The Pandemic’s Long-lasting Impact on Employee Engagement
The pandemic has turned traditional employee engagement upside down, bringing with it concerns about isolation and burnout as well as virtual happy hours and team building events. Leaders now have to make tough decisions as more companies prepare to welcome back employees. This episode features Thomas Husson, Vice President and Principal Analysis, and David Johnson (Principal Analyst), discussing the lessons learned and the possibilities for the future regarding employee engagement.
The analysts begin the episode by discussing how the pandemic resulted in increased engagement among employees. This is because people tend to be more focused during crises. Husson says, “The crisis caused workers to think more about why and how they work.” Husson says that this idea of meaning has risen significantly, which has increased engagement. Remote work environments offer workers autonomy and less distractions than traditional office settings.
During the pandemic, there were also increased concerns about employee burnout and discussions about employees’ mental health. Remote employees can sometimes feel that their personal and professional lives are becoming blurred, which can lead to more fatigue and burnout. Johnson also points out that remote work environments can lead to employees feeling isolated and unnoticed. This is one of the leading predictors for employee burnout.
Johnson says that clients were advised to increase recognition and support managers one-on-one. Johnson also suggests that people feel they are contributing meaningfully during the pandemic.
The episode’s final part focuses on the practical application of some of the lessons learned from the pandemic. Johnson and Husson give examples of companies that have helped managers understand what factors contribute to burnout and how to combat them. Johnson stresses the importance of understanding the preferences and situations of your employees to create a strategy that works. The best way to do this is by asking your employees questions. Ask your employees detailed questions and then follow up.
Johnson’s response regarding Sandeep Mathrani’s recent remarks about remote employee engagement was worth noting.
Future Fit Companies Find Success Through Partner Ecosystems
Our recent research has shown that a future-fit tech strategy can give your company the foundations to customer and business success. We found that customers-focused companies grow 2.5 times faster than other companies. Creativity is the ability to find new solutions to old problems, as well as new ways to work, which can help you differentiate and grow. Listen to this episode for more information on creativity.
This is impossible for any company to do on its own. Future-fit strategy firms rely on external value. Technology executives have the power and responsibility of extracting and orchestrating the value of 100,000 technology and business parts over the cloud. These parts include:
- Cloud platform vendors such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft
- Software platform and specialty vendors in the thousands
- Vendors of business process outsourcing (BPO), that is results- and insight-focused
- Providers of third-party services to assist you in identifying and orchestrating the value all those parts that are continuously improving.
This approach is called “innovation through ecosystems”. It involves finding and orchestrating technology and capabilities that you need to create solutions.
Innovation occurs when organizations collaborate with their cloud and software providers. Value alignment is achieved through shared purpose and financial incentives.
Innovation through partner ecosystems can be achieved by aligning your platform and practice requirements against the rapidly evolving capabilities of the cloud. To manage the risks, mitigate deeper dependencies and create value in complex ecosystems, you need to take a deeper look at those partners that you most rely upon.
A stronger value exchange, especially with your strategic partners, is the key to success
In a future-fit enterprise, where there is constant, multidimensional and uncertain transformation and where strategy and execution are closely coupled, the old rate card, RFP and service-level agreement model (SLA) don’t work. Enlightened tech leaders see beyond price and capabilities to embrace a new paradigm in technology and services that is based on a clearer exchange of value, which we call “coinnovation partnership“.
Your partners should focus on trust, transparency and reliability as well as innovation and customer experience. This will make the value exchange more effective (see figure). To get the most from the cloud ecosystem’s vast array of value, all parties must work together. When:
- Vendors, providers and other parties take on more risk and are compensated based on the outcomes.This is already possible with cloud, software and BPO providers. This may seem impossible to traditional service customers. However, Forrester Analytics survey data showed that this is possible.Global service decision-makers account for 35%In 2021, they plan to increase their usage of outcome-based pricing when negotiating with third-party service providers.
- Technology, business, and operations executives co-invest in and co-govern.Technology leaders and other executives in the C-suite must invest their time and energy into co-innovation. Vendors, providers and customers must know your priorities so that they can identify and overcome any internal obstacles to your success.
- Both sides profit from the creation of new value and intellectual properties.It’s the vendor’s intellectual property. Intellectual property should be shared between the parties when providing services. You might find that sharing your secrets with providers or a community makes you more money.
Focus Co-Innovation Partnership on Your Most Strategic Vendors
You should consider the contribution of strategic partners to your business results when choosing strategic partners. These are not the vendors you work with today. “Partner” is not a term for vendors that consume large amounts of your budget. Instead, you should be focusing your attention on the dozen or more strategic partners that are the most important to your success. These are the ones where the strength and scale of the relationship is highest.
- Favor co-innovation partners who are shortlisted for future deals.Keep strong partnerships going and fix any problems before they fail the partnership test.
- Avoid vendors who are able to compete with you but cost too much.If you don’t feel the service provider is strategic for your future growth, shift commodity relationships to another management track.
- To tap into the cutting-edge, co-innovate alongside specialists and startups.Look out for vendors who consistently provide a great customer experience and are innovative. Invite them to inspire and motivate you to achieve something new, fast, and with a different approach.