Grounded in Purpose and Focused on People

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed how the world views work. There has been a shift among leaders from thinking about what is best for business to what is best for the business’s people. The urgency of the pandemic also gave organizations the incentive to boost operational resilience, while at the same time, revisiting their higher purpose.

Throughout the pandemic, BDO’s core purpose of helping people thrive every day guided all of our decisions. It’s this purpose that reaffirmed our commitment to fostering a flexible work environment and inspired us to reimagine our approach, allowing BDO to better meet the needs of its people and clients. It’s what helped us ensure that we’re creating environments that are built to deliver results, while also fostering inclusivity and growth for our people. I believe flexibility will no longer be a “nice to have” perk; it will be a key business driver and an important aspect of candidate attraction and retention.

Alongside flexibility, I believe that we as leaders have a responsibility to make business more human. We need to view employees as people with important responsibilities and aspirations outside of work. They are also parents and caretakers, artists and athletes, volunteers and community leaders. We want to be able to give our people the flexibility—and the trust—to make work and life fit together. To accomplish this, we must lead with empathy, incorporate diversity of thought and experiences across teams, and seek connection in an inundated and overloaded environment. We all must feel truly welcomed among our colleagues.

I also believe purpose will continue to be foundational for an organization that aims to attract and retain employees who embrace and see their place in the company vision. Mentoring can provide that connection, one conversation at a time. This will become even more essential as we see a larger share of people entering the workforce who are looking to work for organizations that align with their personal values.

Overall, we have seen that people are looking for alignment between their personal values and the values of the organizations where they work, and it’s driving permanent change. Leaders who embrace the many changes in the world of work—in part, catalyzed by the pandemic—will have the opportunity to create a more sustainable and resilient business, grounded in purpose and focused on an organization’s greatest asset: its people.