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Research shows that some employees are concerned that organizations are putting business continuity before safety

New research commissioned by ServiceNow has surveyed 900 C-suite leaders and 8,100 employees from various organizations to look at how organizations are adapting to pandemic disruption.

The ‘Work Survey’ found that, despite 96 percent of UK leaders and 87 percent of UK employees stating that their company transitioned to new ways of working faster than they thought possible during the initial lockdown, many departments would not be able to implement new digital processes within a month in the event of another major disruption, such as the one the UK is facing now. Only a minority of UK leaders believe that customer service (37 percent), finance (38 percent) and IT (39 percent) could introduce new workflows within 30 days.

This challenge is exacerbated because most businesses still have a digital disadvantage, with 98 percent of UK C-level leaders saying that their organization is still using offline processes. These include:

  • Offline workflows such as document approvals (59 percent)
  • Security incident reports (41 percent)
  • Performance reviews (39 percent)
  • Leave requests and processing (37 percent).

The survey also showed there are doubts when it comes to workplace safety from both UK leaders and UK employees.

Almost a third (31 percent) of UK leaders and 51 percent of UK employees are concerned their company will prioritise business continuity over safety. In addition, over a quarter (26 percent) of UK leaders and 40 percent of UK employees agree that their company will not take all the necessary steps to keep employees safe when returning to work in the office.

“The critical challenge for UK organizations will be balancing the immediate need for business continuity with the personal needs of their employees,” said Chris Pope, ServiceNow’s VP Innovation. “2020 has been a difficult year for a lot of people. Many have seen restrictions over the past several months, which look set to continue through the winter. Businesses need to lead with compassion and combine empathy with meaningful action to help their employees navigate the months to come. In this distributed working environment, how organizations handle the moments that matter, from when a hire joins to when they leave, not only determines talent retention but will also contribute to overall business continuity and success.”

More details (PDF).

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