Forética and the Spanish Global Compact Network have held the session "People: the future of work", the first within the #TiempodeAlianzas conference cycle, an initiative in which the two organizations promote the importance of a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis aligned with sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda.
The conference was inaugurated by Germán Granda, CEO of Forética, who stressed that the raison d'être of this alliance is "toencourage companies to advance in three commitments: the health of both their employees and other stakeholders; the promotion of employability and decent, quality employment; and the fight against inequalities, promoting inclusion and diversity" . In addition, during his speech, Germán Granda alluded to the opportunity nature of this crisis, stating that "it is time to restart the economy, placing sustainability at the center of business strategies. We must work to turn this crisis into an opportunity towards a green recovery."
Next, the Executive Director of the Spanish Global Compact Network Cristina Sanchez, who insisted on maintaining during this recovery the motto of the 2030 Agenda of "leaving no one behind" for which she said, it is necessary that "now more than ever companies have to put people at the center of their strategies; considering the welfare of all those who are in their value chain, from employees, customers, consumers, suppliers and society in general" . To which he added that "the companies of the future, that is, those that will be viable and profitable in the long term, will be those that place sustainability and respect for human rights as an essential part of their business model."
Joaquín Nieto, Director General of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Spain, spoke about the future of companies and work. From his position, Nieto emphasized the need to humanize companies, also thinking of the workers who are suffering the consequences of the pandemic and highlighted the fact that "there are 3,000 million workers in the world and 1,600 of them have had to stop their activity, becoming absolutely unprotected and going from one day to the next to the most absolute poverty. This highlights the urgent need for social protection systems to alleviate the negative effects of this type of crisis on both companies and individuals." In this sense, the ILO director has encouraged all actors, companies, organizations and governments, to work in alliance to achieve the 2030 Agenda and especially on SDG 3, concerning health, and SDG 1 on ending poverty, whose target 1.3 speaks about social protection systems. In his words, "This crisis represents a set of efforts and challenges that can be an opportunity so that after the pandemic we go to a better world with more responsible companies and with more protected workers."
Another of the key aspects of the conference, due to its impact on the future of business models, was digital transformation. This topic was addressed by Ricardo Trujillo, Head of the Social Impact Cluster and of Forética's Jobs 2030 and Upskill4Future programs. Ricardo Trujillo spoke about the enormous impact that this transformation will have on the people and jobs that we know now and that may disappear to create new ones. And at this point he alluded to the need to "extend training to all generations so that they can acquire the new skills and abilities that will be required in this labor transformation" . The idea is that, in the face of any transformation and bearing in mind that we are facing a highly complex scenario that makes it difficult to plan sustainable business strategies for the future, we must not forget to put people and their adaptation needs at the center.
In fact, both to promote the protection of people and to comply with the 2030 Agenda, it is essential that companies adopt a human rights approach in their business strategies. According to Javier Molero, Director of Projects and Agenda 2030 of the Spanish Global Compact Network, "the connection between Agenda 2030 and human rights is vital because only through this approach can people be put at the center of business strategies during and after the reconstruction in which we find ourselves immersed." During his presentation, Molero highlighted the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on people's rights noting, among other figures, that "some 700 million workers lived in extreme or moderate poverty in 2018 and the ILO estimates that the COVID-19 crisis may destroy 305 million jobs worldwide." Therefore, he continues, "it is essential that companies assess the risks or impacts of their activity on human rights, which in turn will give them the opportunity to identify areas of social contribution of great magnitude in the 2030 Agenda."
The conference also featured voices from the business world. Specifically, Anastasia de las Peñas, Director of Employee Experience at Mapfre, and Loles Sala, Director of Talent and Culture at ManpowerGroup. Regarding the future of companies, de las Peñas stressed the importance of talent management and staff learning, which should take place throughout their working lives. He also stressed the need for dynamic structures, promoting new ways of working such as the digital workplace and investing in employee experience. Regarding the latter, he stated that "it is the transformative power of the people committed to our project that will determine the success of the company. Therefore, we have to continue to be clearly human and continue to demonstrate that we have a vocation to help people."
For her part, Loles Sala, Director of Talent and Culture at ManpowerGroup, pointed out the importance of "generating a pact for employment and employability. We must be able to join the forces of all stakeholders to ensure that we are able to overcome the environment and ensure sustainability". He also presented the five levers to address the transformation in employment: "Being 'Talent Magnet' organizations; the Skills Revolution, Hybrid Talent Ecosystem, Talent Experience and Digital Leader".
The conference was closed by Vanesa Rodríguez, Director of Communication and IR of the Spanish Global Compact Network, who pointed out three main conclusions: first, the importance of putting people at the center of the recovery, as they have shown to be the most permeable to the effects of the pandemic; second, the need to promote decent work framed in the 2030 Agenda and human rights; and third, to take advantage of the benefits of the digital transformation, also betting on the training of people throughout their working lives.