There’s no doubt about it, the way we work has changed over the last few years.
Since the arrival of the Pandemic in 2020, companies of all shapes and sizes have had to adjust to new working patterns and new ways of managing teams, with one of the biggest challenges being having entire teams of people working remotely and communicating like never before.
Despite the challenges that this presented (and there were many), the working landscape has shifted. Now with the current cost-of-living crisis and the volatile political landscape, some of these changes look set to last for the long-term, as many business owners opt for a more flexible and cost-efficient approach to the operational aspects of their businesses, to secure their future stability.
We take a look at some of these changes, and explore what you as a business leader, can do to future-proof your business:
1). Teams are now working remotely or in a hybrid way.
The introduction of remote and hybrid working has allowed businesses to take a more flexible approach to their operations. Many have been able to scale down the need for larger premises and other commitments, thus reducing overall operational costs. However, many leaders have had to learn completely new ways of managing and engaging with their teams to ensure productivity remains consistent.
For some business owners, the introduction of remote and hybrid working has been particularly challenging, as mindsets around office presence being linked to productivity have had to be shifted.
For many, the realisation that teams can be just as effective from a distance, has been hugely positive, whilst for others, the need to monitor and have greater visibility of staff has proved difficult. The introduction of hybrid working however, seems to have bridged that gap and provided a much-needed middle ground for all parties.
For employees, the introduction of new ways of working that don’t involve lengthy commuting times and costs, has allowed many to flourish and embrace these changes. However, for some working from home created a feeling of disconnection and isolation from the team and their role.
According to the Office of National Statistics in their February 2022 report, more than three-quarters (78%) of those who worked from home in some capacity said that being able to work from home gave them an improved work life balance. Half reported it was quicker to complete work (52%) and that they had fewer distractions (53%). Almost half also reported improved well-being (47%).
The introduction of the hybrid working model following the pandemic has been a welcome addition to the working environment, with the ability to find the balance between feeling connected with colleagues and the wider business, whilst still experiencing the benefits that can come from working remotely.
2). Companies are considering ways of working that are leaner and more cost-effective to ensure long-term stability and reduced financial risk.
In reality, this can look like recruitment freezes, pay freezes, opting for a reduction in overheads with smaller premises and other operational cost savings, including reductions in staffing costs.
Remote and hybrid working is a welcome middle ground to reduce costs but redundancies can still be an unfortunate side-effect of a businesses need to reduce costs, which in turn also places increased pressure on the remaining team members to pick up the slack and carry a greater workload.
On the flip side, with many companies reviewing their operations and choosing to find ways to work smarter rather than harder, businesses are having to be more flexible and adaptable.
Without the processes and communication in place to accommodate these changes, it can create confusion and uncertainty for teams at a time when the wider political climate and cost-of-living crisis is already creating economic uncertainty for many households.
Amidst all the uncertainty, there are still great opportunities for businesses to create the processes that support a leaner way of working and allow them to grow in a sustainable way, to survive the current economic challenges.
3). Challenges in recruiting as employees seek more flexibility and employers seek a reduction in costs, as a result of the global economic challenges.
Prior to the pandemic employees went into the office an average 3.8 days per week. Post covid this has reduced to 1.4 days per week. (BBC News)
Whilst offering a hybrid working model can aid recruitment, there is little information showing that it actually aids retention.
The hybrid way of working however does give employers access to a wider talent pool of highly skilled and experienced staff, however if you do not or cannot offer the hybrid working model then you may find it more challenging to find the right people as many people don’t wish to return to the ‘old’ way of working, and want more of a work-life balance.
What can be done to navigate these challenges and how can companies stay ahead of the curve, to accommodate these significant changes?
Three effective solutions to consider are:
Outsourcing is one of the most efficient ways to build a lean workforce, remain efficient and stay future focused. Many companies are now looking for ways to reduce headcount and keep overheads low, whilst still remaining effective and keeping up with the changes in technology. There are risks to every solution, but outsourcing team members or even company departments can be a really efficient way of keeping costs down, as well as tapping into expert knowledge and resources, without the additional overheads that come with hiring permanent employees.
2). Training / Coaching / Leadership Development
Many people become leaders and never develop the skillset required to engage and support their teams effectively. The result can be an increase in conflict, poor communication, a feeling of dissatisfaction among team members and a lack of clarity in terms of business / team goals and objectives.
Creating a leadership team that can drive the business into the future is an invaluable way of ensuring continued future stability and survival for your business. Investing in your leaders can come in many forms – here are just a few:
There are of course many ways to develop your leadership team, however these three elements have been shown to have significant benefits for the individuals, teams and the business as a whole, ensuring you have competent leadership today and also for the future.
