Archived Insight | November 1, 2021

How Has the Pandemic Affected Operations and Work?

CEOs who participated in three roundtables agreed the pandemic was the greatest factor in speeding the adoption of new business practices. There was consensus that the changes are generally positive evolutions for employees’ workplace experience and the business.

CEOs expect these new practices to have long-term impact because they have changed business for the better and are here to stay:

  • Many employees will continue to work remotely.
  • Organizational culture is more important than ever and starts at the top.
  • Much of the sales process will remain virtual.

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The roundtables

CEOs and other senior leaders of mid-sized companies participated in three roundtables during spring 2021. The CEOs represented a range of industries, including construction and engineering, financial and professional services, entertainment, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and technology.

Participants reflected on the findings of Hindsight 2020, a sizable CEO survey conducted by Chief Executive magazine.

The discussions

Roundtable participants’ discussions focused on three key topics:

  • The impact of stress and burnout on employee well-being
  • How culture influences resiliency and agility
  • Effect of digitalization on customer interactions and work

What were the key insights?

Roundtable participants remarked on these welcome surprises from the pandemic experience:

  • Businesses adapted to the challenge quickly.
  • Not only were employees flexible, they embraced many of the changes, especially remote work.

The leaders do not expect to return to former business practices, particularly since few employees are eager to go back to in-office work. Where practical, CEOs support continuing the remote, hybrid and flexible schedules, which they expect will have a positive effect on recruiting and retention.

For this to work well, CEOs will need to:

  • Support individual employee circumstances.
  • Be open to reimagining work processes and workflows.
  • Adopt the right technology to aid both employee experience and efficiency.
  • Keep an ear to the ground to hear and address what employees, customer and partners/ suppliers are saying.

Roundtable participants have all started down this path. They look forward to seeing where the journey takes them as they plan for making their organizations more resilient and agile to face future challenges as well as seize new opportunities.

Any business leader who is interested in preparing their organizations to operate optimally post-pandemic will want to read what their peers had to say. Download your copy of the report today.

Be confident that your workforce strategy will position your organization for success in the post-pandemic world.

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