Engaging Minds and Hearts- The most crucial of them all, Productivity

This blog post has been written by Amer Haleem, Country Manager, Productized Services, Hay Group India

Focus on Innovation. But don’t forget to focus on the most crucial of all elements- Productivity. If you are lost after reading that statement, don’t worry. I am going to expand this further for your understanding. I have spoken about the six big megatrends that will change the global business environment before and through this series of blogs, I try and provide a few solutions to the five major challenges that organizations are bound to face in the next 15 years. We’ve already spoken about collaboration, transparency, agility and innovation.

In my last blog, I stressed on the need to ensure innovation is part of the culture of an organization. Now, here’s the thing. The megatrends will pull organizations in two directions at once. So, like I stated right in the beginning- focus on innovation, but don’t end up neglecting productivity. Organizations need to focus on operations and ensure that their employees are productive. As always, the solutions to meet this end are directly linked to an engaged and enabled workforce. Balancing innovation and productivity would require multi-tasking. Therefore, maintaining productivity and focusing on creating new ideas will have to go hand in hand.

To ensure productivity, organizations will have to keep their employees completely engaged. Employee motivation is absolutely mandatory to deal with the challenges of the future. At the same time, to ensure that your workforce works hard, but also manages to have a work-life balance is important. This is where enablement is necessary, to ensure employees can be efficient and accomplish tasks without dealing with unnecessary hindrances.

To achieve business goals, sometimes, you would require your employees to put in those extra hours. But, then how do you ensure your employees don’t end up being frustrated? It’s clearly not an easy situation to deal with and the present scenario isn’t an ideal one. Our research reveals that almost a third (32 percent) of employees worldwide express concern about stress at work and almost two fifths (39 percent) don’t feel that their companies are doing a good job of helping them to balance work and personal responsibilities. Businesses are also falling short when it comes to creating enabling work environments. Close to half of employees describe their organizations as not operating efficiently (44 percent); and not effectively organized and structured (45 percent).

It’s not a pretty picture and this is clearly a crucial challenge that companies will face in the next 15 years. So, what can you do to ensure that your workforce stays committed and productive? Based on our research, here is a glimpse into some of the measures that you can take to keep up:-

  • Stay focused- don’t take on all challenges at once
  • Be fair- promote a sense of equality through clear communication
  • Guard against complacency- Avoid the trap of routines
  • Define authority- Clarify employees’ decision- making responsibilities
  • Draw lines of responsibility- Specify accountabilities
  • Emphasize the importance of well-being
  • Assess opportunities for digital tools to increase productivity
  • Don’t be afraid to make bold organizational decisions

It seems like a long to-do list and it won’t be easy to strike the right balance. But, since this is one of the key challenges of the future- the right time to start paying attention to this is now!

Interested in keeping your workforce engaged and enabled? We now bring to you a very exciting offering. Download our ‘Engaging hearts & minds’ report now to avail the offer.

Get our e-Report Now >>

Advertisements

Engaging Minds and Hearts- Innovation must take center stage

This blog post has been written by Amer Haleem, Country Manager, Productized Services, Hay Group India

Everything is evolving. Fact established already. So, how can any organization believe that ideas can remain stationary? As the business environment evolves quickly, companies will have to focus on keeping up with this quick pace. Technological change and globalization will only add pressure to think rapidly and think afresh. I have spoken about the six big megatrends that are changing the global business environment and through this series of blogs, I try and provide a few solutions.

Amongst the five major challenges that organizations are bound to face in the next 15 years, we’ve already spoken about collaboration, transparency and agility. As you may have guessed from how I started this post, the focus today is on innovation. But, before I dwell on that further, I’ll once again state the obvious- the solutions to most of these challenges is directly linked to ensuring your workforce stays engaged and enabled.

So to cut to the chase, the biggest mistake an organization can make at this point is to believe that innovation is limited to the job profile of R&D. Ideas are not limited to a specific job function and companies have to ensure that their employees know that. We believe that innovation needs to be part of an organization’s work culture and people have to be engaged to adapt to this environment. It is therefore absolutely mandatory for employers to be committed to innovation and keep their talent engaged. Be it involving employees in innovative projects or allowing them to think without hesitance- organizations need to ensure that their people never stop thinking.

Now, a reality check. Where do we stand at present? Hay Group’s research reveals some worrying facts.

Employees aren’t convinced that their companies are innovative enough when it comes to improving how work is done. Almost half (44 percent) do not rate their organization highly for using new technologies and creative approaches to enhance performance. More still (47 percent) feel their ideas aren’t put into practice. Therefore, it’s not surprising that almost two fifths (39 percent) of workers say their company isn’t innovative when it comes to developing new products and services.

It’s not a pretty picture and this is clearly a crucial challenge that companies will face in the next 15 years. So, what can you do to ensure that innovation is deeply embedded into your organization’s core values? Based on our research, here is a glimpse into some of the measures that you can take to keep up:-

  • Generate a culture of innovation
  • Assess your leaders’ styles
  • Create clarity
  • Reward and recognize innovation
  • Foster collaboration
  • Bring new ideas and thinking into the organization
  • Make innovation part of your recruitment strategy
  • Signal that the business supports risk-taking
  • Formalize experimentation
  • Give employees opportunities to listen to and understand customers
  • Encourage innovative thinking from the outset
  • Enable people to be inventive
  • Expand people’s horizon

It seems like a long to-do list. But, you can start with something as simple as putting teams together and giving them the time and the space to come up with innovative solutions to the problems they face. Innovation is absolutely mandatory for success and neglecting its significance can spell disaster for organizations.

