3 minute read 18 Jun 2018
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Four ways companies can align their people strategy to their growth strategy


EY Americas

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

3 minute read 18 Jun 2018

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Disruption not only impacts entire industries, but also individuals. How can your people adapt to be fit for the future?

The age of digital disruption and innovation is here. Organizations across all sectors have been disrupted by globalization, technological innovation and shifts in workforce demographics. This is driving major changes in the operations and business models. But one thing that remains unchanged in this Transformative Age is that organizations will continue to rely on deploying and redeploying all types of workforces, especially people.

Any organization’s workforce is bound to experience the force of disruption in its own way — whether it is learning new skills, utilizing new technologies or working with a more diverse group of people. So, the question that any organization should be asking now is, “How can I align my people strategy to my growth strategy? And, with the nature of work and employment changing radically, how can I adapt my HR functions to realize my growth strategies?”

Trends in response to this disruption point towards an increased focus on purpose, new approaches to globalization and market development, and taking a more agile and innovative approach to responding to market forces, while driving the business forward.

Organizations, thus need to have a clear sense of purpose to navigate through the challenges that arise from disruption.

The challenges at a glance

With the traditional models of corporate hierarchies undergoing a rapid change, one-size-fits-all corporate rewards (compensation, benefits, succession planning) will not deliver the performance and behavior that businesses require to adapt to the Transformative Age. Below are several changes that the workforce of an organization is bound to undergo:

  • Workforce demographic: With people opting to continue working for longer, delayed retirement and the simultaneous joining of new talent and younger employees, older employees could soon be reporting to leaders who are half their age. The workplace will witness the coming together of multiple generations.
  • Workforce composition: Teams will largely be made up of contingent and remote workers, and robots, which could pose new challenges related to team dynamics.
  • Redefined roles: The increasing evolution of digital tools, including RPA, AI and the IoT or connected devices, will redefine the role of machinery and humans.
  • Skill-set upgradation: Organizations will have to re-equip their existing talent and hire fresh talent to accommodate the accelerating integration of new technologies. Harnessing these technologies would also enable an organization’s employees to focus on creativity, innovation, lateral thinking, intuition, judgement, and collaboration.

Converting purpose into business action

To align their people strategy with their growth strategy, organizations need to have a renewed focus in the following areas:

  1. Assess leadership: Determine whether leaders are ready to face the age of digital innovation and organizational change.  If found to be ill-equipped, prepare them to facilitate digital innovation and organizational change.
  2. Meet the demands of a changing workforce: Regularly review and report to the board about whether the compensation and benefits meet the demands of a changing workforce.
  3. Support HR teams: Restructure roles, processes and organizational culture to enable the necessary changes to drive future success.
  4. Embrace diversity and inclusion: Support leadership to make diversity and inclusion a part of the organizational culture. Encouraging diversity of thought is key.

People will have a critical role to play in the success of organizations in a technology-centric future. By achieving a strong balance between the right operating model and a people culture that is fit for the digital world, organizations will succeed.


To succeed, organizations need a balance between the right operating model and a people culture that is fit for the digital world.

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EY Americas

Multidisciplinary professional services organization