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MIT Sloan Management Review - Deloitte Survey Finds 74% of Leaders Believe Effective Management of External Workers Is Critical to Organization's Success

Recent research finds few organizations prepared to manage more complex workforce ecosystems.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte released findings from their 2022 Future of the Workforce report, "Orchestrating Workforce Ecosystems: Strategically Managing Work Across and Beyond Organizational Boundaries." The report found that while 74% of leaders and managers agree that effective management of external contributors, such as freelancers, contract workers, and app developers, is critical to their organization's success, only 30% indicated that their organization is sufficiently preparing to manage a workforce that will rely more on external workers. The report offers a framework for orchestrating an extended workforce as more and more organizations bring in external workers and other contributors to support their strategic business objectives.

Orchestrating workforce ecosystems requires new approaches to leadership, new technologies, new management practices.

This report marks the third year MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte have conducted joint research on the future of the workforce. Each year, the research team conducts a global executive survey and interviews executives and other thought leaders from industry and academia. "Orchestrating Workforce Ecosystems" finds that an overwhelming majority (93%) of survey respondents consider external contributors a part of their workforce. The authors propose viewing the workforce as a workforce ecosystem ? as a structure that encompasses an organization's extended workforce with both its internal and external contributors and the relationships between them. To manage these actors effectively, the report finds, it demands significant shifts in management practices, technology and data considerations, and leadership.

"Organizations today are increasingly relying not only on full- and part-time employees but also on a more expansive and connected group of contributors: a workforce ecosystem. These structures include long-term contractors, temporary gig workers, subcontractors, complementors such as app developers, employees, and others. Orchestrating them requires new approaches to leadership, new technologies, and new management practices," said Elizabeth J. Altman, MIT Sloan Management Review guest editor, assistant professor of management at the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell, and report coauthor.

"For leaders to see significant increases in innovation and performance among their employees and other key contributors, they will need to change the way they think about their workforce and how an ecosystem can help support organizational goals," added report coauthor Robin Jones, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

According to the report, that alignment can be achieved when C-suite and senior business and functional leaders work together, with each playing an essential role that contributes to the overall success of the workforce ecosystem. To do this, leaders must have a broad understanding of how each participant ? internal and external ? contributes to creating value for the organization.

Additionally, the research team grouped its survey findings into a maturity index and identified organizations that are most successful in the integrated cross-functional management of internal and external workers are recognized as Intentional Orchestrators. These organizations are:

This global report includes insights from 4,078 leaders and managers in 129 countries across 29 industries, and interviews with 19 thought leaders.

At MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR), we explore how leadership and management are transforming in a disruptive world. We help thoughtful leaders capture the exciting opportunities ? and face down the challenges ? created as technological, societal, and environmental forces reshape how organizations operate, compete, and create value.

MIT Sloan Management Review's Big Ideas Initiatives develop innovative, original research on the issues transforming our fast-changing business environment. We conduct global surveys and in-depth interviews with front-line leaders working at a range of companies, from Silicon Valley startups to multinational organizations, to deepen our understanding of changing paradigms and their influence on how people work and lead.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today's marketplace ? delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte's more than 345,000 people worldwide connect for impact at www.deloitte.com.

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee ("DTTL"), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as "Deloitte Global") does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the "Deloitte" name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more about our global network of member firms.

MIT Sloan Management Review
Tess Woods

SOURCE MIT Sloan Management Review

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