Building tomorrow’s workforce in Greece: Six no-regrets plays to make today

Future of Work and Skills Survey

Accelerating the workplace’s digital journey carries tremendous execution risk. Millions of people are already being left behind because of volatile market conditions, the effects of COVID-19, or because they work in industries that are being replaced by new sectors. In PwC’s joint report with the World Economic Forum, wide-scale investment in upskilling has the potential to boost GDP by $6.5 trillion by 2030. According to SEV, 40% of employees in Greece will need to be upskilled for a minimum of 6 months.This is why there is a vital need to expand access to quality lifelong learning and skill training to support employment, productivity, incomes and well-being.

In our Future of Work and Skills Survey, conducted in September 2021, the nearly 4,000 business and human resources leaders in the Global Network (~200+ respondents in Greece) collectively identified six ‘no-regrets’ moves as important to their workforce strategy - and agreed that they are taking action. But when given a choice to agree ‘slightly,’ ‘moderately’ or ‘strongly,’ only 20 to 30% agreed strongly that they are taking action today.

2022 future of work

Lukewarm agreement or action will not move the needle in addressing today’s biggest workforce risks. Leaders must act vigorously and quickly to strengthen their organisations for the most pressing challenges and to prepare for the future of work.

The context is clear in Greece as well. There is demand for different skills: 

  • 74% of leaders note as an important factor, for the future of their organizations, there needs to be close alignment between the workforce and business strategy.

  • Only 1 in 5 leaders are confident they are building high levels of trust with workers.

  • 86% of business and HR leaders cannot fully understand the potential risks of replacing human work with technology.

  • Only 21% of respondents are confident they can identify the skills they will require in the future, as demanded by technological change.

The crisis has shaken up what we thought we knew about the Future of Work and a new world of work is emerging

The current combination of crises (Covid-19, climate change, inequitable workload) significantly adds to the pressure on productivity that organizations were already facing. It rapidly accelerated the need for digital transformation, created immediate and large-scale workforce challenges, and highlighted the vulnerabilities within our society, economy, and way we viewed work. But it also gave us the opportunity for a great reset. An opportunity to build back better. 

  • 27% of leaders reported as “very important” keeping workloads manageable while 30% believed the organization's culture is the main inhibitor.

  • Only 16 % of leaders are confident that their productivity levels are better than the future

  • Cost pressures seem to be the leading cause of the absence of upskilling programs 

The future of work sets a series of business challenges

These are the actions in our survey that leaders in Greece were most likely to say are important but they aren’t currently taking.

  • Identifying the risks of replacing human work with technology

  • Identifying the skills workers will need in the future due to technology

  • Communicating clearly about the effect of automation and AI on future skills needs

These are the factors that leaders in our survey were most likely to say get in the way of them taking action

  • Cost pressures 

  • Leadership Capability 

  • Organizational Culture

Key actions for leaders

  • Change their own behaviors not only their people’s, and role model how work needs to be done differently

  • Put actions behind their words on issues such as well-being and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) to accelerate their ESG agendas

  • Lean into data and move away from instincts towards insights

  • Invest in new emerging technologies, automation, and data models that fuel outcomes-based decision-making and meaningful / measurable returns on their investments (ROI)

The six no-regrets moves leaders should make to prepare for the future of work

  • Anticipate and plan for the future

  • Built trust in the organization

  • Optimize workforce productivity and performance

  • Enable skills for the future

  • Prepare for the change and deploy technology with humans in mind

  • Build ability to rapidly access and deploy talent

Trust and sustainable outcomes are the two guiding principles that are at the heart of a new digital equation for growth. In a world accelerated by technology, we need to shift from management practices that rely solely on intuition and focus our efforts on instilling data-driven insights to our workforce decision making process.

Konstantinos TakosDirector, Head of People and Change, PwC Greece

Contact us

Konstantinos Takos

Konstantinos Takos

Head of Workforce Transformation , PwC Greece

Tel: +30 694 046 0559