Survey shows business culture ‘more critical’ for success now than strategy

Almost two-thirds of employers here believe that company culture is more critical for business success than strategy or business models as the pandemic fundamentally alters the way people work, a new survey published this morning shows.

But Aon’s Business Risk Index, which surveyed 160 companies, shows that just 44pc of the firms have placed more emphasis on developing their organisational culture as a result.

Just a quarter of the companies surveyed are concerned about a possible decline in productivity as they move to a hybrid working model, with staff time split between the workplace and home.

However, 60pc of employers are still unsure if the challenges of managing a hybrid workforce will impact their teams’ ability to innovate.

The survey shows that 52pc of the firms polled will provide greater flexibility for employees, while 40pc intend to enhance collaboration amongst staff through technology or other means.

“With the gradual return to office now underway, business leaders are now planning how to successfully evolve their working model while mitigating the risks associated with the future of work,” according to Peter Brady, the CEO of commercial risk and health solutions at Aon in Ireland.

“We would encourage Irish business leaders to review whether they have the right technology and cyber security strategy as well as a supportive culture in place to spark creativity – irrespective of where employees are located,” he added. “Leaders must take action to foster an organisational culture that nurtures collaboration and prioritises outcomes rather than processes.”

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Employers are also facing uncertainty on whether or not their staff should actually be encouraged to return to the office.

Last week, Nphet said that people should continue to work at home through the autumn and winter, wherever possible.

The Aon survey found that 44pc of businesses saw productivity levels remain static during remote working as a result of the pandemic, while 36pc saw productivity levels rise.

Just under half of the businesses surveyed plan to accelerate digital transformation.

Cyber security remains a principal concern for employers navigating the future of work, according to the survey. Almost half of all Irish businesses cite ‘phishing’ as the biggest current cyber risk.

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