Future of the workforce: Do you have an ethical, sustainable human capital strategy in place?

This is part of a series profiling issues at the upcoming webinar, “Changing the Shape of the Future".

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift to new ways of working, prompting companies to reimagine how, where and by whom work gets done. While this shift was already under way with the technological changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the trend has no doubt accelerated to an even greater speed.

According to a recent report done in collaboration between Willis Towers Watson and the World Economic Forum, as companies look to reset for the new world of work that emerges from the pandemic, they will benefit from an approach that values talent as a key asset that contributes to an organisation’s sustained value creation.

This calls for the development of a new human capital accounting framework, which would enable a company’s board and management to track how their investment in people is augmenting the firm’s human capital, and supporting the delivery of better outcomes for the business, the workforce and the wider community.

Human capital can be a company’s greatest asset. It can make or break the business strategy and is a key differentiator. A company’s intangible assets, including human capital and culture, are now estimated to comprise on average 52% of a company’s market value. As such, many companies are now taking action to redesign work.

So how can companies create an ethical, and sustainable human capital strategy? Here are five tips:

1. See this crisis as a defining leadership moment

Continue delivering the best possible outcomes for all stakeholders. Effective leaders ensure the organisation stays true to its purpose, values and culture. They are transparent, empathetic and create trust, and their behaviour helps calm and support employees who may feel stressed and anxious.

2. Adopt an agile and continuous learning mindset

The uncharted waters of this crisis demands agility and innovation to ensure responses are being recalibrated to a changing set of circumstances.

3. Understand the perspectives of all stakeholders and engage them in decision-making

Maintain awareness of the shifting needs and priorities of all stakeholders and the evolving state of competitive and innovative practices.

4. Focus on the intersection of employee and company wellbeing

Cost pressures place significant stress on leaders to meet the needs of shareholders at a time when the wellbeing of employees, particularly the most vulnerable, is being seriously threatened. But the risks to, and benefits of, employee wellbeing and company wellbeing are highly aligned.

5. Make decisions and take actions that consider medium-term needs and longer term business objectives

Organisations should avoid engaging in short-term actions that may compromise the longer term sustainability of the business.

By designing with the constraints of today’s business environment in mind, organisations can unlock innovative ways of reimagining work to build more sustainable business models.

Want to hear more about trends and innovations that are influencing and changing the future? Catch thought leaders from Twitter, ShopBack, CXA, ADDO AI, Pomelo Fashion, UOB and others at Marketing's upcoming webinar on 29th September to discuss "Changing the Shape of the Future: leading the charge from recovery to resilience". This webinar is complimentary, and brought to you by Samsung, a leader in tech innovation who is shaping the future of mobile experiences with its latest foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G.

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