The importance of workforce transformation in a COVID-19 world

Workforce transformation in a COVID-19 world

Insights to workforce shaping and employee experience in disruptive times.

Mel Newton

Partner, Insurance and Workforce Transformation

KPMG in the UK


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For most of us, COVID-19 is the biggest challenge of our lifetime. It has accelerated digital transformation across every industry as firms invest heavily in remote working capabilities ensuring employees can work from home productively. With up to 30 percent 1 of staff estimated to remain home-based post- crisis, questions are being raised around the future of our workforce.

In the short-term, organisations and employees face large periods of uncertainty driven by fast moving changes in customer demand. Organisations have already begun to significantly adapt their workforce to flex to a COVID-19 environment. In the longer term, we expect a fundamental impact on Workforce Transformation.

In our experience, not many organisations have embraced the fundamentals of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (see attached Workforce Transformation overview brochure) and developed an effective approach to holistic workforce management. Those that have, are stealing a march on their competitors and are able to move more quickly to effective remote working and rebalancing of teams to meet changing customer demand. The importance of developing the employee experience as to enable the customer experience is accelerated now and remains a vital part of workforce transformation.

Our Workforce Transformation framework helps organisations respond to macro changes in the external environment and understand the resulting workforce implications on each component. It looks across the core components: Workforce Strategy, Shaping, Planning & Monitoring, Sourcing, Employee Experience, Capability & Agility and underpinning Workforce Analytics, to ensure the workforce is in line with the business objectives.

We are seeing most activity on the Workforce Shaping and Employee Experience elements of the framework in the medium- term, however longer-term impacts will reach across all elements.

Overall, in setting your organisation up to survive in the short term and thrive in the post COVID-19 world, it is key to:

  1. Ensure you have the right skills, at the right time, in the right place to constantly adapt to uncertain external trends, agile operating models and rapidly changing customer demands.
  2. Lead people authentically and with compassion in order to reset your employee experience that thrives in a digital and remote workplace.

Download full PDF to read more.


1. Global Workplace Analytics- Work at home after COVID-19- Our Forecast, 2020

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