Why organisations must build resilience for uncertain times

Ceridian's Rob Squires explains why organisations need a culture of change-readiness that is flexible enough to handle a variety of disruptions.
By: | February 23, 2023

The resilience of every organisation has been tested in recent years by the global pandemic, the resulting shift to remote and hybrid work, and rampant inflation that has left many people in a cost-of-living crisis. Looking ahead, we are entering a period of economic uncertainty as central banks around the world raise interest rates and businesses across the spectrum look to control costs and reduce headcount.

In Ceridian’s latest Executive Survey, which polls 2,000 leaders from around the globe, respondents in Singapore said outdated technology (47%) and a lack of technology (38%) were the two largest barriers to managing disruptions within their organisation. HR leaders cannot know what tomorrow will bring, but they can adopt new technology to support strategic decision making with real-time data and prepare their people, leaders, and systems for potential disruptions ahead.

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To stay ahead of the unexpected, organisations need a culture of change-readiness that is flexible enough to handle a variety of disruptions.” Rob Squires, VP of Sales for Asia Pacific and Japan, Ceridian.

In this macroeconomic landscape, technology that can save money and provide accurate and accessible data is crucial for firms seeking efficiency and resiliency to withstand the unexpected.

Become change-ready

To stay ahead of the unexpected, organisations need a culture of change-readiness that is flexible enough to handle a variety of disruptions.

According to Ceridian’s research, three of the most impactful ways to build change-readiness into organisational culture are to:

  • Implement DEI strategies to ensure different perspectives
  • Provide flexibility when it comes to job roles and responsibilities
  • Prioritise employee retention

While organisations see the value of building these into their culture, the data shows leadership’s actions are not keeping up. For example, 90% of respondents to our Executive Survey say their organisation has a DEI strategy – but only 33% say progress is being made (in Singapore, that number rises to 38%). Only about half of respondents say they are creating internal training programmes or investing in technology to address skills gaps.

To be truly change-ready, organisations need to build these policies and programmes into their DNA. A comprehensive human capital management (HCM) strategy provides leadership with the data-driven insights to offer a modern employee experience and continuous learning opportunities that ensure their people have the skills for today, and when the unexpected arrives in the future.

Refresh the leadership pipeline

When it comes to weathering uncertain periods, having strong leaders in place is important. But just as important is a pipeline of talented people who are ready to step into leadership roles when needed.

While a vast majority (88%) of survey respondents say their organisations use succession planning, digging below the surface shows the potential for problems:

  • 68% of respondents said they are very or extremely concerned about key leadership roles going unfilled when vacant.
  • Almost half (43%) of key leadership roles are vacant for four months or longer. This rises to 51% in Singapore and 65% in Australia and New Zealand.

The results also found that roughly half of respondents are not using a technology solution to attract and retain talent or identify employees that are a flight risk. In today’s globally competitive talent market, a holistic HCM programme can help organisations proactively identify and develop top employees, so you can fill roles before there is turnover and ensure that critical seats do not sit empty.

Prioritise agility

To support mission-critical business decisions, technology must keep pace with organisational needs in an ever-changing world. Our Executive Survey shows significant progress had been made in technology adoption, with 79% of respondents saying their overall digital maturity increased since 2020.

As we head into a period of macroeconomic uncertainty, workforce agility will once again be paramount, and technology will be a key contributor. Respondents to our survey said technology to deliver effective training (62%), measure employee performance (61%), and aid in workforce scheduling (60%) offer the most benefit. But these technologies could be considered table stakes today, and roughly 40% of executives indicate they do not currently have these systems in place.

When the economy turns, investments in complete technology solutions deliver efficiencies and flexibility through real-time data and visibility that allows for quick decisions during turbulent times.

The last few years have made us keenly aware that “business-as-usual” is fleeting. We are in a period of rapid change, and leaders need data to quickly make informed decisions. To withstand the increasing pace of disruptions, a comprehensive, integrated HCM software solution, such as Dayforce offered by Ceridian, can help make an organisation more efficient through smarter planning and a more adaptable workforce, building resilience into its DNA.

About the Author: Rob Squires is VP of Sales for Asia Pacific and Japan, Ceridian