Doing Our Part: The Potential of Temporary Talent Sharing

Invest in Yourself – Five Ways to Learn New Skills and Thrive in the Future

Not all superheroes wear capes. In the coronavirus crisis, they are much more likely to wear hospital scrubs, a grocer’s apron, or a hi-visibility jacket. It is fitting that we honor these workers and the risks they take. As they work long hours to keep us safe and well, we can do our part to relieve their burden and ensure furloughed workers can sustain themselves and their loved ones at the same time. By thinking creatively about how to help companies temporarily transfer underutilized workers to the sectors seeing the highest demand, we can help each other for the greater good. 

One of the most uplifting outcomes of the COVID-19 outbreak has been the pause in competition between companies as organizations quickly collaborate, from finding a vaccine or a cure to finding alternatives to lay-offs. In Mercer’s 2020 Global Talent Trends Study, we found that thriving employees are twice as likely to work for an organization that effectively balances empathy and economics in decision-making. The global pandemic shows just how powerful weighing both EQ and IQ can be – it is the path to pulling through this crisis, together.

Even with companies like Marsh & McLennan and Salesforce.com pledging to avoid layoffs during the thick of the pandemic, most businesses cannot afford to do the same. That is why Mercer has joined forces to combine the power of Accenture’s People+Work Connect platform with our Temporary Talent Sharing framework. The platform meets companies’ near-term needs by matching organizations with underutilized workforces with those requiring additional people. Helping companies to loan or borrow talent for a limited period positively impacts communities by urgently addressing labor supply/demand imbalances, workforce challenges and labor cost issues all while supporting employees to work and earn during a downturn.

Once matched, Mercer helps companies get schemes off the ground by taking a people-first approach, ensuring the compensation, benefits, payments and communications support a rapid and effective implementation.  

To reap the benefits of talent sharing, companies on both sides need to turn the exchange into a positive opportunity for their people. For example, employees can gain experiences that support their future market value, while lending employers will rebound with a re-energized workforce who have learned new skills in new environments. Talent sharing is a way to ensure that during good times and bad we are balancing empathy with economics, and driving companies to consider fundamental questions about their purpose and objectives, such as:

  • How can we step up during this time of crisis and reach out within our communities?
  • What post-pandemic legacy do we want to leave behind for our people and those that we serve?
  • How can I inspire, protect and grow my workers during this period so we come out more adaptable?
  • Are we thinking creatively enough about how best to support our own businesses and the economy in rapidly changing circumstances?  

Tailored people solutions, practical advice and active support will all help companies go from “we need new thinking” to “pragmatic solution deployment” in a matter of weeks and meet both the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic today, while putting in place new ways of thinking and working for our post-COVID world.

Martine Ferland
by Martine Ferland

President and CEO, Mercer; Vice Chair, Marsh & McLennan

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