Risk Trends in 2024 and Beyond: Workforce Transformation & Organizational Readiness

Risk Trends in 2024 and Beyond: Workforce Transformation & Organizational Readiness

4 Minute Read

The working world has undergone significant changes due to new technologies, remote and hybrid work arrangements, and generational changes that are shifting approaches to recruitment and retention.

The Great Resignation highlighted an overall lack of readiness among many organizations, which are now struggling to attract and retain the critical resources needed to deliver operational and strategic value.

Leaders need to take steps to assess their readiness to execute on key business priorities in an increasingly chaotic environment. In particular, they need to understand the roles culture, employee morale, and total rewards play in finding and retaining the right people — and the changes this may require.

Leader, Consulting – Organizational Renewal
This insight is one of 15 risks in our 2024 Risk Trends Report. Navigate back to the main page for the full list of risk trends that you should be monitoring for in the year ahead.

Are you optimizing and sustaining value from critical resources?

There has been a seismic shift in the working world over the past decade: new technologies have created new roles and increased the need for specialist expertise. The widespread adoption of remote and hybrid work arrangements during COVID is having a material impact on corporate cultures and well-established management practices. And the continued globalization of businesses and supply chains is pushing many jobs overseas, making internal teams smaller and more focused on supplier management.

Generational changes are also shifting approaches to recruitment and retention as more baby boomers retire and Gen Z continues to establish its place in the workforce. The former tended to stay with employers for the long term and follow along with organizational norms and best practices. Younger professionals appear to be more open to pursuing roles with different employers and more vocal about their expectations for greater work/life balance as well as more diverse, inclusive, and socially conscious cultures.

These trends all raise important questions about how organizations can attract and retain the critical resources that are needed to create operational and strategic value.

The so-called Great Resignation through 2020 and 2021 highlighted an overall lack of readiness, and many organizations quickly found themselves unable to deliver on key business priorities. While the pandemic served as an inflection point, leaders and executives will be wise to recognize that the underlying cause — inflexibility, resistance to change, stagnant culture, etc. — remains a risk area that will become more, not less, volatile in the years to come.

Organizations that recognize these challenges and take proactive steps to address their organizational readiness (i.e., increase employee morale, support health and wellness, provide competitive salary and benefits, strike the right balance between employee growth and autonomy, etc.) will find themselves in the best position to realize strategic value in an increasingly chaotic environment.

Related risks

  • Getting and keeping the right people
  • Misunderstanding generational needs and nuances
  • Increasing use of AI applications to support change management and behaviour change
  • Inadequate monitoring and support of health and wellness, especially mental health and wellness
  • Remote work as a right, not a privilege

"" Key questions to ask

  • Does your culture support optimal strategic success, or is it making it harder to succeed?
  • Is your resource turnover exceeding industry averages? Has it changed in the last three years?
  • Is the morale of your workforce positive, or are there reasons to be concerned?
  • Do you provide sufficient compensation, benefits, training, and development?
  • Is there an elevated risk of labour disruption (i.e., Unions, etc.)?
  • Do you have sufficient succession planning for all critical roles in your organization?
  • Do your incentive structures promote the right behaviours, and do they resonate across all generations?

"" Red Flags

  • Existing controls do not support agile change management or team member autonomy
  • AI/automation tools reveal discrepancies between stated and measured engagement, wellness, and change
  • readiness
  • Increased turnover, leave, mental health usage, policy violations related to digital transformation initiatives
  • Increased turnover or lack of engagement
  • Increase interest in unionizing and regulatory challenges

Internal Audit Project Opportunities

Strategic Planning Audit
This audit evaluates the organization's strategic planning process, ensuring that it is comprehensive, aligned with its mission and vision, and involves key stakeholders.
Change Management Audit
This audit assesses the organization's change management processes, including how it plans, implements, and communicates changes to employees and other stakeholders.
Leadership and Talent Audit
This audit reviews the organization's leadership capabilities and talent development strategies to ensure it has the right people in the right positions to drive success.
Training and Development Audit
This audit examines the organization's training and development programs to determine if they are sufficient to equip employees with the necessary skills and knowledge.
Organizational Culture Audit
This audit assesses the organization's culture, values, and norms to ensure they align with the strategic objectives and support desired behaviours.
Communication Audit
This audit evaluates the organization's communication processes to determine if information flows effectively among employees, departments, and management.
Risk Management Audit
This audit assesses the organization's risk management practices to identify potential threats and weaknesses in its ability to respond to risks.
Financial Preparedness Audit
This audit reviews the organization's financial stability, budgeting practices, and contingency plans to ensure it is financially prepared for various scenarios.
Resource Allocation Audit
This audit examines how the organization allocates its resources (financial, human, and technological) to support its objectives and initiatives.
IT Audit
This audit assesses the organization's information technology infrastructure, systems, and cybersecurity measures to ensure they support its needs and protect against threats.
Project Management Audit
This audit reviews the organization's project management processes to determine if projects are effectively planned, executed, and monitored.
Operational Efficiency Audit
This audit evaluates the efficiency of the organization's operational processes, identifying areas for improvement and streamlining.
Supplier and Vendor Audit
This audit assesses the organization's relationships with suppliers and vendors to ensure they meet quality and reliability standards.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Audit
This audit examines the organization's plans for business continuity and disaster recovery, ensuring it can respond effectively to disruptions.
Regulatory Compliance Audit
This audit assesses the organization's compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards.

Risk Trends in 2024 and Beyond

View all the risk areas featured in this year’s report.


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