Forces and Non-Negotiables Shaping Today’s Workforce

Massive disruption is evident within planning, managing, and leading a workforce. A global pandemic, geopolitical, and social crises are just some of the major events that have unfolded in the last decade.

Global mobility professionals and HR teams have kept sight of the major events that have caused drastic shifts in the workplace. One of the findings that is more prominent in leading job market platforms is the influence of the job seeker over the labor market today.

One thing business leaders have noted is the importance of satisfying the demands of today’s job seekers. Specifically, organizations have become more mindful of helping employees receive the work experiences they seek. Denise Hamilton, CEO and founder of WatchHerWork, says that renegotiation with employees or job seekers helps businesses keep worker attrition low and retention high. 

As hybrid work becomes a more common workforce model, Strategy + Business discovered that it is essential to determine which facets of the work experience in this model are not negotiable. Following PwC’s analysis, the organization found it helpful to break down non-negotiables into four main categories namely, individuals, teams, customers, and community.


The top priority for organizations has been to attract and retain highly skilled and top-performing workers. Though many executives look forward to their workforce returning to the office, many of them don’t share the same sentiments. 

So organizations are left with the risk of potentially losing employees if they start return-to-office mandates. On the brighter side, these organizations understand this trend. They only need to investigate what areas they need to develop to help recruit and retain top-notch talent.

Strategy + Business suggests developing recruitment strategies by pre-qualifying prospects to make sure they’re likely to accept job offers when given the opportunity to stay longer in the company. Moreover, it recommends doubling down on acquiring information on the experiences of prospects, new hires, and current employees. It also highlights that learning why potential hires turn down an offer and why existing workers leave the organization can help HR and global mobility professionals find ways to continuously improve talent recruitment and employee retention.

Another thing to note is the need to provide close support to each worker’s career growth through mentorship and skills development. The constant transformation has been an everyday reality and workers took notice of that. That’s exactly the reason why many job seekers are searching for organizations that offer reskilling and upskilling as part of their employee development strategies.


Teamwork is one of the most important aspects of any workplace. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started to affect organizations globally, many executives fear that the lack of human connection will hamper collaboration and teamwork in their workforces. The rise of asynchronous communication can slow down the sharing of information across the organization.

However, if organizations are planning to execute a hybrid workforce, they have to make the most out of the time their employees are on-site. Degreed’s Chief Learning and Talent Officer Kelly Palmer agrees. She wrote for the World Economic Forum, explaining that it will be helpful for organizations to use employees’ hybrid time for collaborative projects while fostering virtual collaborations as well.

Moreover, team development is also crucial as skill gaps continue to exist within the labor market. Any team will reap the benefits of having a diversely skilled group of workers.


Another non-negotiable of a hybrid workforce revolves around an organization’s clients or customers. With the labor market behaving unpredictably, employee attrition causes staff shortages that can negatively impact customer experience.

As businesses begin to test the waters with a hybrid setup, business leaders need to make sure that frontline employees who have direct contact with clients are still creating a safe and genuine environment to communicate. This also applies to prospects and new customers.

Building relationships with existing clients has been a strong foundation for businesses for many years and it isn’t at all outdated. That’s why talent managers like HR personnel and global mobility professionals need to monitor employee interactions with clients and prospects.


This is a great time for an organization’s stakeholders to consider the implications of hybrid work to the broader community. With social and environmental issues on the hot topic, organizations have the opportunity to take action in support of alleviating these issues.

Beyond the social corporate responsibilities that organizations need to comply with, businesses have seen a profound impact when they navigate through positive changes in the community.