New ELFF Report Examines Changing Workplaces

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (ELFF) released the 2022 Industry Future Council (IFC) report, “Adapting to Changing Workers and Workplaces,” that examines issues and best practices around hybrid work, recruiting, hiring, training and leadership due to pandemic and related labor market disruptions. The report follows up on last year’s comprehensive study, which identified three primary areas of focus: technology, workforce and economics & policy. IFC participants identified three themes they considered most important to the future of the workforce, the workplace and the industry.

The identified themes are:

  • Hybrid Work: Many employees and managers prefer some form of hybrid setup because of the flexibility that comes with remote work as well as the community benefits of working in-office. Equipment finance firms have a variety of setups, from 100% remote to 100% in-person, and each company must determine a hybrid work regime that works best for its individual circumstances.
  • Recruiting, Hiring and Training: Given the competitive labor market, many industry leaders report using creative solutions to attract and retain workers. There is more proactive recruiting, prioritizing of soft skills and culture fit among new hires and somewhat less emphasis on industry experience. Gaps in industry knowledge are being filled through more expansive training, which appeals to the newest generation of equipment finance workers.
  • Leadership: In remote and hybrid environments, many industry leaders are focusing more on hiring and developing emotionally intelligent and empathetic managers. They may be better suited to provide the transparency, trust and flexibility that workers seek, and by keeping workers satisfied, they may promote retention and productivity. Industry leaders are also prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) by recruiting a more diverse set of middle and upper managers and improving firm policies such as family leave.

“As the workplace and workforce change, it is essential that equipment finance companies understand what employees want in a work environment in order to better inform their leadership styles and work policies,” Kelli Nienaber, foundation executive director at ELFF. “The insights in the IFC report provide a comprehensive guide for decision-making around hybrid work plans, recruiting and training, management and being intentional around creating a company culture.”

This year’s IFC report was written by Keybridge, an economics and public policy research firm selected to facilitate the 2022 IFC. It is based on input from IFC members across several meetings and a survey conducted between May and July 2022, along with outside research on workforce issues.

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