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New IBM research finds that employers need to better understand employee sentiment in order to weather today's trying times.

Some key findings:

  • 74% of executives believe they have been helping their employees learn the skills needed to work in today’s “new way,” while just 38% of employees agree.
  • 80% of employers said they are supporting the physical and emotional health of their workforce, while only 46% of employees feel that support.
  • 86% of executives agreed that their company provided clear guidelines and expectations for how their organization will work during this time, while just 51% of U.S. employees agreed.
  • 67% of employers agreed that their company delivered clear communication on how their employees would be impacted during the COVID-19 crisis, yet half of U.S.-based employees disagreed.

The study reveals three critical steps that emerging leaders surveyed are taking to survive and thrive:

  • Improving operational scalability and flexibility. The ongoing disruption of the pandemic has shown how important it can be for businesses to be built for change. Many executives are facing demand fluctuations, new challenges to support employees working remotely and requirements to cut costs. Executing these new strategies may require a more scalable and flexible IT infrastructure.
  • Applying AI, automation and other exponential technologies to help make workflows more intelligent. COVID-19 has disrupted critical workflows and processes at the heart of many organizations’ core operations. Such technologies as AI, automation and cybersecurity that could help make workflows more intelligent, responsive and secure are increasing in priority across the board for responding global executives. As executives increasingly invest in cloud, AI, automation and other exponential technologies, IBM recommends leaders keep in mind the users of that technology: their people.
  • Leading, engaging and enabling the workforce in new ways. Ongoing IBV consumer research has shown that employees’ expectations of their employers have shifted amid the pandemic; they now expect that their employers will actively support their physical and emotional health as well as help them build the skills they need to work in new ways.

Read more here.