As the world emerges from COVID-19, new workforce challenges — including talent shortages, labor market tensions and the resurgence of unionization across many industry sectors — have highlighted a profound shift in the social contract between employers and employees, calling for a radical reassessment of how we think about work and jobs.


These fundamental shifts in the economy of work are reordering priorities and raising crucial questions:

  • What role do companies play in addressing social inequities?
  • How can organizations balance more traditional shareholder-focused models of doing business with new approaches that are more participative and consider the needs of a broader set of stakeholders?

As organizations recognize that doing good equates to doing well in this new era, environmental, social and governance issues have ascended to their place of proper prominence on companies’ strategic agendas. With earnings no longer the only measure of the “good” organizations are expected to achieve, companies should consider reconciling the needs of their shareholders and employees, forging new paths to meet demands for profitability while offering the competitive rewards that attract great people. To strike a balance that will be mutually beneficial, leaders can rely on empathy and economics to shape and lead their organizations in this new era. And reinvent work to become more flexible, agile and human-centric.


To support these aims, organizations can provide equitable and expansive rewards to build a more resilient workforce and differentiate themselves as attractive employers. They can embrace a holistic approach that will nourish their people’s physical and mental health, protect their financial well-being and prepare them for the future of work. It will call for innovations in digital health to promote health equity by improving access to affordable quality care. Ensuring people have the resources they need for retirement from both a financial and fulfillment perspective. And thinking beyond what jobs look like now, transforming existing work models to become more elastic and adaptive to develop a future-ready workforce and a more agile organization.


On January 17 in Davos, Mercer experts and a special guest panel of senior business leaders explored the path to progress and shared actionable plans aligned to clear business results and real-world impact. Together, we can innovate new approaches to work to build a more sustainable, equitable world. 



Martine Ferland

Martine Ferland

President and CEO

Omar Abbosh

Omar Abbosh

President, Industry Solutions

Sian Beilock

Sian Beilock

President of Barnard College, Columbia University,
and President-Elect of Dartmouth

Andreas Berger

Andreas Berger

Chief Executive Officer Corporate Solutions
Swiss Re

Ravin Jesuthasan

Ravin Jesuthasan

Global Transformation Leader, Mercer, and author of
Wall Street Journal best seller Work without Jobs

Tanuj Kapilashrami

Tanuj Kapilashrami

Chief Human Resources Officer
Standard Chartered Bank

Live from the 2023 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting


On January 17, global senior business leaders joined Mercer thought leaders to explore a transformational path forward, sharing cutting-edge ideas and real-world examples for driving transformation.

View the full session recording.

View highlights from the session.


Key insights

  • “Create time and be super clear about why it is in the individual’s – and the company’s – best interest to reskill and upskill.”

    Omar Abbosh, President, Industry Solutions, Microsoft



  • “There is so much research showing that diverse teams – when you bring people together and they feel like they belong –  make better decisions, they are more creative and companies make more money.”

    Sian Leah Beilock, President of Barnard College, Columbia University, President-elect of Dartmouth



  • “A lot of senior jobs are not filled by women anymore. Women in Switzerland ages 31 to 40+ fall out of the system. We need to design programs before they go on maternity leave, during and afterwards.”

    Andreas Berger, Chief Executive Officer Corporate Solutions, Swiss Re



  • “We live in a very changed world when it comes to work…we are facing a complete shift in the way that the contract between employers and employees is established.”

    Martine Ferland, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mercer



  • “We can no longer expect that we need to do well in order to do good; doing good is doing well.”

    Ravin Jesuthasan, Global Transformation Leader, Mercer



  • “Flexibility is not just about where I work. It is how I work, why I work…it is about finding purpose in the world and working in a far more agile way."

    Tanuj Kapilashrami, Chief Human Resources Officer, Standard Chartered Bank



Questions? Contact us.