New Leadership Approaches Are Needed To Cope With Digital Transformation

New Leadership Approaches Are Needed To Cope With Digital Transformation

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) reshapes how the world lives and works, global executives are using a range of strategies to cope with the pressures of preparing their business and their workforce for this new era, a report recently released by Deloitte found.

Industry 4.0 is defined in the study as the combining of a wide range of technologies—including analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies, and the Internet of Things—to create digital enterprises that are both interconnected and capable of more informed decision-making.

The report’s findings are based on a survey of 2,042 C-level executives from 19 countries and all major industry sectors conducted in June-August 2018, as well as on interviews with global industry leaders and academics. The survey showed that of the factors the business leaders said they use to evaluate their annual performance, societal impact (34%) was cited as the most important, far ahead of customer satisfaction (18%), financial performance (17%), employee retention/satisfaction (17%), and regulatory adherence (14%). In addition, more than half (53%) of the executives surveyed reported that their societal impact efforts resulted in new revenue streams.

The study also identified four main leadership personas that can serve as models for leaders in dealing with the challenges associated with the Industry 4.0 transformation: the “Social Supers,” the “Data-Driven Decisives,” the “Disruption Drivers,” and the “Talent Champions.”

According to the report, “Social Supers” are leaders who consider societal initiatives fundamental to the profitability of their business, and who are relatively confident in their ability to handle the workforce challenges of Industry 4.0. Compared to the other respondents, “Social Supers” were more likely to report that their workforce composition is prepared for digital transformation (44% vs. 32%), and to indicate that they are willing to train workers (54% vs. 37%).

The report described “Data-Driven Decisives” as leaders who are especially adept at overcoming strategic obstacles, such as organizational silos, that can complicate decision-making processes and hinder innovation by applying a methodical, data-focused approach. The respondents identified as “Data-Driven Decisives” were almost twice as likely as the other leaders surveyed (62% vs. 32%) to say they believe that they are prepared to lead their organizations in capitalizing on the opportunities associated with Industry 4.0.

Meanwhile, “Disruption Drivers” were characterized in the study has having a strong understanding that investment in new innovations is required for growth, and a willingness to invest in technologies designed to disrupt their markets. Compared to the other leaders polled, the respondents labelled “Disruption Drivers” were more likely to say they believe their organization has a clearly defined decision-making process (44% vs. 26%).

Finally, the report described the “Talent Champions” as being especially knowledgeable about the skill sets their company needs, and having a strong belief that their organization currently has the right workforce composition. Compared to the other respondents, the executives identified as “Talent Champions” were more likely to say they embrace their responsibilities to train their employees for the future of work (51% vs. 41%), and that they are willing to invest in technologies to disrupt competitors (42% vs. 32%).

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2019 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Employees Call for More User-Friendly Workplace Technology

Employees Call for More User-Friendly Workplace Technology

The vast majority of employees consider the technology they use at work to be less powerful and less intelligent than their personal technology, and want their employer’s processes to be more user-friendly, according to the findings of a global study released on January 22 by The Workplace Institute at software provider Kronos.

The results of the analysis of the impact existing and emerging technologies have on the employee experience are based on data from a survey of 2,807 workers employed in a variety of industries in eight countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.) that was conducted between November 2017 and January 2018.

The survey found that workplace technology frequently fails to meet employee expectations, with nearly half of employees (48%) surveyed worldwide indicating they wish their workplace technology performed just like their personal technology, and only 18% saying they do not want their workplace technology and personal technology to function similarly. The results also showed less than one-quarter of the employees surveyed in Germany (24%), the U.S. (22%), Canada (20%), France (16%), Australia and New Zealand (13%), the U.K. (13%), and Mexico (8%) consider their workplace technology to be more user-friendly than their personal technology.

For example, among the U.S. respondents 51% of employees in the financial sector said they find shopping on Amazon easier than asking their manager to take off a sick day; 53% of contract and field service workers said they consider it easier to talk to personal digital assistants like Alexa, Cortana, and Siri than to their manager; and just under half (43%) of logistics and transportation workers indicated that they find it easier to book a ride through Lyft or Uber than to find out how many vacation days they have left.

The results further indicated than more than one-third of the employees surveyed worldwide (35%) believe their job is harder than it should be because of outdated processes and legacy technology. This attitude was most commonly expressed by respondents in Mexico (45%), France (43%), and the U.K. (40%). Across industry sectors in the U.S., respondents in state and local government (55%), public safety (53%), and finance (43%) were especially likely to say that outdated processes and technology make their job more difficult. Moreover, just 25% of employees surveyed worldwide disagreed with the notion that their workplace technology makes common activities more complicated by adding extra or unnecessary steps.

