Satwant Pandher (SP): The successful COVID-19 vaccine roll-out throughout much of the industrialized world has re-energized society, sparking the prospect of renewed economic growth as well as a full return to the world of work and employment. The pandemic has also taught us of the need to pay even more attention to workers’ health and wellbeing, and to ensure that their needs are met.
In this podcast we’ll identify the opportunities that lie ahead in shaping a brighter future of work, and highlight some of the practical steps that employers have taken – and need to continue taking – to meet workers’ needs and wellbeing while ensuring that their skills remain up to date with the rapidly changing topography of todays’ digital society.
I’m Satwant Pandher, and joining me today are Helene Westerlind, CEO of LiveWell, and David Henderson, Chief Human Resources Officer, at Zurich Insurance Group.
- A lot has happened since Zurich’s Shaping a Brighter World of Work report in October last year. How has the world moved on and what are some of the key findings of the latest report?
- It is clear that a full return to work following the widespread vaccination programs is a huge opportunity to re-examine workers’ wellbeing and to ensure that they are confident to meet the challenges of a digital society. What steps have companies been taking to reskill and retrain workers to meet those challenges?
- What type of new skills are in greatest demand, and have companies mostly been closing the gap to build a more resilient workforce using inhouse training programs or perhaps taking advantage of new training providers that have come to market?
- What additional steps should they be taking to elevate reskilling and upskilling within their organizations?
- What, specifically, should HR departments be focusing on in terms of reskilling and retraining in the post-pandemic world?
- One of the biggest teachings from the COVID-19 pandemic was the need to look more closely at duty of care of workers within organizations. How have workers’ needs changed since the pandemic and how are companies responding to improve their wellbeing?
- How have the insurance needs and expectations of workers changed since the pandemic, and how should companies re-examine their policies to ensure that these new needs are covered?
- Most people assume that even with the return to full-time work and the re-opening of offices around the world, remote working will continue to play an important role in the modern company. How does this change an organization’s ability to meet workers’ needs? And how can they respond to ensure a sustainable workforce?
- Again, with remote working likely to be an enduring characteristic of the modern workplace but with technology able to perform an increasing array of tasks once done by people, what concrete steps should companies be taking to ensure that their employees feel valued?
- One aspect of making workers feel confident in a digital age is to increase their digital capabilities, particularly in the area of cybersecurity. How have organizations been keeping pace with the related challenges? And what can they do to give workers’ greater confidence in dealing with the various aspects of cyber risk in the workplace?
- The return to economic growth will make it more important than ever that organizations attract and retain the very best talent available. What should HR departments be doing to support workers in their careers and to allow them to look to the future with confidence?
SP: Helene, David: thank you so much for sharing your insights on this topic today. And to our listeners check out other episodes and related content at biggerpicture.ft.com