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Caribbean warning over talent pool

Caribbean businesses will be challenged to build a better talent pipeline and create an environment that satisfies the talent into remaining in the region.

PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears survey of more than 52,000 in the global workforce is being studied by a wide variety of employers, as it highlights just what employees are thinking as they emerge from a scary and destabilising pandemic.

Zia Paton, digital services leader, PwC in the Caribbean, said businesses must do more to improve the skills of workers and adapt to build the teams needed to successfully deal with the challenges and opportunities of the future of work, including digital transformation.

By upskilling or acquiring skills, workers can gain the control over the work they are looking for.

But she said: “In the Caribbean, there is a critical need for communities to not only build specialised talent pipelines, but also foster an environment that encourages that talent to stay and thrive within the Caribbean. When it comes to retaining employees, our survey finds that meaning is as important as money.”

Ms Paton added: “Our Digital Nation Survey 2022 of over 2,000 Caribbean citizens points to a clear gap between advocacy (91 per cent) and adoption (46 per cent) of government digital services. Addressing skills deficiencies will go a long way in bridging this gap.”

While an increase in pay is a main motivator for making a job change (71 per cent), wanting a fulfilling job (69 per cent) and wanting to truly be themselves at work (66 per cent) round out the top three things workers are looking for. Nearly half (47 per cent) prioritised being able to choose where they work.

Workers who are likely to look for a new employer in the next 12 months are less likely to feel satisfied with their current employer. Compared with those who have no intention of changing jobs, they are:

● 14 percentage points less likely to find their job fulfilling

● 11 percentage points less likely to feel they can truly be their self at work

● 9 percentage points less likely to feel fairly rewarded financially

Discussions about social issues are an everyday feature of the workplace. Employees are benefiting, despite a lack of support from employers.

The survey found that 65 per cent of workers discuss social and political issues with colleagues frequently or sometimes, with the number higher for younger workers (69 per cent) and ethnic minorities (73 per cent).

While business leaders are sometimes nervous about people bringing these potentially polarising issues to work, the impact is net positive.

And 79 per cent of those who talk about social and political issues at work reported at least one positive consequence from that.

With political and social issues alive in the workplace, the job for employers is to create a context which secures the benefits of open conversation while minimising the negative impacts — 41 per cent reported a negative consequence of discussions about social issues.

Both numbers were significantly higher for people who consider themselves part of an ethnic minority (84 per cent positive and 59 per cent negative).

These discussions are happening despite little active effort on the part of organisations to help secure positive outcomes. Only 30 per cent of employees say that their company provides support to help them to work effectively with people who share different views.

Zia Paton, Digital Services leader, PwC in the Caribbean (Photograph supplied)

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Published July 15, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated July 15, 2022 at 7:51 am)

Caribbean warning over talent pool

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