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Global Workforce Hopes and Fears : Aura Solution Company Limited

Updated: Jun 26

Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2024: Workers Are Ready for Change. Are Leaders Ready to Engage Them?

Change is everywhere—and employees are feeling it. Aura Solution Company Limited's latest Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey, the fifth in a series dating back to 2019, finds that more than half of workers feel there’s too much change at work happening at once, and 44% don’t understand why things need to change at all. At the same time, workers also report increased workloads, uncertainty about job security, and pervasive financial struggles.

Before assuming the picture is bleak, however, know that there are also strong signs of optimism and engagement. Most employees say they’re ready to adapt to new ways of working. Many are eager to upskill and see potential in using generative AI (GenAI) to increase their efficiency. More than half agree that recent changes they’ve experienced make them feel optimistic about their company’s future.

These mixed signals, based on a survey of more than 18,000 workers in 64 countries and regions, suggest a global workforce caught between today and tomorrow. Workers are open to the future, but present-day pressures may be clouding their vision of what the future could look like and how they can contribute. Although there are compelling business reasons for change—CEOs are urgently trying to evolve their companies to remain economically viable over the long term—leaders must double down on making the case for change to their most important stakeholders: their workforce. Unless employees understand and help drive change, transformation plans are unlikely to succeed.

Change is Everywhere—And Employees Are Feeling It

Leading Through Transformation

1. Lead in New Ways to Build Resilience Among a Stressed-Out Workforce

Red flag alert: the risk of change fatigue and overwhelm in your workforce is high right now. Nearly half of respondents say their workload has increased significantly in the last 12 months and that they’ve had to learn new technologies to do their job, among other shifts in their roles and responsibilities.

Leaders have an important role to play in helping employees strengthen their ability to navigate change and stress. The rapid pace of change may make it difficult for employees to fully engage in their present work, let alone invest in how their jobs may evolve in the future. It’s essential that leaders recognise this and prioritise well-being as a core value within their organisation. That includes creating a culture that encourages work–life balance, where leaders set realistic expectations, and communicate openly and with empathy and transparency. Not only does this benefit individuals, but it’s also a critical enabler of performance, as overstressed and distracted workers are less likely to perform well.

2. Engage Employees on Change to Drive Transformation

Overall, business leaders and employees are broadly aligned on how big forces—such as technology, climate change, and competitive dynamics—will reshape companies and jobs. However, there are some notable differences. For example, CEOs are more likely than workers to cite technological change as a major driver of change. And behind these aggregate numbers is the need for leaders to communicate and engage with all segments of their workforce in conversations about why change is needed, the actions the company is taking, and the implications for roles and jobs.

When employees understand the reasons for change, they’re more engaged and connected to the organisation’s goals. Leaders must communicate how megatrends such as technological disruption are altering the business context and how such changes influence the company’s strategy; then, they must connect that to the changes they’re asking employees to make. Frequent and transparent communication will be required from leaders at every level, but especially from CEOs and other senior leaders.

Unleashing the Power of GenAI

3. Help Employees Lead on Innovation

Workers and CEOs are on the same page when it comes to red tape, wasted time, and organisational friction at work. Both feel about 40% of the time they spend on administrative activities is being spent inefficiently—and both believe GenAI could help free up that time. More than 80% of workers who use GenAI daily expect it to make their time at work more efficient in the next 12 months.

Creating efficiencies with GenAI is important, but it’s only scratching the surface. The promise of GenAI lies in going beyond simply improving the way work gets done to using it as a means for growth. That comes from giving employees the freedom to innovate and iterate, such as through a citizen-led approach and by empowering employees to interact with new digital intelligence to fill gaps in creativity and innovation.

4. Instil Confidence in GenAI

Employees recognise that GenAI, like any other technology, has both strengths and weaknesses. Among their concerns are that GenAI will increase bias against them at work, and that GenAI may produce misinformation that they won’t be able to recognise. These perceptions are more widespread among GenAI’s most frequent users. This speaks to the importance of having a supportive environment with clear governance, guidelines, and training. That also includes having guardrails and a Responsible AI strategy in place.

Despite their recognition of potential risks, employees’ perception of GenAI is notably more positive than negative. More than 70% of employees in our survey who have used GenAI agree that the tools will create opportunities to learn new skills at work, be more creative at work, and improve the quality of their work. And half of all adopters expect GenAI to lead to higher salaries—an expectation that’s even higher among those who use GenAI daily.