Offering your leaders, the opportunity to grow professionally through ongoing training and support, will not only enable them to lead effectively, but will create a happier and more fulfilling culture for all of your workforce. This can reduce staff turnover, increase job satisfaction and encourage loyalty, which in turn contributes to an organisation’s longevity and survival.
3). Recruitment support
In order to keep up with changing economic and social landscapes, recruitment needs to be a top priority for any company in achieving their wider business mission. Without the right talent, your business risks stagnation and unfilled roles means a risk of work falling through the cracks.
However recruitment can be an artform of its own.
Here are some tips to get you on the right track:
To see how we can support you with adapting to current workplace changes, book a call:
It’s no secret that the future of organisations is employee-centric.
Leaders are fast realising that it serves them to put their employees first.
When employee satisfaction and well-being are a top priority, individuals and teams are happier at work. And happy workers are the reason for happy customers.
Organisations cannot succeed without the hard work and dedication of their employees. That being the case, it’s critical that companies invest in resources to ensure their workers feel taken care of, in every respect.
So, where do we start?
Why the Whole Human being?
Stressed at work?
You’re not the only one.
According to the HSE, an estimated 822,000 people experienced work related stress between 2020 & 2021. In fact, 65% of adults say work is a source of significant source of stress in their lives.
While a little stress isn’t always a bad thing, prolonged stress can take a toll on your mental health.
As our society becomes increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining good mental health; those just beginning their careers, such as Millennials and Gen Z, seek a healthy work-life balance and this is motivating many companies to begin prioritising their employees’ experience in order to appeal to a new generation of workers.
However in company's where stress levels have always been been higher than average, changes in company structure and cultural shifts can take time to implement.
So if you’re stressed at work, these tips can help you start to manage your stress at work more effectively.
If people reach perfection they vanish, you know
Airbnb was (and still is) a huge source of inspiration for us when establishing HR360 Ltd.
Through moving with the shifts in consumer behaviour, Airbnb is renowned for connecting with visitors on a more personal level, outperforming their competitors on the basis of being more in touch with their customers' values and beliefs:
To live like locals, anywhere.
Prior to Airbnb’s disruption, HR360 Ltd's mission was very much people-centric, but we didn’t quite have the words that encapsulated a more human approach to the way we run our organisation.
Then we came across Mark Levy, Chief Global Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb.
Inspired by Mark and his revolutionary movement toward creating experiences for people, we wondered: If we could apply Airbnb’s ethos to the way in which we run our organisations, what could that look like?
When we hear the word agile, most thinking tends toward product and software development.
If you don’t own a technology company, you may think this approach doesn't apply to you; but this couldn't be further from the truth.
For any company that wants to survive in these rapidly changing times, an agile mindset - or as we call it, 'Agility Quotient' (AQ) - is the necessary ingredient for your success.
Being nimble; quick to respond to change; fostering close team interactions and making the best use of technologies will give your company a level of connectivity and collaboration that's essential in order to thrive in these digital times.
We’ve put together 5 key tips from our own experience of working agile to show how adopting this way of thinking can work to support your organisation - without you losing your vision and humanness, in the process.
When was the last time you bought into an experience?
If you've participated in a training workshop, remained a regular at the local café or been involved in a memorable exchange between you and your organisation – it’s safe to say you’re a part of the experience economy.
For decades now, the business world has been primarily focused on increasing employee engagement as the ultimate motivator to organisational success — adding policies and reward schemes, changing processes and promoting better cultural fit.
While these are all necessary to improve organisational systems, studies show engagement scores continue to decline worldwide, with employees demanding more for themselves – both personally and professionally.
Before we can determine the reason why, let’s start by better understanding the two terms.
All too often, business is about following your head rather than your heart. Being a leader positions you to put humanity back into the workplace - so why not capitalise on that power?
Without the emotional component to your leadership, your ability to understand and react to your team's communication and interaction is limited.
We're heading into a future - and some may say we have already arrived - where an emotional connection in the workplace is the key to unleashing the full power and creativity of employee teams, exceptional customer service and strengthened client relationships.
We’ve put together 5 key questions to better understand how emotionally attached your employees are to the organisation and what you can do to help nurture a greater sense of belonging.
Now is as good a time as any to reflect on the relationship you have with your people and ask yourself;
Are these meaningful? If not, what should I do to improve them?
There is no firm agreement on the when the change began, but there is little question that a major shift is taking place in the way people spend their money.
Placing a higher priority on experiences and less on material possessions is becoming more and more noticeable statistically, a trend toward what is being referred to as “The Experience Economy”.
