The Great Talent Reshuffle and Hybrid Work Paradox: Challenge or Opportunity?

LinkedIn and New Metrics Talent Experts host a workforce transformation event to discuss the impact of the Great Reshuffle and Hybrid Work Paradox on organizational growth in the region.

New Metrics and LinkedIn Talent Experts – joined by five C-level panelists from leading organizations in the region including Ooredoo Qatar, Alyasra Fashion, Daman Insurance, GBM, and IE Business School – hosted an event to discuss the impact of current workforce trends and how this will impact the future of work post-pandemic. 

The discussion was moderated by Mohsin Bushehri, Territory Manager at LinkedIn, and Miriam Kugel, Partner Employee Experience & Enablement Practice at New Metrics, and focused on the current talent climate that is seeing significant changes. 

Data generated through LinkedIn’s Economic Graph which is based on 600+ new data points created every 2 seconds on the platform suggests more employees than ever are changing careers and employers. For example, the GCC region is losing talent to the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Philippines whilst they are also gaining talent from other locations, such as the United States and parts of the Middle East and Africa right now.

This phenomenon, termed ‘The Great Reshuffle’ by LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslanksy, has seen employers scramble to respond to the change by understanding the root causes and how valuable talent can be retained and empowered in better ways. A unanimous conclusion of businesses as a retention strategy has been the necessity to transform working environments to become more human-centric. 

This was also mirrored during the panel discussion by Feras Al Majed, Vice President HR, GBM, who commented: “We needed our people to empower themselves, leveraging all of the tools, and allow managers to manage. We have given back the power to managers to make decisions without being dictated by policy and that helped us through the pandemic. That meant giving away certain control but that did not mean we don’t support the business. We empowered managers to take ownership. When managers have accountability and employees are part of the solution, and it is not imposed on them, it helps us gain that attraction. Too often, HR likes to work in black and white, but at times like this you have got to be comfortable to play in the grey.”

A great testimony to the success of adopting human-centric talent strategies was given by Hani Ismael, Group CHRO – Alyasra Fashion. He said: “The fear of the unknown was leading everybody’s lives. People’s safety first became our strategy and we acted accordingly. Turned the disaster into opportunity, shifting the business online and exposing people to new ways of working.” This change, alongside increased investment in people for example through learning and development, allowed the business to survive together and emerge more engaged. Employees were consulted in deciding business targets and Alyasra paid out the highest bonuses in company history in January 2021 attributed to the human-centric approach the company adopted during the pandemic.

Another key research piece presented during the online event was centered around a phenomenon observed during hybrid and remote work during the pandemic; a study conducted with over 60,000 global employees by LinkedIn’s parent company Microsoft found that remote/hybrid working can increase task-based productivity significantly, whilst there can be a significant drop in innovation caused by a lack of collaboration observed which in turn impacted the overall business performance. When Microsoft subsequently asked their employees how they would prefer working in the future, the majority said that they like to work remotely most of the time whilst they also would prefer to collaborate more often in person. This has become commonly known as the Hybrid Work Paradox. 

Fatima Sultan Al Kuwari, Group CHRO, Ooredoo, commented the following on this, “During this period we explored a lot of possibilities and listened to employees. We were the first company in Qatar to switch immediately to remote working, even before we had to, and we invested in growth and development. This yielded amazing results in organizational health. Now we focus on trust and allow employees to explore remote and hybrid working.”

With this in mind, the overriding message of the webinar was that organizations should consider becoming more human-driven with a greater focus on people feedback and analytics and co-creation activities whilst increasing investments in creating work practices that foster performance, learning, and collaboration. 

Because of the reported greater mobility in the talent market, New Metrics’ people experts recommended that companies should consider accelerating the velocity of the employee experience journey at the front end to elevate talent experience levels which in turn will lead to higher motivation and performance no matter how long the employee stays: Whether that is one month as a contractor, one year as a career springboard or 10 years as on a long-term career path.

The panelists reported that New Metrics’ approach to creating better employee experiences, high-performance cultures and capability-building programs powered by LinkedIn’s tech stack of talent solutions across talent, learning, and engagement helped guide them to empower their employees as well as adopt a human-centric approach. 

In conclusion, event moderator Miriam Kugel remarked that the key to becoming a human-centric organization is to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and that workplaces need to enable employees to adapt to a changing environment rather than implementing a rigid or best-practice structure.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft, is the world’s largest professional network with more than 756 million members in over 200 countries. LinkedIn’s portfolio includes a full suite of tools dedicated to connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, including marketing, learning, talent acquisition, people analytics, and engagement solutions.

About New Metrics

New Metrics is a leading experience management consultancy with a presence across the EMEA region, dedicated to future-proofing companies through people-centric transformations, data analytics, and employee enablement around four key strategic verticals: Customer Experience, Employee Experience, Brand and Product Experience, and Organizational & Digital Transformation. New Metrics’ mission is to provide companies with tangible ways to create impact, empowered by the latest research, technology, and learning opportunities.