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How do you ensure your workplace is still the right place for your people?

Longread by EY The COO Imperative

To retain talent and drive transformation, Chief Operating Officers must build a mutually beneficial relationship with their evolving workforce.

In brief

  • Today’s workers are sending a message to COOs – don’t just give us a job, understand our motives, give us the skills and meet our aspirations.
  • COOs face intense pressure to reduce costs and increase productivity, while navigating disrupted markets.
  • By meeting the aspirations of your workers and adopting a talent ecosystem approach, you create a winning balance of job satisfaction, productivity and agility.

As global operations are being disrupted, so is the operational workforce. A new kind of worker is emerging – more mobile, with their own career aspirations. Simultaneously, new approaches to resourcing such as automation, upskilling, and managed services can enable the creation of a talent ecosystem that matches these new employee segments to new ways of working. This can prevent what The New York Times has termed, your own “great resignation,” while driving a seismic leap in employee productivity.

The human factor is widely recognized as a key part of transformation. In EY’s 2021 study, The CEO Imperative, 68% of CEOs identified employee issues such as talent needs, organizational change and culture as the number one driver of transformation in their company. Less visible but equally important is the transformation of the workforce itself as a driver of change.

This is the third article in the COO Imperative Series – insights designed to provide critical answers and actions to help COOs reframe the future. The first article, explored the COO’s journey in the recovery from COVID-19. The second article, addressed the specific challenges of ensuring resilient and sustainable operations. Here, we explore the emergence and management of the new workforce.

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