Return, Reimagine, Reinvent

The COVID-19 crisis has compelled many leaders to rethink ways of working. This regularly updated collection of articles draws together McKinsey’s expertise on post-pandemic reentry to help organizations lead the recovery.

Featured Insights

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

The Great Attrition is making hiring harder. Are you searching the right talent pools?

– People keep quitting at record levels, yet companies are still trying to attract and retain them the same old ways. New research identifies five types of workers that employers can reach to fill jobs.
Article

Network effects: How to rebuild social capital and improve corporate performance

– People’s professional networks have shrunk since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while companies’ attrition and hiring challenges are growing. To help reverse these trends, people and organizations will need to manage workplace interactions more intentionally. Here’s how.
Article

Bridging the advancement gap: What frontline employees want—and what employers think they want

– Improving opportunities for low-wage hourly employees to advance their careers can raise US workforce skill levels and give a powerful boost to inclusion.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Meet the psychological needs of your people—all your people

– Too many employers pay too little heed to the needs of the lower earners in their company. Here’s why—and how—they should shift gears.
Article

The childcare conundrum: How can companies ease working parents’ return to the office?

– The status quo work culture no longer works for most families—particularly those with very young children. But companies’ support for childcare can turn worker attrition into attraction. Here’s how.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Hybrid work: Making it fit with your diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy

– New research details what empowered employees love about hybrid work models and the risks to diversity, equity, and inclusion if managers get the evolving flexible workplace wrong.
Article

Tech talent tectonics: Ten new realities for finding, keeping, and developing talent

– Large incumbents can compete successfully for tech talent—but only if they’re ready to completely rethink their entire HR approach. Tech talent think and act differently.
Article

Reimagining HR: Insights from people leaders

– Human resources is playing a critical role in helping organizations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief human resources officers expect that influence to persist.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The choice is yours

– A record number of employees are quitting or thinking about doing so. Organizations that take the time to learn why—and act thoughtfully—will have an edge in attracting and retaining talent.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Three keys to building a more skilled postpandemic workforce

– Many companies face large, and growing, skills deficits. A few companies approach skill building in a more integrated way—and are quietly gaining an edge on rivals.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

It’s time for leaders to get real about hybrid

– Employers are ready to get back to significant in-person presence. Employees aren’t. The disconnect is deeper than most employers believe, and a spike in attrition and disengagement may be imminent.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Return as a muscle: How lessons from COVID-19 can shape a robust operating model for hybrid and beyond

– New research shows how resilient organizations thrived through the pandemic. Here’s how to use those lessons to craft a better approach to how work gets done across time (real and asynchronous) and space (digital and physical).
Article

‘Back to human’: Why HR leaders want to focus on people again

– Chief human-resource officers in Europe say a shift to employee-centric policies is long overdue. The pandemic is a big factor in their thinking, but process fatigue has been building for some time.
Article

What executives are saying about the future of hybrid work

– Organizations are clear that postpandemic working will be hybrid. After that, the details get hazy.
Interactive - McKinsey Quarterly

Five Fifty: The great exhaustion

– One thing that burned-out employees have in common—leaders who have yet to get specific about the future of hybrid work.
Survey

Building workforce skills at scale to thrive during—and after—the COVID-19 crisis

– A new survey shows that skill building is becoming common practice, social and emotional skills are in demand, and there’s a recipe for successful skill transformations.
Article

Help your employees find purpose—or watch them leave

– Employees expect their jobs to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. Employers need to help meet this need, or be prepared to lose talent to companies that will.
Article

What employees are saying about the future of remote work

– Employees want more certainty about postpandemic working arrangements—even if you don’t yet know what to tell them.
Interview

Fit for the postpandemic future: Unilever’s Leena Nair on reinventing how we work

– As chief human resources officer, responsible for 150,000 Unilever employees, Leena Nair prepares for the future of work by focusing on both the care of people and the competitiveness of the business.
Article

The new possible: How HR can help build the organization of the future

– The pandemic underscores the urgency for a more dynamic talent and work model. Human-resources leaders can help by focusing on identity, agility, and scalability.
Survey

Psychological safety and the critical role of leadership development

– While the benefits of psychological safety are well established, a new survey suggests how leaders, by developing specific skills, can create a safer and higher-performance work environment.
Article

Organizing for the future: Nine keys to becoming a future-ready company

– To better organize for a postpandemic future, leaders should embrace nine imperatives that collectively explain who we are as an organization, how we operate, and how we grow.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

How COVID-19 is redefining the next-normal operating model

– With everything disrupted, going back to the same old thing is a losing strategy. The strongest companies are reinventing themselves by embracing pandemic-driven change.
Article

