Our experience with clients suggests companies that were able to stabilize and adapt quickly in the early days of the pandemic were transforming their businesses to implement technology at speed, innovate at scale, and most importantly, put humans at the center of their strategy and decision-making.
These transformational companies did more than provide technology for remote working; they formed a higher level of connection with their people, allowing employees to strengthen their ability to work from home. They helped their workforce accommodate all of the other challenges they faced at home — from additional roles as caregivers, teachers and housekeepers, to adapting to the loneliness of isolation, to finding workspaces in homes that weren’t designed for remote working — while also staying engaged to work.
Transformational companies had one more critically important attribute working for them: their response was anchored in their purpose, organizational values, and how leaders were living these values, even in in a time of crisis.
Purpose, culture and leadership create the trust companies need to accelerate performance
The ability to pivot draws from an organization’s purpose, its culture and its leadership. A 2020 Mercer study suggests that “thriving employees are twice as likely to work for an organization that effectively balances EQ and IQ in decision-making.”1
Humans activate the world. Every technology and innovation we create is intended to serve humankind, not replace it. If employees feel that their company and its leaders care about their wellbeing at work and at home, they will be more likely to trust the decisions the company makes. If a company has earned the trust of its employees, it’s more likely to earn the trust of all stakeholders – customer, investors, suppliers and regulators.
Purpose, culture, leadership and trust are the fundamental elements that will help organizations deftly navigate the challenges the pandemic has created. It will also help them to find opportunities as they move forward into the next phase and consider what lies beyond for the future of work — from the workforce experience and the environment, to employee capacity and resilience.