Ricoh: European workforce remains positive despite turbulent 2016

- Leadership - Feb 27, 2017

2016 was a turbulent year politically and economically. Despite that, employees across Europe are overwhelmingly positive that their businesses will succeed in 2017. New research commissioned by Ricoh Europe reveals that 91 percent of employees expect digital disruption, economic uncertainty and political turbulence to change how they work in the near-future. But 95 percent also believe this period of change will benefit their business.

European employees also share a wider positive outlook. 59 percent expect the business they work for to be in a stronger position by the end of the year than it is today. A majority, 66 percent, believe the leader of their company is prepared to tackle the changing landscape. And only eight percent of employees have no faith in their leader, with the remainder unsure.

According to polled employees, technology sits at the heart of enabling success in the year ahead. The effects of digital disruption and the opportunities/change generated by competitive innovation are expected to have the greatest influence, with increasing automation freeing up time for workers to deliver more value.

Employees expect their businesses to be more creative and less wasteful with resources and to adopt new technologies quicker. 61 percent would like their companies to use technology to balance these changes. This includes improving customer communications, increasing productivity through collaboration technologies and the use of digital technologies to simplify business processes.

However, the research comes with a warning. In these times of change, businesses must be wary that they remain attractive prospects to draw the best talent as employees also seek stability in their roles. Job security, solid financial backing and the opportunity to work for a larger enterprise are the biggest draws for jobseekers.

David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe, said: “How people relate to, engage and execute their work is fundamentally changing. In the years ahead we’ll see businesses fall into two distinct camps. Firstly, those with strong fundamental processes which empower employees by enabling them to do their best work, adapt and thrive. Secondly, those businesses which shy away from change and unfortunately set their employees up for failure.

“As the world feels the impact of unprecedented change, business leaders must ask themselves where they see the most beneficial return on bringing more innovative technology into the company. To enable their business to stay focused on its long term goals, and remain competitive, often the best place to start is with their employees.”

Read the January 2017 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

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