4 Ways to Enable Business Transformation in the Age of Employees
How can we make better business decisions in a digital world? Here are four ways to enable business transformation by listening to your employees.
Businesses leaders who listen to their employees and act on people analytics data to drive business transformation rather than assumptions will catch the waves of opportunity in today’s fluid and shifting business environment.
How can we make better decisions in a digital world? How do we stop the next resignation wave? The modern world is full of questions for corporates as pressures from technology, society, and health propel business transformation. Employees have never been more important and businesses will need to be in-tune with them in order to drive success. In this blog, we highlight four key employee considerations that business leaders and people managers must navigate to win in this new normal.
1. Drive business success through employee experience
When workforce performance is the goal, the route to it is listening and people data analysis. In many cases, businesses are rebuilding their workforces after the disruption that was (and still is) the COVID-19 pandemic. A new employer-employee contract has been struck, with technology opening a new array of options for workers who no longer accept 9-5 in the office as the only option open to them.
Being explicit and proactive with your post-pandemic workplace strategy, building plans alongside employees, and considering personalising the approach to different workforce demographics will be new to many organisations. Some will find it’s a non-negotiable starting point if they want to avoid resignation waves and make progress towards a ‘new normal’.
The bottomline is that while parts of business cultures can be retained, change is inevitable, and for many businesses it has already happened and is the transformation.
2. Manage change with a hybrid workforce
With this new radical flexibility comes real-world and real-time challenges for managers. For example, the hybrid work model means employee burnout can be difficult to detect, and there are risks of creating more uneven employee experiences. A 2021 report from wellbeing charity LawCare found that more than two-thirds (69%) of lawyers in the UK experienced mental ill-health, and the majority are at a high risk of burnout.
Old tools, like semi-annual performance management reviews, won’t cut it, and neither will some managers. Companies need a clear view of which managers are performing well in the new world and who needs to improve. Setting up continuous listening posts and feedback mechanisms in existing workflows can help, yielding the people data supervisors and leaders need to make better decisions by identifying stress spikes and hot spots.
This isn’t just about understanding whose needles are in the red though, but also understanding these 4 key hybrid management areas:
where pay and reward may be out of line with the rest of the organisation,
who is being productive (and who isn’t)
how to promote psychological safety and
where to act on poor manager behaviour
Enabling people managers and business leaders to do this, based on data, will be critical as businesess navigate change and transformations in the world of hybrid work.
Watch our webinar Success Stories: Building the Foundation of a People-Powered Organization for more on data-driven management.
3. Democratise people data
The levels and types of transformation are far from easy. It challenges the norms of the past. Democratising data, for instance – making it available for all to use and gain insight from to do their jobs better – sounds like a great idea. And it is. But HR holds the keys to people data, and in some organisations only the HR people analytics and reporting team can interpret these insights and share them with others. Opening data to a wider community involves a fundamental management, leadership, and culture shift. But it works. Within 12 months of relaunching their people analytics program, Uber was serving more than 1,000 managers with tailored insights about their teams.
Furthermore, output should be prized (and rewarded) over hours. Managers tied to the philosophy that productivity can only be ensured if they can see employees working need to adopt different approaches. Measuring productivity through project management tools that allow employees to track completion rates and on-time delivery, with meaningful metrics, allows for a more accurate overview and managerial understanding of workflow over simply hours logged.
On top of this there is the opportunity to combine workforce data (the former) with work data (the latter) for a truly holistic view of business perfomance and capacity. Empowering managers and leaders with this level of insight, at scale, will be a force multiplier for businesses and those leading transformation projects. This is the future of management.
4. Upskill and reskill
An often-neglected lever for companies to retain, motivate, and engage employees is learning and reskilling. Businesses need this urgently. There will be less demand for managers who can supervise work in a repetitive manner, and a greater demand for managers who can innovate as standard. High-performing companies are shifting away from traditional approaches and embracing a new model for skills building focused on bite-sized learning content, often within the flow of work.
Here, the proper application of people analytics identifies skills gaps and makes it possible for personalised learning journeys. Soft skills training is a priority for managers as their jobs will increasingly be about spotting opportunities and adapting processes to changing environments, rather than ensuring work is done a particular way. With unified analytics, leaders can see the impact of learning programs on business measures such as staff retention and productivity.
This ability to develop and tap into internal mobility (as well as external talent markets) will give managers and business leaders the edge as they set out to attract and retain the top talent required to remain competitive in ever-evolving business environments.
These are just some of the challenges tackled in our latest paper, 10 Questions for Employers in 2022. Read this paper for more insights that reflect the key Workplace Trends of 2022.