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17 Nov 2022
by Dawn Lewis

Understand and meet the needs of the changing workforce

Reward and benefits professionals are no strangers to change, yet with the immediate economic pressures front of mind, it can be hard to also take into account vital longer-term shifts

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At this year’s Future Forum we’re pleased to welcome our keynote speakers: Ed Gillespie, futurist and co-host of Futurenauts podcast, and Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Top 10 BAME leader in Tech and host of Women Tech Charge podcast. Both speakers bring with them a wealth of understanding about the current and future needs of the workforce, offering their own insights into how the interconnected challenges facing employers and their workforce can be tackled.

Ahead of their sessions we asked them three key questions to get you thinking.

How can employers understand and meet the future needs of the workforce?

Imafidon had some sage advice for employers to help guide them through the complexities of the changing workplace: “Have a growth mindset to the needs of the workforce; work iteratively and be continuously experimenting and improving; be intentionally inclusive in all that do.”

These central themes will be explored further during her session, and also during our employer roundtable discussions, which aim to help peers and colleagues connect and exchange ideas about how they are adapting their reward and benefits strategy to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

For Gillespie, the focus is on “becoming future literate and creatively providing a changing workforce with the things that they perhaps don't yet know they want or need”. This comes back to the fundamental requirement to understand the workforce to enable employers to pre-empt both organisational and employee need.

What are the biggest trends in pay and benefits that employers need to be aware of?

For Gillespie “the enormous pressure to align employee pay, incentives, rewards and benefits with the climate and planetary crises”, is the key issue facing employers. Indeed, how employers address environmental, social and governance (ESG) in reward and benefits will be essential in the years ahead, to not only meet employee demand, but to also work alongside broader organisational goals.  

Imafidon also believes that ESG issues will have a fundamental influence. Her top three trends of note are: “Wellbeing as a priority; equal pay; and the four-day work week”. Although these are primarily connected the ‘S’ of ESG, it highlights the interconnectedness of ESG issues within reward and benefits.

What will delegates takeaway from your session?

During Imafidon’s session, she will examine how AI, big data and tech are shining a spotlight on the critical organisational culture shifts that must take place to meet future business talent and skills needs.

Those attending can expect to find out: “The meaning of equitable practice, that the future is something we all create through our actions and choices today, and that expectations of work are constantly changing so we must constantly evolve to engage and support our workforce”.

While Gillespie, with his futurist mindset, will help us understand how the world is moving, equipping you with practical and inspiring suggestions to support a sustainable future workforce.

During his session you’ll learn about “the scale, urgency and interconnected challenges we all face; the imperative of systematic action now; and how we incentivise the future we need”.