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Although we have learned a long time ago that one size does not fit all, it looks like that flexibility should indeed be embraced by all organisations that aim to succeed in the digital economy.

How can companies map the employee experience in order to find the right ways to increase it?

Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of building a high performing team with almost no turnover. Just recently 5 of my team were promoted, 2 moving to other teams and 1 taking a role outside the company, after outgrowing his current role. The relevance? EX is directly correlated to the leadership skills of people leaders. From onboarding to offboarding, the manager is the critical component and recent events have unveiled just how poor leadership skills are in most organisations. The quality of any experience (process) is directly correlated to the performance of those responsible, so for me, the priority is to develop the required leadership skills, then optimise.

How has talent acquisition changed in this new remote era?

This is not my area of expertise, so I can only provide a point of view based on my own experience. TA has become more challenging for many organisations as they struggle to comprehend the change that has transpired over the past year.  Those who offer remote/flexible working are much more likely to attract/retain talent than those who do not. What is evident to me is that organisational culture is impacting TA more than ever.

What will be the working model of the future? How is the employee feedback affecting this decision?

The 64-million-dollar question! In my view very fluid. I think organisations will be forced to embrace extreme flexibility, not only because of the ‘great resignation’ / ‘future of work’ debate but because it is very much required to be successful in the digital economy. Organisations with traditional hierarchical structures and/or achievement cultures are those who will likely struggle to adapt to the future of work. At these organisations senior leaders appear out of touch with their employees, pushing for a ‘return to work’.

Employee feedback/action is challenging organisations to rethink the employee relationship as employees rethink their work/life balance. Engaging with employees will be critical to retain talent and this reiterates the need to ensure people leaders are equipped with the necessary skills.


Tony will also be joining our 10th Annual HR Excellence Summit in November, sharing his in-depth insights on Innovating the Digital-First Employee Experience.

Tony STROWS, Director of Learning and Development at Philips has been in consulting most of his career, affording him the opportunity to collaborate with a diversity of organisations and people, developing his strengths of flexibility, creativity, empathy, and skills in critical thinking, storytelling, innovation, leadership and change management. As Head of Digital Strategy & Transformation for Learning & Talent Innovation, his focus is to digitalise Learning & Talent, leveraging technology to evolve this function into a scalable, agile, digital, professional service. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of work debate has only served to reinforce the need to develop business critical skills at scale.  His experience and research over the past 3 years suggests that there is now an opportunity to transform Learning & Talent from service provider to a business-critical system, to further innovate the employee experience

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