Top Employers showcase agility and ability to quickly adapt to a crisis

4 minutes read
By Frances Song, Marketing Manager, Top Employers Institute

Data insights obtained from the Top Employers Institute HR Best Practices Survey (download by filling in the form) of 1 691 organisations worldwide revealed that, prior to the pandemic most Top Employers already focused their efforts on "managing cultural and organisational change".  

Behind their prompt decision-making in the massive shift towards remote working as well as in the implementation of safety and well-being practices, Top Employers revealed the true extent of their agility. This is largely the result of a long-term ‘investment’ in shaping organisational culture and facilitating digital transformation. 

As businesses began adjusting and adapting to new ways of working, attention turned to two significant questions: that of keeping employees engaged and motivated during an organisational change, and the question of how to foster a culture of trust within the organisation when flexible working and virtual collaboration was becoming the new normality.  

According to Top Employers Institute’s most recent survey data:  

Top Employers are mission, purpose and values-driven. 

97% of Top Employers globally have translated their values into required behaviours to serve as accelerators to ‘live’ the company values. 

Defining the mission, vision and organisational values is only the first step. Top Employers translate these elements into a living tool that impacts behaviours. Another key consideration that is often overlooked by companies is the "people-centered" approach. The way in which leading organisations have responded to the global crisis is reflected in their company values that support decision making. 

  • 93% of all employees at Top Employers are trained regarding how to ‘live’ the company values. 
  • 92% of Top Employers are taking initiatives to limit risk to employees, and their job security, making it a key factor when taking strategic business decisions. 
  • For 88% of Top Employers, behaviours related to organisational values are evaluated as part of performance review.

Many Top Employers agreed that employees who truly believe in the company's mission tend to have more trust for their company and they would stay with them in this era of change and uncertainty. Therefore, Top Employers are constantly shaping their culture to highlight the company’s long-term vision and mission, its impact on social sustainability, and the purpose of their work. 

Top Employers ensure empowerment through flexible working conditions 

82% of Top Employers offer flexible working conditions to their employees that includes part-time working, telecommuting, time in lieu, etc. 

Many companies have introduced flexible working policies in the past few years where employees can apply to work from home. However, a striking change in 2020 was that with many organisations having to shift to remote working, managers changed their ‘assumptions’ that remote working would lead to low productivity. Top Employers that provided user-friendly digital tools and transparent communication channels reported that flexible working can be a great motivation for employees because they feel trusted. 

Currently, 65% of Top Employers empower their employees to manage their work hours and location to facilitate a culture of trust and accountability. 

Top Employers prioritise networking support 

93% of Top Employers use internal social technology organisation-wide as a key communication and collaboration channel. 

With remote working and collaboration getting more popular within organisations, is the need for offline interaction diminishing? The survey results indicated that the need for online and offline connection is not one or the other, but a complementing of each other, especially for cross-functional communities, which play an important role in today's workplace.  

  • Learning and Development: 78% of Top Employers formally facilitate social learning as part of their organisational L&D strategy. While they encourage employees to participate in cross-functional projects to expand their skill set and knowledge base, they also launch personalised digital learning platforms to enable employees to choose the fields that interest them outside of their job scope.  
  • Career Development: By taking up the role of network "leaders", capable employees can demonstrate and enhance their leadership skills out of their ‘desk’. Therefore, we see that 58% of Top Employers have a formalised role supported by specific guidelines for network leaders/owners.  
  • Well-being: Networking is also a vital component of corporates’ well-being programmes. Not only does networking offer employees a "circle of friends" in the workplace, but it also supports their physical and mental health. As an example, 46% of Top Employers offer special incentives for employees who organise and actively participate in networking activities. In this matter, there is still much to be done as less than half of leading organisations have gone in this direction. 

Through this year's Certification Programme, Top Employers have shown that in the face of global challenges, they are able to adapt and respond with agility and resilience in both business and people management, as they lead the way forward with their commitment to accelerating the impact of their people practices and creating a better world of work across the globe. 


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Top Employers showcase agility and ability to quickly adapt to a crisis