Overcoming pandemic fatigue: How to reenergize organizations for the long run

– Leaders must actively manage the energy of their workforces, cultivate the quality of employee relationships, and demonstrate a capacity for resilience to recharge their organizations during crises.
Survey

Rethink capabilities to emerge stronger from COVID-19

– In a new survey, leaders say the pandemic has alerted them to the urgency of getting learning programs right. Yet companies are falling short in delivering outcomes, and executives can do more to support capability-building efforts.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Your organization is grieving—here’s how you can help

– Responsive leaders need to bring the mourning process forward in their organizational culture—and in their own leadership approach.
Survey

The need for speed in the post-COVID-19 era—and how to achieve it

– Survey findings confirm that organizational speed is an essential ingredient for outperformance in times of unprecedented change, and point to three ways companies can gain speed for the longer term.
Article

HR says talent is crucial for performance—and the pandemic proves it

– Five talent-management practices can help steer organizations through new ways of working and into the post-COVID-19 era.
Article

Communications get personal: How leaders can engage employees during a return to work

– As organizations embark on the reentry phase of the COVID-19 crisis, four practices can help them build trust and a sense of purpose for the long term.
Article

Ready, set, go: Reinventing the organization for speed in the post-COVID-19 era

– The need for speed has never been greater. Here are nine ways companies can get faster.

Podcasts

Podcast

The office of the future: A whole new (floor) plan

– Revisiting your talent strategy for a hybrid world? Think hard about the purpose and design of your office space.
Podcast

Learning and earning: The bold moves that change careers

– McKinsey’s report on human capital highlights the importance of internal mobility in organizations. Here’s how to encourage your employees to try more new things.
Podcast

Stave off attrition with an internal talent marketplace

– Is your best talent hiding in plain sight? An internal talent marketplace helps match existing employees to open roles—in novel and sometimes unexpected ways.
Podcast

Is worker power on the rise?

– Quitting is up, and so are wages. As the Great Attrition persists, employer–employee dynamics appear to be changing. But who actually benefits—and how durably?
Podcast

Talent at a turning point: How people analytics can help

– Rising resignations. Hybrid work. The diversity imperative. Leaders are navigating a talent market in flux. Here’s how people analytics can help.
Podcast

Back and forth: COVID-19’s impact on business in 2021—and today

– The years-long pandemic persists. How can companies continue to adapt?
Podcast

How to future-proof your organization

– From project-based work to a lack of hierarchy, the way people work is changing fast. Organizations that plan for the postpandemic world are better able to deliver value—even amid uncertainty.
Podcast

Culture in the hybrid workplace

– Hybrid work is happening. Your culture will need to catch up—fast.
Podcast

The search for purpose at work

– Purpose is personal, but companies play a critical role in how we express it.
Podcast

Grabbing hold of the new future of work

– The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped existing workforce trends and catalyzed new ones. Here’s the latest on what’s next—and what to do about it.
Podcast

Grief, loss, burnout: Talking about complex feelings at work

– Leaders have always navigated emotional dynamics in the workplace—but not at the scale and intensity unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how to map this shifting terrain.

Featured experts

Fabian Billing
Managing Partner Germany and Austria
Fabian serves as the Managing Partner of McKinsey Germany and Austria
Aaron De Smet
Senior Partner
Delivers growth, innovation, and organizational agility and is an expert on culture change, leadership development, team effectiveness, capability building, and transformation
Amadeo Di Lodovico
Senior Partner
Serves leading companies in energy, industrial, conglomerates, and governments on strategic topics, operational and organizational challenges, and government policy matters
Oliver Engert
Senior Partner
Advises executives across industries on mergers and acquisitions—including mergers, integrations, alliances, and divestitures—bringing particular expertise in strategy and performance in the pharmaceuticals and medical-products sector
Chris Gagnon
Senior Partner
Leads our portfolio of digital solutions for the People & Organizational Performance Practice and delivers sustained performance at scale through an integrated approach to lasting change, culture, talent, and leadership
Arne Gast
Senior Partner
Offers extensive global expertise in leadership development, organizational design, talent management, and transformational change
Dana Maor
Senior Partner
Coheads the People & Organizational Performance Practice globally and leads it across Europe. Passionate about shaping organizations to compete, driving lasting transformational change, transforming talent, and unlocking leadership within client organizations, McKinsey, and society
Bill Schaninger
Senior Partner
Designs and manages large-scale organizational transformations, strengthening business performance through enhanced culture, values, leadership, and talent systems
Haimeng Zhang
Senior Partner
Leads our work across China on infrastructure, sustainability, and public-sector issues; works extensively with cities and major developers to plan and deliver integrated, sustainable urban developments; develops the talent and leadership that organizations need to thrive

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