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10 habits of highly successful businesses

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The nature of work is changing, that much is obvious. Far more difficult to figure out is what a business must do on a practical level to keep up with those changes. Ultimately, for a business to excel, it’s not just about fulfilling necessary business functions such as payroll. We’ve explored multiple pieces of research to identify what great businesses are doing to stay ahead of the game in this age of global change.

What the research shows

We began with the Deloitte Human Capital Trends report, which says that the four powerful forces causing the nature of work to change are:

  • Demographic upheavals caused by an ageing population and an influx of Millennials.
  • Rise of digital technology, disrupting business models and work processes.
  • Acceleration of this rate of change as computing power doubles every two years.
  • Staff expectations of rapid career growth, compelling and flexible workplaces and a sense of purpose.

Following the lead of top performers

After exploring research from experts such as Deloitte, Salesforce and Randstad, we have pinpointed the 10 habits of highly effective businesses:

1. Teams that are flexible and empowered to solve specific challenges, or meet particular goals, have replaced departments. They contain experts from various specialisations. Once a project is complete, they disband and move on to their next team, just like external consultants.

2. They obsess over culture and engagement and are rarely satisfied with the status quo.

3. Customer experience is their highest priority. Everybody in the business understands and is committed to a common goal, providing a consistent customer experience.

4. The business is re-engineered to remove silos. All departments communicate in order to act as one. This means that regardless of the way a customer connects with the business – in person, via an app or on the phone – they hear the same ‘brand voice’.

5. Relevant learning is an essential part of the business process. Deloitte says 84% of executives rate learning as important or very important, recognising it as a driver of engagement and culture.

6. Data is used not only to better understand the customer, but also the business itself. Data identifies high performers, who can then be asked to share the secrets of their success with colleagues, or to mentor others. ‘People analytics’ offers HR programs measurable business outcomes, as well as providing valuable insight into the makeup and engagement of the business’ workforce. For this reason, it’s imperative that you have processes in place to protect this data from potential cyber attack.

7. By designing roles, apps and tools that simplify a job and remove data overload, high performing businesses create lower-stress workplaces. As a result, staff are more productive.

8. HR apps are created to introduce HR programs into the daily lives of employees. They cover such purposes as back-office tasks, learning, recruitment and social connection. The benefits that can be achieved by having systems that talk to each other are significant.

9. Annual performance reviews are heavily assisted by regular feedback check-ins and pulse surveys.

10. High performing businesses regularly take a long, hard look at themselves, analysing their business through fresh eyes in order to figure out what needs to change.

Actioning meaningful change

For other organisations, a shift from transactional HR functions to Strategic Human Capital Management has allowed them to keep pace in this rapidly changing business environment. Download this free white paper to learn more about the growing trends, models and solutions that are helping businesses optimise their people process.

If you’re looking for payroll solutions specifically, speak to one of our experts about how Ascender can provide the tools you need to streamline your processes and devote more time to your people.

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