EY: How People-Centered Business Doubles Company’s Success

July 11, 202212:24 pm3122 views
EY: How People-Centered Business Doubles Company’s Success
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Transformation is now a necessity for all companies as humans live in disruptive times when the rate of change is always expanding. Employees become a critical component of a successful corporate transformation strategy. According to Ernst & Young’s (EY) latest research, integrating human emotions at the center of change boosts its chances of success and protects employee well-being. Transformations that prioritize humans are shown to be 2.6 times more likely to succeed. Why and how does this happen?

According to research from EY and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School based on a survey of 935 senior leaders and direct reports, as well as 1,127 workforce members from 23 countries and 16 industry sectors, human emotions are the fundamental factors that determine whether a business transformation is successful or unsuccessful. More than half (52%) of respondents in high-performing transformations stated their employer provided them with the emotional support they need during the process. Likewise, underperforming transformations can boost emotional strain on the workforce by 136%.

“In a successful transformation, leaders invest at the outset to build the conditions for success, both at a rational and emotional level. By contrast, the emotional strain that both leaders and employees experience in a failed transformation comes at a high human cost. The key to turning transformation failure into success relies on the ability of organizations and their leaders to completely redesign transformations with humans at the center.” said Errol Gardner, EY Global Vice Chair – Consulting.

Andrew White, Senior Fellow in Management Practice at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, says: “We live in disruptive times where the pace of change is ever accelerating and for many businesses, transformation is do or die; but too often it is seen as a dirty word, a fig leaf for redundancies, where a failure in vision and leadership leads to an overworked, stressed and untrusting workforce. This research shows that bringing emotions to the heart of transformation significantly increases the chance of success and safeguards the well-being of workforces. Leaders must embrace the inevitable emotional journey that flows through every transformation and lead their people through each step of it, if they are to turn vision into reality and make change exhilarating.”

Six drivers that can lead to transformation success 

The research finds that maximizing the emotional impact of six key drivers can increase the  probability of transformation success. They are: 

1. Adapt and nurture leadership skills

The workforce ranks leadership as the  top driver regardless of the success or failure of the transformation.  

2. Create an inspirational vision that the workforce can believe in

Nearly  half (49%) of respondents in a high-performing transformation said the vision  was clear and compelling compared with 27% of those in a low-performing transformation.  

3. Build a culture that embraces and empowers everyone’s opinion: 

Leaders need to harness the right emotions to keep workers engaged and motivated, while providing enough emotional support to prevent anxiety and burnout.

4. Set clear responsibilities and be prepared for change

Leaders should  provide the structure and discipline, as well as the creative freedom to explore and innovate, while creating autonomy for the organization to execute. 

5. Use technology to drive visible action

Leaders should prove the value of  new technology-enabled approaches early and enlist early adopters and influencers to bring the workforce along.  

6. Find the best ways to connect and co-create

Leaders need to create a  safe space where new ways of working can emerge to nurture innovation, engagement and fulfilling work. 

Norman Lonergan, EY Global People Advisory Services Leader, says: “Leaders know their organizations need to transform, but many are unsettled by the prospect of change. By harnessing both the rational and emotional power of their people, leaders can ensure measurable success of their organization’s transformations. This is facilitated by having and communicating a shared vision, effectively managing their peoples’ emotional journeys, and empowering them to turn vision into reality.” You can read more about it here.

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today. EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available here. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, click here.

About Saïd Business School, University of Oxford  

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative  business school, but deeply embedded in an 800-year-old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas  that have global impact.  We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle  world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform  individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We are a world-class business school community,  embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

About the Transformation Leadership research 

The Transformation Leadership:Humans@Center research aims to provide businesses with insights on how to  successfully deliver large scale transformations. Its insights are built on a survey of 935 CXOs and 1,1127 members  of the workforce across 23 countries and seven industries conducted and analysed by EY teams and the Said  Business School at the University of Oxford. Participants came from businesses in both the public and private  sectors with annual turnovers ranging from US$1bn to more than US$50bn. The research also includes 25 deep  dive interviews with CXOs from global companies. 

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