COVID-19 disrupted our sense of place. Familiar out-and-about spaces—stores, restaurants, places of worship, gyms, schools, and offices—made themselves comfortable in our homes. As we shopped online and ordered delivery, gathered around laptops for religious services and yoga sessions, and turned our dining rooms into classrooms, the line between work and home all but dissolved. As we reimagine what’s next, we are also ...

The future of work: Three steps toward an inclusive workplace

Amid a social reckoning over the past year, we’ve seen a meaningful shift in organizations’ attention to racial justice and equity, including real commitments and investments in doing better. Leaders are asking both tough and important questions for the future of work, including whether their organization is genuinely accepting of all people and if their company ensures equal access to opportunities throughout the talent lifecycle. However, the COVID-19 crisis risks wiping out years ...

Making work meaningful from the C-suite to the frontline

It’s no secret that meaningful work matters. Research has found that when employees find their work to be meaningful, their performance improves by 33 percent, they are 75 percent more committed to their organization, and are 49 percent less likely to leave. Moreover, over the past 30 years, Americans have identified meaningful work as the most important aspect of a job—ahead of income, job security, and the number of hours worked. Despite its importance, a recent academic article ...

The future of the workplace: Embracing change and fostering connectivity

COVID-19 has changed the workplace as we have known it. While the physical space still exists, the overall idea of what a workplace is and what it is for needs to be reimagined. Organizations must deliberately address the changes wrought by the pandemic and the rapid pace of technological investment to enable remote and flexible work. In particular, organizations must take three key actions. Embrace the hybrid model. The post-pandemic outcome is clear: a hybrid work model in which part of ...