Disruption-proofing Your People Strategy: Rallying for Resilience


We can’t predict every challenge our organizations will face. But forward-thinking companies can use real-time data and insights to ensure they have the workforce to prepare for any disruption, says Wendy Muirhead, MD and EMEA regional leader of Ceridian.

In recent years, the crisis-readiness of every business has been tested by the global pandemic, surging energy prices, supply chain issues, and runaway inflation that has led to a cost-of-living crunch. These events have disrupted business as usual and taught HR leaders that real-time access to accurate, reliable data is critical for supporting strategic decision-making. Leaders can’t know what tomorrow will bring, but they can be ready by preparing their people, leaders, and systems today.

Businesses across all industries are evaluating how technology can help them manage expenses and understand their biggest asset: employees. The last few years have made it clear that human capital management (HCM) software is the foundation for more accurate, accessible, and reliable insights into an organization’s people resources.

A people strategy that can withstand disruptions requires an engaged workforce, a change-ready culture, and resilient leadership. A holistic HCM program based on real-time data can help organizations deliver the experience today’s employees demand and the agility to respond when the unexpected hits.

Modern Work Life Means Flexibility

A resilient organization requires an agile and experienced team. Coming out of the pandemic, employees crave flexibility – a must for retaining top talent. Ceridian’s latest Pulse of Talent ReportOpens a new window , which surveyed 8,833 global workers, found that almost half (49%) of employees say that flexibility and work-life balance is one of the most critical job attributes – more valuable than job security and second only to compensation.

While paying market salaries is what employees expect, employers must add value in other ways to retain people and create an engaged, committed workforce.

The first way is flexibility in how people do their jobs to help remove traditional barriers in the world of work. This means a seamless virtual or hybrid work experience, on-demand pay instead of outdated pay cycles, and abolishing the typical 9-to-5. At the same time, half of the workforce doesn’t have the option to do their job remotely. With an HCM platform, employers can give these workers a sense of autonomy and control over when they work with scheduling flexibility so they can plan childcare, commute, and feel in control of their work-life balance. Ask workers when they want to work and provide fair notice of these schedules.

But employees also want flexibility in their careers. The Pulse of Talent survey found that 90% of employees have felt stuck in their roles over the past year. Employers need to understand that the traditional career path of climbing the corporate ladder is obsolete for many people. They want a clear, personalized plan for career progression, including training and the option to make lateral moves to other roles and departments within a business.  

Using the data and intelligence of HCM technology, organizations can manage the employee experience throughout the entire lifecycle, from recruiting, to talent management, to career pathing. It allows employees to identify open roles internally that are relevant to their skills and interests while providing organizations with data-driven insights to help place the right people with the right skills in the right place.  

See More: Workplace Flexibility: Why Is It Easier Said Than Done 

Creating a Change-ready Culture

To be prepared for disruption, employees and companies need the skills required to remain competitive. Skills gaps threaten business continuity, and data shows that there isn’t enough to build a culture of learning at many organizations.

Even if employees are motivated to own their skill development, there are obstacles, including clarity about what skills they will need, financial resources, and time constraints. Employers can gain a competitive advantage in talent acquisition and retention efforts by helping employees overcome these challenges.

Ceridian’s 2022 Executive SurveyOpens a new window found leaders do recognize the need to support a change-ready culture by providing skill development support to employees – almost three-quarters of respondents said they believe employers have all or some responsibility in employee skill development. But feeling responsible and acting are often two different things.  

For a culture to be change-ready, leaders must ensure their organizations live the policies and programs they enact. 

Instead of a patchwork approach to development, a comprehensive HCM strategy provides employers with data-driven insights to create modern employee experiences through continuous learning and skills development programs where they access their pay and benefits. Employees can take a self-directed approach to learning, deciding what, when, and how they learn. At the same time, employers can create learning plans to provide a clear path toward the advancement and ensure their people have the right skills for where the business is and where it’s going.

See More: Creating Shared Culture in a Remote Environment

Building the Leadership Pipeline

Having strong leaders in place today and a leadership pipeline for tomorrow is essential for an organization to weather change effectively. Eighty-eight percent of this year’s Executive Survey respondents report that their organizations use succession planning, but many indicated that these plans are incomplete.

Globally, 73% of respondents use succession planning for senior leadership roles, which drops to 62% for critical technical experts, 58% for subject matter experts, and 49% for people leaders. With comprehensive succession planning, organizations can avoid job vacancies essential to everyday operations and institutional knowledge gaps. Despite reporting significant adoption of succession planning, 68% of respondents were very or highly concerned about key leadership roles going unfilled when vacant. 

A stable workforce coupled with resilient leadership is a must for ensuring change readiness and agility within organizations today. With the data and insights of a holistic HCM operation, organizations can proactively plan for employee departures. With real-time access to comprehensive HCM data, including performance history, credentials, compensation data, and flight risk analytics, companies can identify where employees are in their career path and track which team members are ready to step into higher-impact roles, ensuring the leadership pipeline is always ready to fill expected and unexpected vacancies.

This decade has taught us to expect the unexpected. Companies that need to prepare for disruptions to business-as-usual will stay caught up to their more agile, change-ready competitors. In this current macro environment, the pendulum has shifted. Real-time data and insights from a comprehensive, single human capital management software solution give organizations the foundation to build resilience to weather any storm.

Which strategies have you implemented to prepare your organization for disruption? Let us know on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .

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