Are You Ready? Switching Off Autopilot & Gearing Up for Change

The Future of Work is here, but are you ready? New research from LHH uncovers the state of readiness in today’s workforce. Dr. Mary Clare Race, Chief Innovation and Product Officer at LHH, introduces the Readiness Index — a game-changing study of the conscious and subconscious drivers behind preparing for a changing career.

Mary-Clare- Race, Ph.D.
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In my work as an organizational psychologist, I’m fascinated by what causes people to behave the way they do at work—what makes them stay, and what makes them ready to take bold steps in a new direction. COVID-19, and other global shockwaves, have reshaped how we think about work, sparking a movement many dub The Great Resignation. People are rethinking life and work and want jobs that align with their values. I prefer to call it The Great Re-evaluation—a disruption that brings a real opportunity for innovation and culture change. 

Understanding the drivers for change

At LHH, we’ve started to dig into people’s motivations for taking the next step in their career, tapping into data science to build a picture of the factors that drive readiness. Our study started with a literature review of over 150 peer reviewed papers from leading psychologists and academics relating to employment “readiness.” That helped us define measures of readiness and identify the three factors that influence how ready a person is. Firstly, how they feel on a personal level, secondly the impact of the workplace culture, and finally the wider environmental and societal issues. 

Our Readiness Index has been developed by behavioral scientists to meaningfully explore the difference between how people say they feel about their work, and what's really going on for them at a subconscious level.  Our quantitative survey was designed to capture both conscious and unconscious attitudes, encouraging people to go a little deeper than the automatic response. The result is a scientific measure that can shine a light on people's deeper motivations, helping employers to understand how ready their people are so they can support them to grow. 

How ready are people?

The Readiness Index is a score derived from both the implicit and explicit responses to the survey. The score on a scale of one to 10 indicates how ready people are to take the next step in their career, with 10 being the most ready. We asked 2000 people working in the finance sector in the US, UK, and France what factors are driving their readiness to take the next step. Initial findings show a high degree of readiness across the groups we surveyed, with an average score of 7.7.

There was no difference in readiness between gender groups, and 78% of both men and women say they are ready for change. But our research revealed different drivers for change. Women are more inward focused and interested in opportunities for personal growth. Concerns about the future center around lack of self-belief in abilities and skills. The men we surveyed are more motivated by external factors like salary and workplace relationships. Men are 48% more likely to say their manager is poor compared with women and are more concerned about the rise of tech and other environmental factors, like COVID-19. 

Read the full Insights article here.

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