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Streamlining health, safety and wellbeing processes, as well as giving managers the flexibility to adapt approaches for their own local areas, have all helped beauty giant L’Oréal navigate the challenges of Covid-19. But, as Malcolm Staves outlines, this was the fruit of an approach that had been planted some years previously.
Before the outbreak of Covid-19, and the monumental test of resilience it brought to organisations worldwide, the world of work was engaged in a debate about simplification.
There are many issues hotly debated in business, but the need to simplify the way we work was, is, certainly one of them.
Back in 2015, professional services network Deloitte published an article Simplification of Work: the coming revolution. Simplification, said its author Burt Rea, was one response to employees being completely overwhelmed by increasing organisational complexity, information overload and a 24/7, always-on work environment.
Rea highlighted a survey by Deloitte, which had found that more than seven out of 10 surveyed organisations rated the need to simplify work as an “important problem”, with more than a quarter citing it as “very important”.
Today, simplification is considered a cornerstone of business resilience and has been a factor in helping the “resilients” weather the Covid crisis. Indeed, management consultancy firm McKinsey says “organisation simplification” has become part of what it terms an emerging “resilience playbook”.
In occupational health and safety, we see evidence that forward-thinking leaders laid the groundwork for more resilient workplaces pre pandemic by simpli