Business leaders are struggling to cope with the demands of the three groups they need to serve in order to deliver success: employees, customers and the wider society. Over 60% of organizations currently prioritize the needs of their employees over those of customers (55%) and society as a whole (37%), according to a global study commissioned by Fujitsu. But 60% of leaders admit they are struggling to balance the expectations of all three sets of people at once, which is a concern as organizations are also aware of the influence each group has on their success.
Reflecting the struggle to balance all three groups and understand the connection between them, two-thirds (66%) of leaders believe that employees have an increasing influence on their business and 73% say unlocking employee creativity is vital for growth. However, 74% also feel that making a positive impact on society will be the key to their organizations succeeding in the future.
Business leaders in Singapore, among the respondents surveyed, feel the most duty to improve the lives of their employees (68%), closely followed by their customers (66%) and their wider society (30%).
Wong Heng Chew, Country President, Fujitsu Singapore, comments: “The survey findings show that over the last few years, businesses have shifted their focus - where once, success felt very much hinged to the customer, it is increasingly clear that employees and citizens within society play a big role as well.”
Key highlights for Singapore
Singapore reflects a similar trend to other regions – that business leaders prioritize employees (68%) above customers (66%) and the society (30%) but understand that to ensure sustained success, they need to find a way to deliver for all audiences.
Business leaders believe these factors define their success – achieving financial growth (78%), having a good reputation (50%), and maximizing the potential of and creating new opportunities for employees (40%).
The role of digital technology comes across strongly across all three audiences. 84% believe that digital technology is vital for harnessing business innovation at their organization, while a further 76% say it has already improved products and services they provide. 78% of leaders believe digital technology has positively impacted the working lives of their teams, and 68% feel digital technology has enabled employees to be more creative. When it comes to innovative tech, 72% of Singapore leaders (higher than the global average of 61%) believe AI will transform the services and products they offer customers.
People play a huge part in a business’ success, as 68% of Singapore leaders state that the happiness of their employees directly affect it.
Being collaborative (60%) and innovative (54%) are the top two employee types that companies value as important to their organization’s success.
While 74% of leaders believe that the relationship between their organization and its customers has improved over the last three years, they feel that the customer relationship is defined by price (80%), or the expectations to be more innovative in the service delivered as well as how they work with them (74%).
Singapore leaders feel increasing expectations to be seen to positively contribute to society, with two thirds (66%) believing that society has become more critical of the business community over the last three years. Despite this, more than half (56%) of leaders admit that CSR initiatives are a nice-to-have, but not vital to success. That said, 70% of leaders do say that making a positive impact on society will help their organization succeed in the future.