Decisions that CEOs make over the next few months will set the tone for how work will be done in the future, impacting the relationships employees have formed and their emotional connection with the company. This article offers advice on how best to proceed:
- Resist pressure to define a policy or make final decisions until it’s necessary to do so. With uncertainty about what lies ahead, it is important to avoid steps that will either create unrealistic expectations or limit options.
- CEOs should ask questions and refrain from making declarative statements for as long as possible.
- Don’t put too much stock in data gleaned from employee surveys. In the same way that political leaders should not base decisions solely on public opinion polls, leaders must look at employee surveys as one data point.
- Leaders should recognise that company size is an important variable in these choices. Larger organisations also need to rely more on formal policies and perceptions of fairness, limiting their ability to make decisions on a person-by-person basis, as smaller organisations might do.
- Leaders should not get transfixed by technological solutions to the problem of remote work when making this decision.
- CEOs should avoid being influenced by high-profile companies (like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Adobe, and Oracle) that quickly announced plans to permanently embrace remote work. The most active advocates for expanded remote work are in industries that have the most to gain financially: software development technology companies.
Finance leaders should rethink the role reporting plays in enterprise value. That means meeting demands for non-financial information (business models are increasingly exposed to social and environmental issues) as well as financial disclosures.
The EY Global Financial Accounting and Advisory Services (FAAS) corporate reporting survey explores the perspectives of more than 1,000 CFOs, financial controllers and other senior finance leaders on what finance and reporting could look like in the future.
Simply getting digital projects off the drawing board doesn’t guarantee that the organisation is increasing revenue, profitability, market share or efficiency as a result.
Organisations pursuing digitisation need a fully engaged CEO to take charge and drive actual performance gains from digital investment. That means prioritising scalable initiatives capable of substantially improving the organisation’s performance; insisting on fast, minimally viable outcomes that can be improved over time; and, importantly, measuring and tracking the impact and value creation of all digital initiatives.
In partnership with functional leaders, CEOs and their senior executives can adjust talent acquisition, resource allocation and company culture to ensure that the move to digital is profitable.