Future of Work? Momentum Corporate reveals new trends in Partnership Connect report
5 Sep, 2022

Future of Work? Momentum Corporate reveals new trends in Partnership Connect report

Dumo Mbethe, CEO of Momentum Corporate

A need for flexibility at work, employee benefits, the effects of the great resignation on organisations, the increased role of technology and a shift to a gig economy are some of the trends that were discussed today at Momentum Corporate’s Partnership Connect 2022 event in Rosebank.

The employee benefits company held its second annual Partnership Connect event to unpack research it conducted on what the ‘new normal’ of work will look like. The event, under the theme ‘Return on Resilience’, analysed the top trends linked to success in a post-COVID world for organizations. The research illustrated the need for far more flexible employee benefits as we navigate a post-COVID-19 world and workplace and also showed that employees consider health insurance, income disability benefits and emergency savings as more important than ever.

“Our annual research initiative is an opportunity to mine specific, up-to-date information that enables us to understand the big picture without missing any of the details,” said Chief Executive Officer of Momentum Corporate Dumo Mbethe. “It’s more than statistics – it informs strategy and helps us build a vision for the future that is rooted in reality, instead of building castles in the clouds.”

These were some of the trends revealed by the Partnership Connect report:

The hybrid model is here to stay

One of the trends picked up by the research report was that two-thirds of the employees and half of the business leaders were still working from home full-time or some of the time. 22% of the leaders surveyed said they may still change to a hybrid model however the research suggested that there is still tension between employers and employees around work-from-home models however the hybrid model is here to stay.

More significant role for technology

As hybrid models of work become the norm, technology will play an even greater role in enhancing communication and collaboration in the workplace.

Microsoft SA Chief Executive Officer, Lillian Barnard, said those organisations that were fortified with digital capabilities were able to navigate the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the workplace. She added that technology was an enabler in ensuring that organisations are resilient and that this has become a hallmark of success.

“The collective experience has left a lasting imprint and it has fundamentally changed how we work today,” she said. Barnard said the challenge ahead for every organisation was to adapt to changing employee priorities while still balancing business outcomes in an unpredictable economy. Partnership Connect research supported this view with business leaders surveyed indicating that while the move to digital and increased use of technology was necessary, there was also concern about the cyber risk.

Greater shift to the gig economy

44% of employers surveyed indicated that they would be recruiting only contractors or a mix of contract and permanent employees to bring in diverse views or due to flexibility, budget constraints, project-based work, uncertainty, learnerships or seasonality.

Most business owners, contractors and gig workers surveyed said that they went that route because of retrenchment, retirement, or the desire to leave a corporate environment.

They listed their top five financial needs to be: retirement savings; investment and savings; health cover; critical illness cover; and income disability cover. Other needs related to travel insurance, cryptocurrency, tax-free savings accounts, loans, home insurance, emergency savings, study savings and share trading. “The traditional employee benefits industry has not catered to these temporary workers,” said Chief Executive Officer of Momentum Corporate Dumo Mbethe. “Our role is to make financial solutions accessible to the wider employed SA population.”

The effects of the Great Resignation

Over half of the employers surveyed were concerned that employees were re-assessing their employment and may end up resigning for alternative income sources. 19% of employees were in fact considering leaving their employers, with an additional 21% unsure. The generational split based on those surveyed is thus: 1 in 4 millennials, 17% of GenX and 11% of baby boomers. This means that those employees left behind now face low morale and are often forced to pick up the slack leading to work overload and emotional stress.

Retrenchment hangover affecting employee wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown had a devastating effect on employment numbers. In 2020, there was a massive spike in retrenchments with our research showing that nearly 90% of those retrenched earn less than R420 000 per annum and about two thirds of those retrenched were 44 years old or younger. This has resulted in an increased workload for the employees left behind and has affected their wellness. The average wellness score for all sampled employees was 7.5 however this dropped to 5.9 when measured on the impact by retrenched colleagues. 15% of employees surveyed struggled to cope with the stress at work – this increased to 22% for stress at home and over a third for financial stresses.

According to Mbethe, the research was necessary for Momentum Corporate to constantly evaluate the solutions they provide to clients.

“At the end of the day, if our solutions don’t evolve with our clients, we will lose our relevance and value. Ultimately, it comes down to value – members are under severe financial pressure and need simple, transparent employee benefit solutions,” Mbethe added.

Download the full report – click below…

ENDS

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