TOKYO, JAPAN — A new report by Economist Impact, sponsored by Kyocera Document Solutions, has revealed that human-centric strategies are needed for businesses to drive sustainable business growth, focusing on three pillars: productivity and infrastructure, employee engagement, and culture. The “Magnetic Workplace Barometer” gauges confidence both today and five years across the three main pillars. The barometer scores are scaled from one to seven, with seven being the most confident.
Key findings from the report include:
- The US and Australia have shown commitment to developing workplace technology, employee engagement, and culture, whilst Japan comparatively performs less well on the barometer, due to a less flexible working culture.
- 74.8% of surveyed companies globally are confident about the future of digital collaboration, saying they are confident about providing their organizations with the tech infrastructure needed to facilitate greater productivity within the next five years.
- The retail, media and IT, and financial industries will perform best in the workplace of the future, whilst the construction and real estate industries will struggle.
- Employees care about workforce diversity and wellbeing now more than ever, and 68%* of respondents feel confident their organizations have introduced recruitment processes that enhance diversity, with demand for D&I only set to grow following recent global reckonings on issues of race and gender.
- Investment in virtual reality will enable teams to bridge physical distance and boost productivity, but companies must simultaneously invest in human-centric policies that are considerate of individual employees’ needs.
Drawn from a survey of 250 business executives from Australia, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US, “The magnetic workplace: Keys to unlock sustainable growth for business” examines the human-centric strategies and attributes that make somewhere a “magnetic” place to work, as organizations continue to evolve with a shifting employment landscape. Participants from companies including Stripe, PwC, and Google were asked to quantify their confidence in the appeal of their workplace for employees both now and in five years’ time.
In the wake of the pandemic’s impact on workplace norms, the challenge of attracting and retaining talent is more prevalent than ever. Increasingly, organizations are being obligated to shift their focus onto previously under-explored facets of the workplace. In addition to digital technology’s important link with improved productivity, addressing issues of diversity, inclusion, and gender equality, establishing workforce culture, and meeting a growing demand for hybrid work are all key elements that are shown to establish “magnetic workplaces” and lead sustainable business growth.
The Barometer also highlighted a need for companies to rethink performance management, due to a growing decentralization of the workplace. Shifting to an outcome-driven style of management is shown to encourage transparency and trust between managers and employers, whilst more frequent assessments and personal goals are suggested to encourage transparency and trust between managers and employers. Job crafting, which is defined as allowing employees to have a hand in shaping their roles, was also found to have improved employee job satisfaction and engagement.
The Magnetic Workplace Barometer reveals that the US is the leader when it comes to confidence in establishing magnetic workplaces, scoring above the global average, and displaying a strong commitment to investment in tech tools, flexible work, and conscious leadership. In contrast, Japan is less certain about facilitating flexible working, or bolstering technological infrastructure, though 52% of Japanese respondents expressed optimism for flexible working arrangements in the future.
Commenting on the report, Economist Impact Lead Editor Naka Kondo said: “Organizations must put their people first if they want to remain an attractive workplace. Digital technology will be the key resource for companies to facilitate and engage with existing and prospective employees’ changing demands and help to mitigate against an increasingly decentralized workplace. Whilst companies globally are optimistic, they must ensure they continue to prioritize human-centric strategies in order to drive sustainable growth.”