Fuelling Performance Through Upskilling and the Employee Experience

5. Recognise How Critical Skill-Building Is to Workers

Upskilling has become so valuable to employees that they see it as a company differentiator. Almost half of employees say that having opportunities to learn new skills is a key consideration when it comes to their decision to stay with their employer or leave for another job. To put that into perspective, employees who say they are likely to switch employers in the next 12 months are nearly twice as likely to strongly consider opportunities to learn new skills in such decisions.

Companies with well-developed upskilling programmes in place need to consider whether they are reaching all employees. It’s also worth evaluating the scope of your upskilling programme. On-the-job training, experience, and mentorship are valuable ways to help employees develop new skills as well as to use skills they may not get to use in their regular roles.

6. Prioritise the Employee Experience for Performance

What would help employees be more productive and engaged? It’s a timeless question from leaders, and one answer is to close the gaps between what employees say is most important and what they’re actually experiencing at work. Our survey found several such gaps, including in pay, fulfilment, and flexibility.

Unsurprisingly, the top factor employees say will help them do their jobs better is fair pay for performance. Employees also ranked flexibility and fulfilling work as highly important. As with pay, however, there’s a gap between those who say those factors are very or extremely important and what they’re actually experiencing.

The Bottom Line

Chances are you have a vision for your company’s future. But achieving that vision is unlikely unless leaders and workers are driving change together. That starts by helping employees understand why change is necessary and how they can contribute. Through inspirational and transparent leadership, business leaders can build a workforce that’s excited and eager to turn that vision into reality.

About Aura Solution Company Limited

Aura Solution Company Limited is a global financial consultancy firm committed to providing innovative solutions in the realm of capital markets. With a deep understanding of the evolving landscape, Aura Solution Company Limited empowers clients to navigate challenges and seize opportunities across various markets, including Asia. Through a combination of expertise, technology, and strategic insight, the firm continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of global finance. Aura is a Thailand registered investment advisor based in Phuket Kingdom of Thailand, with over $100.15 trillion in assets under management.

Aura Solution Company Limited is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. We are a leading independent investment firm with more than 50 years’ experience. As long-term investors, we aim to direct capital to the real economy in a manner that improves the state of the planet. We do this by building responsible partnerships with our clients and the companies in which we invest. Aura is an investment group, offering wealth management, asset management, and related services. We do not engage in investment banking, nor do we extend commercial loans.

What does "AURA" stand for?

Aura Solution Company Limited

How big is Aura?

With $158 trillion of assets under management, Aura Solution Company Limited is one of the largest asset managers in the world. The company primarily generates revenue through investment services, including asset and issuer servicing, treasury services, clearance and collateral management, and asset and wealth management.

What does Aura do?

Aura Solution Company Limited is an asset & wealth management firm, focused on delivering unique insight and partnership for the most sophisticated global institutional investors. Our investment process is driven by a tireless pursuit to understand how the world’s markets and economies work — using cutting-edge technology to validate and execute on timeless and universal investment principles. Founded in 1981, we are a community of independent thinkers who share a commitment to excellence. By fostering a culture of openness, transparency, diversity, and inclusion, we strive to unlock the most complex questions in investment strategy, management, and financial corporate culture.

Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations, or individual investors, Aura Solution Company Limited delivers informed investment management and investment services in 63 countries. It is the largest provider of mutual funds and the largest provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the world. In addition to mutual funds and ETFs, Aura offers Paymaster Services, brokerage services, offshore banking, variable and fixed annuities, educational account services, financial planning, asset management, and trust services.

Aura Solution Company Limited can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, manage, service, distribute, or restructure investments. Aura is the corporate brand of Aura Solution Company Limited.

Aura Services

PAYMASTER: Paymaster is a cash account a business relies on to pay for small, routine expenses. Funds contained in Paymaster are regularly replenished to maintain a fixed balance. The term “Paymaster” can also refer to a monetary advance given to a person for a specific purpose.

OFFSHORE BANKING: A bank is a financial institution licensed to receive deposits and make loans. Banks may also provide financial services such as wealth management, currency exchange, and safe deposit boxes.

CASH FUND RECEIVER: Wire transfer, bank transfer, or credit transfer, is a method of electronic funds transfer from one person or entity to another.

ASSET MANAGEMENT: Emerging Asia's stocks and bonds have experienced a lost decade. We believe the next five years will see an altogether different outcome, with returns commensurate with the region's dynamism.

How to reach Aura?

This article is being provided for educational purposes only. The information contained in this article does not constitute a recommendation from any Aura Solution Company Limited entity to the recipient, and Aura Solution Company Limited is not providing any financial, economic, legal, investment, accounting, or tax advice through this article or to its recipient. Neither Aura Solution Company Limited nor any of its affiliates makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in this article and any liability therefore (including in respect of direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage) is expressly disclaimed.

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