LHH, the world’s leading integrated talent solutions provider and global business unit of The Adecco Group, has released its initial findings from a groundbreaking international study that sought to uncover the implicit and explicit factors that influence workers’ attitudes – across varying demographics, countries, and industry sectors – about their readiness for the future of work.
In the first iteration of a three-year study, LHH’s Readiness Index focused on the financial sector in the US, UK, and France, where 2,000 participants across age groups were tested using implicit response tests and explicit questionnaires to provide LHH with a holistic understanding of conscious and unconscious processes that influence readiness for job transitions, taking on leadership roles, participating in reskilling opportunities, and more. While initial findings revealed that the average global Readiness Score was high (at 7.7 out of 10), there were several key differences identified by country, gender, and age.
“For the first time in the Talent Solutions industry, we have developed a scientific measure that uncovers how people are feeling about their work on the surface level, as well as what is really going on for them at the subconscious level,” said Dr. Mary-Clare Race, psychologist and Chief Innovation and Product Officer at LHH. “This not only enables us to design more impactful and relevant solutions for the challenges facing the workforce but also provides much-needed clarity to business leaders looking to better understand their employees and the changes they need to make in order to improve retention and overall productivity.”
The study shows a higher degree of readiness in the US compared to the UK and France, that men and women are almost equally ready to face new opportunities, and that people between 35-44 years old were the most ready for the future of work whereas people between 18-24 were the least. In looking at the factors that drive worker readiness – such as personal, workplace, and environmental influences – three key themes emerged from the study that may be driving the Great Resignation more broadly:
- Women remain less confident in their career trajectories. Despite 84% of women feeling they have the skills needed to advance, study findings revealed that women are more anxious about their next career move than men. At the same time, men feel like they can grow their careers more than women – even though women feel like they have more opportunities to use their skills and learn in their current job.
- Gen Z is the most vulnerable group of workers. Lack of in-person workplace connections, training opportunities, and work-life balance have all impacted how Gen Z feels about remote work and their careers overall. The study revealed that Gen Z is not only the most anxious and easily influenced by its peers when it comes to their career paths, but also lacks confidence in their skills and roles in the workplace. More than half of Gen Z workers were anxious about taking the next step in their careers, 34% felt they could not use their existing skillsets at work and did not get along with their colleagues, and 33% felt they could not control their next steps in their careers.
- Workers remain anxious about technology replacing them. More than one-third of respondents were identified as “Technophobes,” expressing real worry over whether their skills would have a place in a world increasingly dominated by technology. Older technophobes (especially between 45-54) were found to be working 40% harder than their peers to keep up, while also demonstrating less self-belief. Across age groups, 29% of technophobes were found to not get along with their colleagues and feel 17% more anxious about work – all of which could be contributing to toxic work cultures and causing high risks of burnout.
“The world has gone through unprecedented change and we understand that people feel differently about work and what the future holds. For some, rapid change is exciting. For others, it creates anxiety,” said LHH President Gaelle de la Fosse. “To be effective in what we do as a business, we need to intimately understand how people truly feel about the future of work and their careers. The Readiness Index has provided us with critical insights on how people feel about the future and the factors that are driving personal readiness in the world of work and how we more effectively meet their needs.”
As the LHH brand continues to evolve, the data from the Readiness Index will allow the organization’s 8,000 employees to provide deeper, more human-led consultancy to existing clients, employer partners, and job seekers. With its end-to-end solutions that bring together market-leading professional recruitment, perm, and flex placement, upskilling, reskilling, workforce transformation, and career transition offerings under one brand, LHH will use the data and insights from the report to ensure that workers and businesses are Ready For Next. To date, the new LHH brand has already helped over 5 million individuals with their career journey and supported 240,000 clients with their talent needs.
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