Getting businesses ready for the future of work
The modern workforce is changing its game, compelling businesses to evolve in a way that fully caters to a new generation of talent. Poised to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, 'Generation Y' and 'Millennials' are becoming more technologically savvy than ever. And not only does this largest segment of employees look for advanced working environments, but they have also grown up with a fresh outlook on working practices and expectations. As such, any business looking to futureproof must ask whether it is doing enough to attract and retain the best candidates. After all, a company is only as good as its people.
A new way of working
A tug-of-war has already started in the talent pool, with firms determined to hook the golden few that have desirable skills. It’s a familiar story and one that presents a significant problem for enterprises - 90 percent of C-level executives recently told Appirio that recruiting these crucial hires is a top business challenge. Given that it’s not sustainable for organizations to partake in a financial or incentive-based bidding war to secure talent, how can they ensure that they attract and retain employees?
The modern generation knows what it wants, and if that isn’t provided by their employer they are not afraid of moving on. This has led to the more fluid movement of candidates switching organizations, which puts a major strain on the enterprise, meaning tangible losses at the expense of productivity and innovation. One segment where this is particularly pertinent is the IT department with approximately 25 percent of leavers each year. Understandably this upheaval has a significant effect on the wider business through projects being delayed or abandoned altogether.
The answer lies in fully understanding the principle main drivers of the modern workforce. This will ensure that team disruption is minimalised, and firms can concentrate on delivering the best possible customer experience.
It’s clear that today’s employees have radically different expectations about the nature of work. So how can business leaders build the foundations that will ensure complete job satisfaction? The priority should be to cater to the needs of today’s workforce:
First at the infrastructure and kit in place. Is it enough to allow people to do their job well, now and in the future? The new generation of workers has grown up in a digital society and use technology in all aspects of their lives, so the rapid adoption of current and forward-thinking technologies and strategies should be a priority.
Today, there's even greater emphasis on new channels for communication and collaboration, which are more social in nature. Tools such as Salesforce Chatter, Google Docs and Google Hangouts are enabling greater collaboration between workers across the globe, and open up a much more efficient way of communicating that removes lengthy admin tasks and unnecessary email chains.
Also consider whether the firm offers and promotes a good work / life balance. Are employees actively encouraged to work from home for example, allowing them to do great work, but in a way that fits their lifestyle? Perhaps travel is disrupted, or a sales manager need to work from a customer’s site, or maybe there is an opportunity for employees to work during downtime between appointments. This level of trust and flexibility will drive productivity, by enabling staff to work whenever and wherever there is a job to be done.
Finally, is there any requirement for further digital training? Helping upskill members of staff should help build a sense of loyalty as the firm is investing in the individual’s growth.
Worker experience shapes customer experience
The evolution of digital has also reshaped the relationship businesses have with customers. Due to ever-higher customer expectations, most companies have switched to a customer-centric model that puts total focus on hassle-free, multi-touchpoint, personalized and meaningful interactions.
As unhappy workers equal unhappy customers, the working environment that a company creates will have a direct correlation with business success and growth. Ensuring exceptional worker experience that will empower employees to create an exceptional customer experience is key. In turn this continues to turn the wheels of a virtuous cycle.
A company successfully adopting this approach is Netflix, which combined solid customer service with growth by remaining focused on the worker experience. The company gives its employees a great amount of freedom to innovate, and provides amazing incentives with the understanding that employees are expected to work hard and provide a great service to customers.
Introducing a virtuous cycle approach helps improve employee loyalty and productivity which will lead to company growth and customer satisfaction.
The most important value a business should follow if it is to have long-term success, is to put employees first. To capture the trust of the modern workforce, this is a vital piece of advice that rings true regardless of industry.
The largest segment of the modern workforce has uncovered a new set of employment priorities and expectations. So, to thrive into the future, it’s clear that businesses must start making dramatic changes to their workforce strategies in order to attract, retain and engage both employees and customers.
Justin Anderson is VP of Sales, CRM and HCM at Appirio
Read the July issue of Business Review USA & Canada here
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”