PwC recommends embracing employees' career curiosity to keep the right fires burning.

The Great Resignation remains a looming threat to business leaders, with burnout now at epidemic levels caused by continually connected, extremely demanding work cultures and anxious employees dropping out of the workforce in droves.

There is, however, an antidote. By embracing employees’ career curiosity and investing in skills that motivate them, business leaders will not only prepare their organisation for the future, but they'll also harness individual wellbeing.

In PwC's Future of Work and Skills survey, we found that the biggest business risk was not being able to identify the skills needed for the future due to technological change. Addressing the skills gap has been critical for governments and businesses, long before the pandemic began.

We’re now witnessing the perfect storm; we have a demotivated and weary workforce with an urgent need to upskill as technology continues to change the way we work.

While technology is disrupting the working norm, it also plays a valuable role in strategising for the future. Leaders need to lean into data and become more aware of how it can be used to support future decision-making.

Tools such as workplace analytics are an effective means of forecasting and evaluating what skills need to be addressed. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of Middle East business leaders already use workforce analytics to predict and monitor their skills gap. In addressing burnout, however, we also need to marry the needs of the business to the needs of individuals. The career aspirations, curiosity and personal ambitions of employees need to be acknowledged and prioritised. Not only will this contribute to their motivation and mental wellbeing at work, it will also help leaders gain their employees’ trust.

Creating a culture of continuous learning is necessary not only for the businesses to remain competitive, but also to keep the fires burning in their employees. People who work with trusted leaders who care for them and invest in their future are happier – and less likely to quit. At PwC’s Academy, we’ve seen first-hand that when it comes to the skills we need, human-centric skills are as important as digital ones. Agility, resilience and adaptability have been tested to the limit in recent years, but these skills are needed more than ever.

As technologies continue to shake up our working lives, disruption to the workplace won’t end with the pandemic. Currently, only 24 per cent of Middle East leaders design talent practices to nurture employee agility and adaptability. We can’t slow the pace of change, but we can manage and prepare for it. Anticipating our changing working world, the skills needed and the technology that can support us will be crucial to building a happy, productive and successful work environment. By preparing now, businesses can not only avoid the Great Resignation, but also build their workforce of the future today.

This article has also been published in: MEED Online

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