Increasing labor market volatility, changing employee and customer expectations, rising wage costs and inflation, and other modern challenges sparked by the pandemic are driving organizations across the world to adapt with workforce transformation. Business leaders of today are focusing on and accelerating business value through new products and services, innovation, automation, talent acquisition, and upskilling.
This workforce transformation is inevitable (and indeed necessary). So, how do organizations gain their people’s buy-in to change initiatives? And how do business leaders ensure that their teams are prepared for transformative success?
Trends in transformation
Vaco’s Trends in Transformation survey asked 160 North American business leaders about their top transformation goals for 2022. In order of importance, their priorities were:
- Pursuing digital and technology advances
- Increasing shared services and outsourcing for cost-reduction
- Implementing automation and process improvements to financial reporting
- Ensuring a more engaged leadership to fuel success
- Investing in talent
No matter your organization’s workforce transformation aims, successful and sustainable transformation is dependent on your employees’ alignment and engagement with any change initiatives.
In this article, we look at some key success factors to prepare employees for workforce transformation and new ways of working.
Set your leaders and managers up for success
The Trends in Transformation survey identified engaged leadership as a critical factor in successful transformation in 2022, with almost half (46%) of respondents naming engaged leadership as the most important focus area.
New models of work bring new challenges to leaders and managers, including how to build, manage, and engage employees in a distributed workforce, while preventing issues such as proximity bias. Managers need to be equipped with technology, training, tools, and resources to help them manage change effectively. The following three tips are particularly helpful in any transformation initiative:
1. Remain flexible in creating new models of work
The challenge of finding new ways of working can become a catalyst for meaningful business advancement. That’s why workplace transformation is never fully complete. When determining new working models, business leaders need to remain flexible and open to further opportunities for positive change.
2. Consider all levels of the organization
When identifying critical issues during workplace transformation, it’s vital to become attuned to the challenges faced at every level of the organization. In many companies, lower tiers of workers experience pain points most acutely, so it’s important to adopt a bottom-up approach when implementing new processes and systems.
3. Create a culture of choice
The past two years have compelled employers to redefine the employee experience and build a workplace that values and considers employees’ needs. A company’s productivity depends on its employees, and today’s organizations are realizing the need to focus on employee flexibility, wellbeing, and human connection. An effective workspace transformation is ultimately about crafting a model that fits both the needs of the organization and the needs of its employees.
A poll conducted in 2022 by Momentive and Zoom found that most employees value choice in the workplace. For example, 69% of workers say it’s important for them to be able to choose whether they work on-site, remotely, or a hybrid model—this number jumps to 85% among workers who are currently doing all or some of their job from home. To create a culture of choice, organizations need to adopt agile working policies and provide flexibility and equal opportunities for their employees.
Other features of an employee-centric corporate culture of choice include allowing employees to make suggestions freely, and encouraging them to express themselves through open communication.
Actively discover and address ongoing needs
As the Great Resignation accelerates, it’s critical for leaders to proactively reach out to all employees more frequently, provide empathy and support, and address internal and external challenges as the organization navigates workforce transformation.
The needs of employees as they adapt to the modern workplace will be unique to each business. Organizations need to discover and address the professional and personal needs of their employees during a time of transformation. This involves a structured process of listening to employees, gathering their feedback, then using these thoughts, ideas, and contributions to provide programs or offerings to help them meet these challenges.
Blueline’s Voice of the Business process helps to get people’s buy-in to and alignment with change initiatives across the organization. By unlocking and harnessing insights from inside your business, you’ll be better equipped to secure the commitment of your employees to workplace transformation strategies. We begin every custom learning engagement by ensuring we’re tapping into the most current and pressing needs of your learners. Contact us to learn more about the ways we’re supporting business transformation needs.