Modern consumers, and millennials in particular, are increasingly looking to be engaged and inspired rather than simply buying “stuff”. They're finding greater satisfaction through memorable experiences than owning things.
And nowhere is this more true than in the modern workplace...
Have you ever felt like you don’t deserve your job or accomplishments? Or that you weren’t capable of the job you were hired (or recruited) for?
You’re not alone!
Impostor Syndrome first gained recognition in the late 1970s. It refers to an individual’s self-doubt of their achievements, sometimes to the point of fearing they’ll be exposed as a fraud. In fact, recent research estimates that 70% of people will deal with Impostor Syndrome across all backgrounds, industries and roles.
So what can you do to deal with it?
Sometimes change happens slowly and sometimes it forces itself on you before you’re ready. One thing that is certain, however, is that it can’t be avoided.
Therefore, understanding what change is in store for your business needs to be every manager’s top priority.
And arguably no facet of a business is more important than the people who work there.
The modern workplace is changing.
Gone are the days when employees were simply concerned with job security and a competitive salary.
Studies tell us that by 2025 millennials will make up roughly 75% of the workforce. Which means that catering to the needs and desires of Gen Y is essential to the future health of any business.*
The question is: what are millennials looking for when it comes to choosing a career or position?
Do you know the Peter Principle? It was a management theory developed by a man called Lawrence Peter in 1968.
It says that people rise to their level of incompetence. They get promoted based on their good performance in previous roles. Once they reach a role where they perform poorly, they don’t get promoted further and stay where they are.
It’s really easy to fall into this trap if, as a first time manager, you aren’t provided with the training and skills needed to effectively manage a team.
Here’s 9 signs that you may be a bad manager who needs to brush up on team management skills.
Imagine you have an employee who performs well but has bad habits: He comes in late, leaves early, and watches Netflix during working hours.
With a poor performer, it’d be easy. But in THIS scenario, the employee is GOOD.
The problem is that you’re concerned how this kind of behaviour impacts the rest of the team, some of whom don’t perform as well as this guy.
So how do you resolve this issue?
In this blog post, we’ll give you the word for word script that millennials and Gen Z respond to the most, we’ll break down the script sentence by sentence and why it is so powerful, and then we’ll analyse how it ties back into one of the main motivating factors for millennial employees:
Risk factors to watch out for that increase the chance a candidate will renege on a job offer or not show up on day one - Part 3: Emotional and Spiritual pulse
How can you spot someone during the interview process who has a higher chance of reneging on the job offer or even not showing up on Day 1?
In Parts 1 and 2 we covered this question - how can you spot someone during the interview process if they will flake on you - from the MENTAL, PHYSICAL and AGILITY pulse point of view in the Five Pulses Model.
Today, we’ll cover the last two - the emotional and spiritual NEEDS every person has when they are considering working for you.
How to spot no-shows and job candidates who may renege on your offer - Part 2: Physical and Agility Pulse
What are the signs of someone who may renege on your job offer or not show up on the first day?
In a previous post, we explored this question from the Mental Pulse perspective in the Five Pulses Model. Quick reminder, this model describes the NEEDS an employee has when joining your organisation. Using this model, we can spot if someone will likely flake on us when we give them a job offer.
This week we want to explore the question from the Physical and Agility pulse perspective. It turns out there are at least 10 signs you should be sensitive to during the interview process.
This will help you avoid bad surprises on the candidate's Day 1.
5 Risk Factors that a candidate will renege on a job offer or not show up on Day 1. Part 1: Mental pulse
How do you spot someone during the job interview process who has a high chance of later flaking on you?
Because there ARE some telltale signs that tell you if someone is likely to pull a no-show later on.
So that’s what we’re going to cover in this video.
When someone reneges on your job offer, it means that it was not attractive enough, plain and simple.
It has not met their needs. What kind of needs do job candidates have?
According to the Five Pulse model, there’s mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and agility needs.
So you hire someone, send them a contract to sign, everything is hunky dory, and then they go MIA or, even worse, they sign but then don’t show up?!?!?
When I told my mum that this happens, her reaction was: “What kind of person does that?”
I know, it’s really annoying, but let’s be grown-ups about it. No-shows and renegs are a fact of life, so we better deal with them.
In this blog post and video series, I’ll give you a recipe how to handle no-shows and reneges. In this first part I will cover what to do to have your own house in order, so that you don’t do things that inadvertently put people off. In Part 2, I’ll tell you all about how to spot the signs that give away when someone is likely to become a no-show. And in Part 3, we’ll discuss what to do if it does happen to you.
So watch out for Parts 2 and 3!
Let’s get started:
People thrive in a new job when they have a few fundamentals ticked which I like to describe as the Five Pulses Model.