1 year ago

Service Issue 79

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Service magazine addresses key issues related to government leadership and service delivery in South Africa.

S business to integrate

S business to integrate emissions targets into key performance indicators, build emissions management into ways of working and engage with all stakeholders about sustainability practices. In addition to financial resources and organisational commitment, obtaining the right skills is an essential asset for enabling change. DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS PMI’s 2021 Talent Gap report, a forecast of employment trends for the next decade, predicts that the global economy will need 25-million new project professionals by 2030. With declining fertility rates and an increasing percentage of workers ageing out of Rebuilding domestic supply chains is a long-term undertaking and permanent pullbacks are not certain. The pandemic has exposed long-standing supply chain vulnerabilities, particularly overreliance on single-source vendors and suppliers. These vulnerabilities — combined with demand We must be more mindful of the goals we set, the approaches we use to reach them and how the outcomes will affect all people around the world. spikes, labour shortages, weather events and other factors — have decimated port and shipping capacity, pushed transport costs to new highs, created massive shortages of goods and components, raised consumer prices and increased inflation. As a result, some countries are looking to restart core manufacturing industries and diversify single-source supply chains. As globalisation recalibrates, there is hope that it may emerge kinder and gentler with a greater social consciousness at its core. the workforce, organisations will need to find new ways to alleviate worker shortages and close the talent gap. Many developed economies are experiencing a rise in the effective retirement age, which has implications for redesigning workspaces to accommodate older employees, recruitment, physical and mental wellbeing as well as performance management. The need for skilled project managers and other changemakers is only going to increase as industries become more projectised. This talent gap is being exacerbated by Covid-related travel restrictions and the Great Resignation, the wave of resignations that began during the pandemic. Project managers will have to develop the necessary leadership skills and work closely with human resource managers to implement inclusive policies to support age-diverse personnel. ECONOMIC SHIFTS The stresses created by the pandemic have led to supply chain disorder and the rethinking of globalisation. The issue is complex. LABOUR SHORTAGES There is an exodus of employees and a loss of institutional knowledge happening at organisations around the globe — and it’s shaking up the workplace in ways we haven’t prepared for. How organisations react will determine whether this is a long-term trend or just a reset. Over the last year, many companies have faced a reckoning as large numbers of employees quit their jobs, launching a movement named the Great Resignation. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which includes 38 member countries, found that 20-million fewer people are working now compared to before the pandemic with a slow rebound predicted. The period that initiated these rising quit rates can be traced to the onset of Covid-19 when millions of employees around the world were laid off or furloughed. In some countries, unemployment benefits and government relief funds provided individuals the opportunity to remain at home for health reasons and to take care of their families. But even now, as vaccination rates increase and organisations begin to normalise working environments, and as more companies offer incentives for new employees, millions of positions remain unfilled. These labour shortages will only intensify the challenges of delivering projects that are on time, on budget and that meet customer expectations. In the near-term at least, many organisations may experience significant turnover and schedule

usiness S delays as stakeholders leave for new opportunities. If not closely monitored, quality could decline as the burden put upon remaining team members grows. While the Great Resignation has not hit home in every part of the world or every industry, the threat of labour shortages and discontented employees looms large. Organisations will need to reset the employer/employee relationship to create a successful retention culture, aligning on social impact initiatives of importance to workers, and providing greater recognition and rewards for employee contributions. It’s a shift to the world of work that promises to last for decades to come. EQUALITY MOVEMENTS Despite ongoing restrictions due to the pandemic, social protests continued to spill into the streets in 2021. We expect these protests to endure as the economic effects and rising inequalities intensified by the pandemic contribute to the drivers for social unrest. But increasingly, we will also see boardrooms, office suites and project sites become the settings for real change and collaboration in response to equality movements. While organisations have increased diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts, it’s been a challenge to make them effective because of the all-encompassing changes required. The appointment of chief diversity officers (CDOs) — which has risen over the past five years and saw a massive spike in 2020 — will certainly help achieve this. CDOs have their work cut out for them. DE&I is not an issue that can be addressed by issuing some boilerplate statement and speaking strictly in legal and compliance terms. It demands being authentic and transparent. It demands everyone letting down their guard, being uncomfortable, being vulnerable and willing to share emotions — because, at its core, real business connections begin and end with genuine human connections. A particular challenge will be embedding DE&I in every function, process and decision throughout the value chain. PMI anticipates that key practices will involve engaging employees in creating policies and setting goals, incorporating diversity in training as well as establishing employee resource groups. CONCLUSION This is a year to reset and resolve to move forward and meet the challenges that Global Megatrends 2022 presents. The last two years have been a reckoning of sorts for our failure to confront problems and design and implement solutions. But there is an opportunity to reimagine the path forward — one that is greener, more equitable and with benefits more widely distributed. We must be more mindful of the goals we set, the approaches we use to reach them and how the outcomes will affect all people around the world. For project professionals, this means drawing upon an entire toolkit of capabilities. Changemakers employ new ways of working, including technological savvy and technical project management skills, as well as power skills like communication and empathy. They need to understand the context of their projects within the macro environment and their organisation’s strategic goals. And they need to supercharge their creativity and innovative thinking — and that of everyone around them — to adapt to extraordinary circumstances and find extraordinary solutions. By doing so, we can make ideas a reality and solve the world’s most pressing problems. S

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