Interested in keeping your workforce engaged and enabled? We now bring to you a very exciting offering. Download our ‘Engaging hearts & minds’ report now to avail the offer. 

Get our e-Report Now >>

Engaging Minds and Hearts- Dealing with the only constant called change

This blog post has been written by Amer Haleem, Country Manager, Productized Services, Hay Group India

Change. This one word perfectly describes the current business environment and explains my reasons for writing this series of blog posts. I have spoken before about the megatrends that are changing the global business environment and through these posts, I try and provide a few solutions to the six major challenges that organizations are bound to face in the next 15 years. We’ve already spoken about collaboration and transparency and I’ll once again state the obvious- the solutions to most of these challenges is directly linked to ensuring your workforce stays engaged and enabled.

So, this time we focus on agility. They say that the only constant is change and this stands to be true, even in the context of the present fluid business environment. As organizations grapple with the megatrends, only those who keep up with them will survive. Change also paves the way to insecurity amongst the employees, as business goals, as well as strategies continuously evolve. Therefore, clear communication is absolutely mandatory. There is no denying that the pressure to continuously communicate in an environment which is constantly evolving is a tough battle to win- but if organizations are to meet their goals in the next 15 years, there is no scope for them to put this aside.

When we speak of agility, no one would deny that an engaged workforce is essential to adapt to change. An engaged workforce makes an organization agile. In an environment where solving problems promptly and making quick decisions is important- employees have to feel aligned with the company’s aims. You may think that training and dividing the decision making process are easy solutions. But the current situation clearly reflects that it isn’t as easy as that.

Consider this- 35% of the workers say their organization isn’t responding effectively to changes in market conditions and the business environment. I just spoke of training to cope with change. In that context, hear this. 62% of the employees are satisfied with the training they receive, but only half say that they’re given enough time to take advantage of it. And when we speak of communication- more than two in five workers don’t believe that their company communicates openly and honestly about change.

Clearly the numbers don’t look great. So, what can you do to transform your company into an agile organization? Based on our research, here is a glimpse into some of the measures that you can take to keep up:-

  • Reinforce the need for managers to provide ongoing training for their teams
  • Support and promote decision-making at all levels
  • Conduct regular pulse surveys alongside your annual employee survey
  • Assess your communications strategy around change and future company vision and goals
  • Analyze your structure for unnecessary approval layers that delay decision-making
  • Assess where digital tools can speed up decision-making and problem-solving

Agility can sometimes feel like an ambiguous challenge to deal with and it’s no easy task to constantly keep up with shifting goal posts. But, since this is one of the key challenges of the future- the right time to face it head on is now!

To know more about these key megatrends and ways to deal with them, download our new e-report- Engaging Hearts and Minds. 
Get our e-Report Now >>

Engaging Minds and Hearts- The need for ‘Big Collaboration’

This blog post has been written by Amer Haleem, Country Manager, Productized Services, Hay Group India

In my last post, I spoke about the first big challenge in achieving and maintaining engagement- Transparency. Just to give you a quick recap- the global business environment is evolving at an extremely rapid pace and there are six megatrends that are causing this change. To be successful, organizations have to keep up with this change and use it to optimize their growth. To cut to the chase, our new research identifies five key challenges that businesses will be facing over the next fifteen years:-

  • Collaboration
  • Agility
  • Transparency
  • Innovation
  • Productivity

Now that I’ve provided you with the mandatory brief introduction, I’m going to move on to the ‘collaboration’ megatrend and provide you with some quick tips to deal with this challenge.

The collaboration challenge

So here’s the thing. Globalization, coupled with digitization, equals quick change. Keeping up with that implies ‘never-seen-before’ levels of collaboration. Yes, we always knew that working together as a team is significant for success. However, now the process has to be even quicker and more seamless. ‘Big collaboration’ refers to bringing together teams, functions and organizations, as businesses look out to find solutions to the complexities that they face in the current work environment.  In this context, it is absolutely mandatory to involve the individual in the decision-making process.

So, we know that the ideal scenario is one where an organization establishes the right culture, platforms and processes and equips its people with the right skills to cooperate with one another. But, where do we stand at present? Close to half (44 percent) of employees say their teams aren’t adequately supported by colleagues elsewhere in the business and almost as many (43 percent) are critical of communication between departments. In fact, two in five (40 percent) do not feel that there’s a cooperative culture at their organization.

Now that the facts are in place, and they aren’t very optimistic, here are some solutions. A quick check list of some things that you can do to keep up with your workforce’s expectation:-

  • Embed digital tools to help people work together more effectively
  • Establish formal cross-company teams
  • Encourage communities
  • Consider introducing buddying and mentoring schemes
  • Encourage two-way knowledge sharing between older and younger generations
  • Analyse your employee survey results
  • Make sure you are asking the right questions in your survey
  • Formalize each individual’s role in making collaboration happen, whatever the level
  • Reward and recognize collaborative behaviour
  • Avoid celebrating alpha-type personalities who go all out to beat their targets
  • Make your top team lead by example

It’s a long list of measures and we know that it’s no easy task to put them in place. But, since this is one of the key challenges of the future- the right time to start is now!

To know more about these key megatrends and ways to deal with them, download our new e-report- Engaging Hearts and Minds. 

Get our e-Report Now >>