Assess readiness across employee experience, human capital management technology, robotics quotient, and human-centric leadership to build an adaptive workforce
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 23, 2020 — According to Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR), the global pandemic and the economic downturn have accelerated the transformation of the future of work to weeks, not years. Unfortunately, most leaders and their organizations’ workforce strategies are woefully unprepared for an accelerated future-of-work reality. To help leaders build an adaptive workforce able to navigate and surmount upcoming obstacles, Forrester released The Executive’s Guide To The Future Of Work, with an accompanying rapid self-assessment for future-of-work tools.
According to the guide, the coronavirus pandemic is an acute symptom of a larger set of factors that were already poised to alter the way work gets done. In fact, four “shocks” to enterprises — systemic business risk, robots and automation, a tsunami of employee data, and employee power and activism — were already changing the who, where, and how work gets done. These four shocks do not exist in isolation. They can trigger and compound each other, creating new urgency in areas that businesses had not planned.
Given the current crisis, executives must establish a strategy that builds an adaptive workforce. That means executives will need to:
- Prioritize employee experience (EX) to build empathy and deepen engagement. The pandemic has forced executives to listen to employees and tune into their sentiment, workload, wellness, and communication. Done well, listening programs build empathy for what employees need to be fully engaged in their daily work and help align the organization’s resources to better supply those needs.
- Invest in modern human capital management (HCM) technologies to improve results. Per Forrester, 90% of employees are willing to let employers use data about them — but only if they benefit in some way. If earned, this trust dividend can pay off; companies that have it see 6% greater revenue growth on average.
- Explore the robotics quotient (RQ) to guide their approach to automation technologies. RQ measures the ability of individuals and organizations to adapt to, collaborate with, and drive business results from automation and AI technologies. Automation deployments fail because employees and organizations can’t effectively integrate the technology into business processes. The solution is investing in people, leadership, and organizational structures. Higher RQ also correlates to higher EX.
- Build human-centric culture to optimize how organizations sense and respond to shocks. The pandemic has made it clear that workers want leaders capable of providing human-centered solutions. Purpose-driven leaders can create an environment where employees can rapidly adapt to any of the four shocks as they continue to combine and affect organizations. Leaders at all levels of the organization need to work from a common set of values that support high performance.
“While it’s odd to call anything good news right now, leaders should be relieved to know that the structure, process, and culture tools needed to address the future of work are not new and exist today,” said Keith Johnston, VP and group director at Forrester. “It’s just that executives need to employ these tools immediately. Forrester’s rapid self-assessment can help leaders assess their readiness to deploy these tools and detect areas where their workforce strategy and roadmap can be improved quickly.”
- Listen to The Future Of Work Starts Now (Forrester’s What It Means Podcast).
- Read Forrester blog “This Is The Right Time To Make The Future Of Work Happen”
- Forrester clients can access these related reports:
Forrester (FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We work with business and technology leaders to drive customer-obsessed vision, strategy, and execution that accelerate growth. Forrester’s unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 690,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide, rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of our most innovative clients. Through proprietary research, data and analytics, custom consulting, exclusive peer groups, certifications, and events, we are revolutionizing how businesses grow in the age of the customer; learn more at forrester.com.