September 27, 2019

Executive Summary: Mercer’s 2018 Global Talent Trends Study


Aaron Hurst

In their 2018 Global Talent Trends Study, Mercer, the world's largest human resources consulting firm, focuses their attention on the need for organizations to be agile and innovative to thrive in what the World Economic Forum is calling the Human Era (aka the Purpose Economy).

Agility and Innovation Gap

In a world of constant change, organizations need to be able to adapt. Mercer points out that “96% of companies are planning organization redesign, yet only 18% consider themselves ‘change agile’”. They also found that 94% of executives have innovation high on their agenda and yet only 15% of employees say it is easy for them to innovate in their organization.

Purpose Accelerates Innovation and Enables Agility

When a culture is built around well-traveled paths, employees lose sight of why they are on the path in the first place and their motivation to move forward decreases. When we are focused on the ultimate goal - the why? - we are able to be much more nimble and creative in finding paths to get there. Purpose binds us together as high performing and resilient teams. As Daniel Pink explained, purpose empowers us by giving us greater autonomy and ability to challenge ourselves and our assumptions.

“Faced with a combination of increased complexity and hyper-specialization, we are at a point where the desire for purposeful engagement is becoming a major issue.” - Klaus Schwab , Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

Purpose Transformation

Mercer’s data shows that thriving employees are three times more likely to work for a company with a strong sense of purpose. Today, however, they found only 13% of employers have an employee value proposition that is driven by a purpose-driven mission.

“A more holistic view of the world of work is a hallmark of the Human Age. Unleashing the value of purpose has become key to today’s work environment.”

Mercer suggests three ways to modify your talent strategy to make purpose systemic:

Empower Managers

Mercer stresses the need to “enable and empower managers.” Managers are at the core of any transformation and agile culture. They are either accelerate or slow change. To proactively build an organization that can embrace continuous change, managers have to model the behaviors you want throughout the organization.

Mercer suggests three specific roles managers need to play in a thriving organization:

The Talent Strategy for the Successful Organization

To succeed in the new economy, Mercer closes their 2018 study with four recommendations that are the design principles behind the Imperative platform:

  1. Employees must grow, change, and thrive
  2. Human Resources must redesign talent strategies for the future of work
  3. Managers must leverage and unleash the potential of employees through a “human touch”
  4. Executives must build their enterprise for a technology-enhanced future.

Purpose Is An Imperative

The Imperative platform measures what generates purpose for every employee then provides managers and employees with real-time nudges to build positive habits, more inclusive teams, and higher performance. Join hundreds of leading employers who are using Imperative to build agile and innovative cultures and teams.

Learn how Imperative works and request a demo today. You are only 90 days away from embedding purpose in every team in your organization.

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