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21. Empathy & Vision

Video: The UK’s RSA Animate illustrates The Empathic Civilization.

ManpowerGroup has long been focused on the relationship between education and work, with emphasis on the development of intellectual curiosity and empathy as the core values required for success.

When it comes to navigating the changing world of work, Fortune 100 company ManpowerGroup, has been a global leader for six decades and continues to expand its work in over 80 global labor markets with a focus on creative use of technology to include more people in the realm of meaningful, fair work in a changing global culture and economy.

One of ManpowerGroup’s main goals is to understand the factors that stand in the way for hundreds of millions of individuals who are traditionally overlooked in the labor market. The lack of meaningful work for millions of people, including young people just entering the workforce, has a widespread impact on society, ultimately touching everyone.

Connecting an individual to the dignity and independence of work is the core of ManpowerGroups’s mission and has been for 60 years. Throughout those six decades, the company’s culture has included a visionary approach to available technology, enabling the ability to adapt to shifting global dynamics as well as leading the charge to create more meaningful employment opportunities for more people.

“The current economic climate highlights the critical role work plays in the lives of individuals,” ManpowerGroup CEO Jeff Joerres wrote in an introduction to a recent Corporate Social Responsibility report. “It also demonstrates why the absence of job opportunities weakens society at its most fundamental level.”

Since jobs are essential to the “pursuit of independence and self-sufficiency with a ripple effect on society,” Joerres wrote, ManpowerGroup is actively engaged in efforts designed to provide the disadvantaged with the opportunities they need to secure a job, make a living and establish themselves as contributors to society.

In addition to placing approximately 5 million workers each year, ManpowerGroup has hundreds of global work training programs that train over 30,000 people annually and place almost half of them in jobs. Part of this effort includes ensuring a fair and safe work environment for those who are placed, especially within a demographic of traditionally marginalized workers including people with physical disabilities, women and children affected by trafficking and forced labor, exploited immigrants and refugees.

To accomplish this, ManpowerGroup has been a vocal supporter of the United Nations Global Compact to advance human rights, improve global labor standards, protect the environment and fight corruption in business and government.

Anticipating the transformational nature of social media in the workplace, ManpowerGroup surveyed 34,000 employers in 35 countries to gauge employer attitudes toward external social media. Three out of four interviewed revealed that workers within their respective organizations are not governed by a formal social media policy, and the vast majority stated that networking has not had a negative effect on brand reputation. ManpowerGroup was also a pioneer in virtual world environments, similarly interviewing thousands of workers globally about their expectations regarding virtual work.

The company also hasn’t been afraid to take risks when it comes to carving a new path in the quest to pair more people with meaningful employment.

RS Prabathy, Honorary Chairwoman of the Karaikal Municipal Corporation, explains:

“Like all rural districts in India, Nagapattinam’s population has rigid cultural practices and is resistant to any change. This means that women are not allowed to come out of their domestic arena. In this context, the ManpowerGroup vocational training center took the challenge of changing our lives and is successful, with more women in the district coming to get trained, to break barriers and make a new path for their daughters to follow. This is indeed a revolution.”

Like the revolution in education, change often takes a long time. Do you see the need for changes in your place of work or education that are slow to take shape? What are they?

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