The great resignation is a phrase that first surfaced in May 2021 and has since instilled anxiety in the hearts of business leaders. The word alludes to the pandemic’s extraordinary increase in the number of employees quitting their jobs. Since then, a lot of research has been done to figure out why this occurred. Employees are quitting their jobs in droves as the pandemic forces them to reconsider their priorities. Or are they resigning in order to pursue their passion in a new field?
Adding to that, digital transformation also boomed during the pandemic due to remote work, the need for companies to remain competitive as well as to increase productivity. Could the rise in digital transformation have a part to play in employees wanting to resign? If so, what can companies do to ensure that employees can remain adaptable during this period?
To address all these questions, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Edward Senju, Regional CEO of Sansan to garner more organizational insights on the topic as well as to allay any fears business leaders may have on the great resignation.
The Great Resignation And Its Effects On Various Industries
The pandemic caused many changes and it gave time for people to rethink about their future; people started wondering whether their industry is safe and if they are able to adapt to new changes. This is definitely the biggest reason for the Great Resignation and the disruption of the pandemic definitely made them rethink as to whether they could stay in the industry for the next few decades doing the same few things.
People started feeling overwhelmed about the work they are doing and feel as though it is impossible to keep doing it for the next few years. The pandemic allowed employees to have this reflection and encouraged them to pursue other careers and jobs. For companies, there is an advantage to this as well as a downside. In terms of the advantages, companies realise that they need to make particular changes and the question is whether they can make these changes with the same people? This can be seen both ways. In a negative light, reshuffling can cause a lot of issues when there is a lack of personnel. How can they implement new policies or changes without the necessary staff to help push it to all employees in the company?
Another upside to this is the great adoption of digital technology and this brought about a rise in hiring the younger generation who are more tech-savvy. When companies change their way of working, especially when adopting new technology, they can cater more to the needs of potential candidates who have a changed perception on what jobs should be like. Right now, the hybrid workplace is very much in-demand and with new technology, companies can implement a hybrid work culture.
Not only will this benefit the younger generation, the older generation are also given the chance to have a fresh start at their current job with all these changes in place. This fresh start will allow them to be more motivated and energised to work as they have new things to learn and a new method of business processes.
“For Sansan, the way we work has changed completely. The company used to strictly follow office hours but now, employees can work from home 2 days a week and we adopted staggered commuting,” says Edward Senju, Regional CEO of Sansan.
Usage Of Technology In Retaining Staff And Ensuring Job Satisfaction
When it comes to technology, it can aid employees by taking up all the ‘boring’ and routine work that they used to do on a daily basis. Once employees no longer have to do these tasks, they can focus on more value-added work which will increase their satisfaction and happiness.
An example of this would be the accounting department, they experience multiple vendors sending invoices (paper, PDF or data format) but there is no one-stop place for them to receive all these invoices. This brought about a lot of paperwork that needed to be done which was time consuming and with the time taken to scan such documents or organize them, employees can do other valuable tasks.
For employees, companies should focus on the things that only they can do and the things that they are willing to do. Many of their tasks should be more focused on their key areas and strengths so that they can feel the satisfaction from participating in these tasks. With that said, companies should invest in RPAs, expense management to help alleviate some of their basic tasks and equip them with better tools to help them complete their tasks quicker and of a higher standard.
“Introduce new solutions, let them(employees) try it and if there is something they can adopt for the company, let them lead it,” added Edward Senju, Regional CEO of Sansan.
Edward Senju also advised companies to set their goal at a high place and push employees to try and change their way of work as well as to learn new things.
Sansan: Driving Digital Transformation Internally & Externally For Clients
When it comes to security issues in terms of accessing confidential documents, there is a lot of personal data involved. Sansan guarantees the safety and security of these documents through the use of encryption, multiple authorization levels and access points which are all customizable according to the clients.
In driving digital transformation internally, companies can start as small as downloading or adopting an application and get employees to talk about it; get feedback and have open discussions about what they feel about it. This is so that employees will be more encouraged to try newer technologies that companies will eventually adopt.
These small things will eventually help to inculcate a culture of adoption and openness to new experiences. This will definitely help companies that are working towards a journey of digital transformation.
“When I talk with clients and they share with me their intention in changing the way they work, the top management actually tries it out. They download the app and experience it for themselves before letting the head of departments run the operations.”Edward Senju, Regional CEO of Sansan
Sometimes, there needs to be someone that actually leads it so that employees will not have any excuses to reject the adoption of such technologies. In fact, this might help to assure them and further motivate them to try to learn it. In the past two years, Sansan has observed new generation CEOs who actually try out technologies that they want to implement in the company before passing the word to their employees to adopt them.
This new leadership is very important as it helps to inculcate the culture of openness to changes. When it comes to external digital transformation, companies need to move from physical copies to digital. But before asking clients about moving towards digital transformation, they should start small by asking if they would be keen to go completely paperless. Digital transformation is a step-by-step journey and if companies impose the broadness of it to clients, they might discourage clients as they could find it to be overwhelming.