Six Action Points for successful workforce transformation
Creating a future workplace where the employee experience and smart working go hand in hand
In the future, businesses and employees will look back at the 2020 Global pandemic as the start of a global evolution in the world of work. While for decades we’ve known about the power of technology to enhance workplace productivity and the employee experience, it’s taken a Global pandemic for the message to be truly heard.
Post pandemic we will see a new ‘norm’, where workplace innovation will be the key to success – delivering true workplace agility and allowing businesses to flex and adapt to anything that’s thrown their way.
The strong likelihood is that whatever pattern of work behavior you were in before, you’re unlikely to return directly to it in the future. The all-embracing pandemic has thrust under the spotlight the need for new ways of working. In particular, enabling remote working has become a priority with the need for new smart working solutions that enable work location flexibility, workforce collaboration and full access to resources.
While some businesses pre-pandemic were up to speed with the latest digital workplace trends, for many, the digital transformation (DX) programs that were already taking place were failing to address employee anxieties and wellbeing. Today the ‘employee experience’ should now be the watchword for businesses wanting to transform. Our research shows there are levels of employee confusion and dissatisfaction that urgently need addressing and there’s a real risk of high staff turnover from misaligned agendas.
Given the painful learning curve about the value of remote working forced on many organizations by the pandemic, it is very likely that a new wave of digital and workforce transformation programs will result. However, there is a strong likelihood that the same employee anxieties and turnover will be doomed to repeat. To help customers spot the dangers in advance and minimize negative outcomes, Fujitsu has issued a new action agenda whitepaper. In it, we highlight six action points that make digital transformation – including more flexible working – more likely to succeed and help lessen the risk of extreme staff turnover.
The strategic disconnect between digital and workforce transformation
The root of our approach is to reconnect the current strategic disconnect between digital and workforce transformation. In Fujitsu’s experience in digital workforce transformation (an area where Fujitsu is an acknowledged global leader), many DX programs either fail to address workforce transformation altogether or relegate it to a separate silo where it pursues its own objectives.
This disconnection must come to an end. DX is one of the highest priorities on the agenda for any management team, yet many organizations do not seem to fully understand the necessity of workforce transformation. For example, research undertaken for Fujitsu by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) shows that, while transformational efforts to date have delivered significant benefits, only a few businesses have established a firm grip on how to re-skill their workforces to build a long-term business strategy. In particular, organizations can drive far greater benefits from business transformation programs simply by thinking more strategically about the inevitable evolution of their workforce when planning transformation programs.
Refocusing and developing an employee experience strategy
Among the specific areas we look at in the Action Agenda is the tendency for a heavier focus on training people to be better at the job they’re doing today. We are not taking into consideration the skills in how to transition the workforce to address the types of work needed in the future. Our Action Agenda discusses how to identify the skills within a management strategy aligned to long-term business objectives and organizational culture.
We also look at the surprising lack of attention to employee satisfaction: just 39% of organizations have set out to design or improve employee experience as part of a transformation program. This is a particularly noteworthy omission: there is a growing understanding that the totality of an employee’s involvement with an organization, from recruitment through departure, influences their contribution to its success even more than individual factors. Firms are paying a price for this blind spot, with 70% reporting increased staff turnover as a direct consequence of transformation, and 28% saying the increase in turnover has been extreme.
Creating a vision of your future workplace
Based on our extensive experience as a leading global digital and workforce transformation partner, we have developed these six action points for successful transformation for senior management. Our action points advocate a greater level of vision and for leadership to acknowledge the tight interconnection between digital and workforce transformation. This vision must include measures to reskill the workforce and enhance employee satisfaction to minimize the very real danger of increased staff turnover during a transformation program. In addition, the clear benefits of transformation must be communicated to employees, and the costs and complexity that inevitably arise must be acknowledged, planned for and mitigated.
Our six action points are underpinned by a series of specific recommendations to assist senior managers to develop bespoke agendas to match their exact requirements.