Organizations continue to shift their processes to the digital space, implementing new technologies that drive automation, workflow optimization, and workforce management. This widespread push to improve and streamline processes has resulted in an unintended consequence: increased business complexity. Pega surveyed over 4,000 full-time employees from 14 different countries and found that many workers believe their jobs – and their organizations – are becoming more complex.
In a race to keep up with increasing customer demands in a rapidly changing business environment, many organizations adopted and implemented new technologies without a clear vision and strategy. As a result, employees are still struggling to efficiently complete tasks and keep up with rapid change. Pega’s Demystifying complexity in the modern workforce report reveals the causes and consequences of business complexity. It uncovers how workers are impacted and how business leaders can work to eliminate the complexity associated with digital transformation.
What causes business complexity?
Three out of four survey responders believe their jobs are becoming more complex. This increase in complexity has significant consequences for workers, particularly for hybrid employees who work both remotely and in the physical workspace. Workers identified several areas that impact their ability to execute their jobs successfully, including business, technology, and organizational dynamics.
How did we get here? Why is it more difficult to work when so much technology exists to make our working lives easier? Our survey responders identified a number of factors contributing to business complexity:
- Information overload: Participants reported that the top contributor to business complexity is information overload. There is simply too much information spread out in too many places, making it difficult to access. In fact, 90% of workers experienced information overload at work.
“The volume of available data has outpaced our ability to process and utilize it in a useful manner. This digital overload results in lost revenue through lower productivity and is damaging to employee satisfaction.”
- Organizational dynamics: 89% of participants indicated that navigating internal processes and bureaucracy added to their daily complexity, and 88% also cited managing projects, teams, and people as a leading contributor. Unsurprisingly, larger companies and enterprises are more likely to struggle with complex organizational dynamics.
- Disconnect between employees and IT leadership: 42% of workers felt digital transformation efforts made their jobs more complex, instead of less. Workers are struggling to connect the benefits of digital transformation to their day-to-day work. Despite this, 98% of workers agree that technology is important to the success of their position.
- Too many and different systems: When asked about top tech-related issues that add to complexity, “too many and different systems” ranked as the most significant factor. 43% of workers felt that too many systems made their job more challenging. In addition to the time required to learn multiple systems, the switching cost of working with siloed tools adds to workers’ day-to-day complexities.
- Inadequate technology training: 61% of workers report that their organization cannot attract talent with the necessary tech skills. As jobs become more complex and automation increases, companies must focus on re-skilling and training workers to help them meet the expectations of their roles.
“Rapid, disorganized implementation of new tech has left workers with whiplash; only half of them are very or extremely confident that they can pick up the new tech skills needed for their jobs.”
Demystifying complexity in the modern workforce
Download the report for insights into the increasing complexities faced by most workers, and how organizations can adapt to overcome them.
By implementing strategies to tackle complexity, business leaders can improve efficiency and the day-to-day experiences of their employees.
Business complexity is a growing concern but there are steps organizations can take to simplify work for employees. The Demystifying complexity report includes suggestions from survey responders about how employers can mitigate the impact of business complexity.
- Only add new technology when absolutely necessary: Organizations must weigh the benefits of a new piece of technology against its potential to create more data silos and increase complexity. Organizations should avoid adopting new technology unless it is closely tied to a business goal or key performance indicator.
“Implementing new technology for its own sake only leads to further frustration and burnout among workers.”
- Focus on technology that eliminates silos and encourages unification across channels and applications: 40% of surveyed workers believed technology would be less complex if systems more easily integrated with other technologies. What’s more, unifying disparate systems and workflows makes it easier for employees to complete tasks efficiently. By breaking down data silos, companies increase ease of use for both their employees and their
- Train and re-skill workers: Inadequate technological training can leave workers feeling overwhelmed. In fact, 36% of workers felt more or better technology training would reduce complexity. Re-skilling current employees can help fill knowledge gaps within an organization and help solve difficulties hiring skilled talent. As role expectations and responsibilities change, re-skilling current employees ensures businesses stay competitive.
- Clearer communication: Improving communication at all levels of an organization can reduce business complexity. Employees are more likely to be passionate about their job when they have a clear roadmap and understand the impact of their hard work. Transparent communication also helps reduce redundancy and bottlenecks by clearly defining responsibilities and processes.
“According to workers, the answer lies in transparent communication. While 83% of workers indicated that they understand the strategic goals of their company, 71% indicated that their jobs would be less complex if those goals were clearly communicated.”
- Make information more accessible and attainable: Employees need to find information fast. Searching for information across systems or waiting for someone to share information creates bottlenecks that slow down business processes. Resource hubs, shared folders, chat spaces, and other collaboration tools can make it easier for employees to find the assets they want, when they want them. As mentioned previously, unifying channels and systems also makes information more attainable.