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Digital transformation during uncertain times

By Katie Arthur and Shobhit Bhatia | |5 minute read

In the aftermath of the global pandemic, businesses continue to grapple with economic pressures, trade tensions, and a competitive labour market. To weather the storm, they must balance efficiency, profitability, and customer satisfaction.

Organisations with stable cash flow and growth should re-evaluate their HR processes to ensure they are set up for a sustainable future. Accenture research reveals that organisations that invest in sustainability and digital transformation are 2.5x more likely to be among tomorrow’s strongest-performing businesses.

To emerge successfully from uncertainty, companies must invest in digital transformation to enhance agility and resiliency for employees, customers, and overall business operations.


Employee satisfaction is crucial for organisational stability

Today’s employees seek employers aligned with their values and flexibility needs. Organisations that fail to offer a modern employee experience risk losing them: Ceridian’s 2023 Pulse of Talent report found that 73 per cent of Australian workers are flight risks, while 91 per cent have experienced burnout in the past year.

To succeed, organisations must balance workforce needs with productivity, ensuring employee satisfaction and support. High turnover often results from poor experience, lack of competitive salary, poor management, and unsatisfactory working conditions. Furthermore, 45 per cent of HR leaders report employee fatigue from change, highlighting the need for reassurance and rejuvenation.

To be considered a top employer, companies must invest in their workforce. Pursuing digital transformation, including comprehensive human capital management (HCM) solutions, equips leadership with insights and data to offer a modern employee experience and continuous learning opportunities, preparing staff for the present and future.

Customer experience remains critical

Organisations must understand and anticipate customer needs while ensuring their workforce is equipped to deliver an exceptional experience. Relying solely on reputation for repeat business has become less effective, with 64 per cent of consumers wishing companies would respond faster to their changing needs.

Failing to meet consumer needs can harm reputation and profitability, causing workforce disruption and revenue loss. Eighty-eight per cent of executives believe customer needs are changing faster than their businesses can adapt, leading to reactive responses, employee burnout, and inefficiencies.

Moving forward, businesses will need an agile workforce that’s able to deliver the experience customers expect. Leveraging technology like HCM software to match labour levels and skill sets to demand, provide continuous learning and development, and access insightful data and reporting capabilities will be essential to better understanding your workforce and delivering the experience required to keep customers satisfied.

Change demands closer alignment within the executive team

HR personnel play a crucial role in shaping an organisation’s future, with recent challenges emphasising the importance of effective HR strategies and positioning HR practitioners as strategic business partners. A stable workforce is essential to mitigate risks from turnover, disruption, knowledge loss, and hiring mistakes, resulting in stronger alliances between chief technology officers, chief financial officers, and chief human resources officers for long-term success.

Collaboration across all business functions is vital to address broader organisational challenges, with executive alignment being the most critical aspect. By monitoring markets and customer needs, leaders achieve executive alignment through the “blocking and tackling aspects of linking strategy, people, processes, reporting, technology, and data.

Moving forward, greater unity across the executive and management teams will be essential in operating as a cohesive organisation. The real-time data generated by an overall HCM technology solution provides real-time data for consistency and alignment, supporting strategic decision-making and promoting efficiency across teams.

Now is the time to invest

In the current business cycle, many businesses resort to cost savings to combat rising interest rates and economic uncertainty. However, for long-term industry leadership, this period of rapid change is ideal for investing in digital transformation, equipping businesses with data for informed decisions about the future. A comprehensive, integrated HCM solution can make organisations stronger by building agility into the foundation of their employee, customer, and leadership strategy.

By Katie Arthur and Shobhit Bhatia, value advisory team, Ceridian