Not surprisingly, the survey found that in the U.S., younger workers are less accepting than older employees of inefficient workplace technology: while just 20% of boomers said they think outdated processes and technology make their job harder than it should be, this view was much more common among Gen Xers (34%), older millennials (38%), younger millennials (40%), and Generation Z (39%).

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2019 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Companies Should Seek To Leverage the Digital Workplace

Companies Should Seek To Leverage the Digital Workplace

Employees who work in digital workplaces tend to have relatively high levels of productivity and motivation, but organizations should be alert to security risks associated with these technologies, and to the emergence of a gap between employees who are and are not technologically adept, according to a global study conducted by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

The results of the study, “The Right Technologies Unlock the Potential of the Digital Workplace,” were based on interviews conducted in April and May 2018 with 7,000 employees working at organizations based in 15 countries across the globe, including the U.S. The findings revealed that a more digitally-driven workplace has both business and human benefits, and that companies that are less technologically advanced are at risk of falling behind the competition and failing to attract top talent. The study also warned that a clear chasm in employee performance and sentiment is emerging between more advanced digital workplaces and those that use digital technology to a lesser extent, and that companies must be vigilant as more digital-savvy employees are taking greater risks with data and information security.

Specifically, the analysis showed that “Digital Revolutionaries,” or employees identified as those who work in fully-enabled digital workplaces where new workplace technologies are in widespread use, were 51% more likely to report having strong job satisfaction and were 43% more likely to say they feel positive about their work-life balance than “Digital Laggards,” or those who have less access to workplace technology. The findings also showed that Revolutionary employees were also 60% more likely to say they are motivated at work, and 91% more likely to praise their company’s vision.

The study also found that rather than perceiving advancements in digital technology and automation as a threat to job security, most of the employees surveyed are enthusiastic about these technologies, with 71% saying they would welcome a fully automated workplace in the future that allows their employer to build a smarter, more effective working environment. The results further showed almost all of the respondents (93%) think their workplace would be improved through greater use of technology, and large shares are confident that digital technology will result in a more efficient (56%), more collaborative (52%), and more appealing (47%) work environment.

While confirming that the benefits of digital workplaces are wide-ranging, the study also cautioned that cybersecurity remains a challenge for employers. The study recommended that companies seek to adapt to leverage the benefits of new digital workplace technology while simultaneously minimizing security risks organizations by adopting a digital workplace strategy, building collaborative digital workspaces, and incorporating security into the workplace from the ground up.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 61, Issue 7

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2018 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Employers Value Usability Over Cost When Choosing Benefits Platforms

Employers Value Usability Over Cost When Choosing Benefits Platforms

When human resources professionals are choosing among benefits administration technology platforms, price is less important than ease of use and the extent to which the technology can be integrated with HR information systems, a survey by employee benefits advisory firm Pacific Resources has found.

The survey of senior HR or benefits executives from 91 organizations across a range of industries was conducted during June and July 2017. The survey was designed to capture the current perspectives on benefits administration platforms of some of the largest employers in the U.S. as these platforms grow in both competition and complexity.

The results showed that the most valuable outcomes employers have reported in their experience with benefits administration platforms are best-in-class employee user experience (49%) and the ability to integrate benefits technology with HR functions (37%). By contrast, the total outsourcing of HR/benefits business processes and below-market costs were rated as valuable by less than 10% of respondents.

The 2017 survey also found that cost is no longer the driving factor when selecting a benefits administration platform: only 23.9% of respondents cited cost as the most important consideration in 2017, down from 64.4% in 2016. In the 2017 survey, the most important factors were identified as administrative ease at 61.4%, up from 38% in 2016; and empowering employees to make informed benefits decisions at 51.5%, up from 24.4% in 2016.

The findings also showed that 83.2% of the employers surveyed view communication, employee education, and engagement as integral to their overall health and welfare benefits delivery strategy; and that 88.8% of respondents see cost calculators, plan comparison tools, and guided decision-support tools that help employees select benefits that meet their personal and family needs as at least somewhat effective.

The share of respondents who indicated that they outsource employee eligibility and enrollment processes also increased sharply, from 36% in 2016 to 58% in 2017. By contrast, just 30% of respondents said they currently manage all employee eligibility and enrollment processes in-house, and expect to continue to do so.

While the findings indicated that the employers polled are confident in and rely on technology to deliver benefits, only 45.5% of respondents said they are likely to remain with their current benefits administration platform vendor, while 29.5% said they are unsure and 25% said they are likely to request bids from other platform vendors.

The survey also asked the HR professionals what approach they are using to manage their health and welfare benefits in response to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The largest share of respondents (43.7%) said their approach will be dictated by the outcome of changes to the ACA.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 61, Issue 3

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2018 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.