WHILE technology plays a critical role in helping businesses advance in today’s post-pandemic business environment, it is also equally important for companies to build a culture of emphatic leaders to drive change and accelerate business transformation.

In a recent study conducted by Dell Technologies, more than two-thirds of 10,500 respondents from 40+ countries, including the Philippines believe their organizations underestimate how to engage with their people properly when planning transformation programs.

“To build a better future that works for all, we need to recognize that business success and employees’ well-being are inextricably linked. Our latest research highlights that sustainable digital transformation happens at the intersection of people and technology,” said Amit Midha, president, Asia Pacific & Japan, and Global Digital Cities, Dell Technologies.

To achieve an effective breakthrough, Midha said “organizations should consider a three-pronged approach: First, provide employees with consistent and secure work experiences, not defined by where they work. Second, help drive productivity by augmenting human capabilities with technology tools to allow employees to focus on what they do best. Lastly, inspire employees through an empathetic culture and authentic leadership.”

Ronnie Latinazo, country general manager, Philippines, Dell Technologies said more than the investments and technology acceleration, companies must also build an environment that encourages and nurtures creativity and innovation among its employees, especially now that they are overwhelmed by the amount of technology infused in business operations.

The study stressed that now is the time for organizations to take stock before embarking upon new digital transformation projects, ensuring their workforce is supported and has clarity on the next stage of implementation.

Sustainable success

“Most organizations around the world – including Philippines – realize the need to digitally transform, but they find digital transformation hard, and their people don’t always embrace change. This human-technology friction is only compounded by the pandemic, and what we end up with is businesses that are more digitally resilient, but many of their people are exhausted,” said Latinazo. “Today, businesses aspiring for sustainable success need to be asking themselves how they can thoughtfully and purposefully help their people navigate further change.”

“Businesses must build a culture, modeled by empathetic leaders, that treats people as their greatest source of creativity and value,” the study said.

The research showed there is still work to do and empathy must inform decision-making – from simplifying technology for 59 percent of Philippines’ respondents (Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ): 52 percent; Global: 49 percent) who often feel overwhelmed by complex technologies, to tailoring change programs to individuals’ skills among 66 percent of Philippine employees (APJ: 50 percent; Global: 41 percent) who already believe their leaders do this.

In APJ, 2,900 respondents across 11 locations were surveyed. The APJ locations include Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. In the Philippines, 200 respondents were surveyed.

Results of the study showed that after two years of accelerated digital transformation, only 50 percent of information technology leaders in Philippines (APJ: 55 percent; Global: 50 percent) said their organizations know what it takes to digitally transform a workforce, but after such rapid change, many employees are now facing a challenge to keep up the pace.

To address these strains, businesses can delegate repetitive tasks to automated processes and free-up people to focus on enriching, higher-value work.

At present, 36 percent of Philippine respondents (APJ: 32 percent; Global: 37 percent) said their work is stimulating and not repetitive. With the opportunity to automate more repetitive tasks, 71 percent of respondents in the Philippines (APJ: 74 percent; Global: 69 percent) would look forward to learning new, sought-after skills and technologies, like leadership skills, courses in machine learning, or focusing on more strategic opportunities to elevate their role.

The study also highlighted empowering employees to choose their preferred working pattern and provide the necessary tools/infrastructure at 52 percent in the Philippines (APJ: 46 percent; Global: 44 percent). (KOC)