There have been many key business challenges over the last couple of years – keeping your business afloat was probably one of them. But now that things are starting to normalise (sort of) post Covid, you might be facing a new set of key business challenges in 2022. One of the most critical being staffing.

You’ve probably seen a lot written about the great resignation that’s reportedly happened/happening globally. But it’s not just people quitting their jobs and moving on, rather it’s the difficulty in replacing them when/(if) it happens.

Covid has seen a lot of people, not just GenZ and millennials, reconsider what working means to them and how best to make work fit into the life they’d like to live, not just having life fit in around work as it has done for a long, long time for a lot of people. So whilst younger workers might be having something of a moment of reflection, many more mature workers are considering leaving (or have already left) the workforce altogether. Or have they?

In the words of a long gone, but often referred to ’80’s ad, “but wait, there’s more”… to consider at least (aka times may well be a-changing).

Many of those taking what might be considered an understandable pause in employment, might not yet have experienced the tumult of real recession where jobs are harder to come by, considering we haven’t really seen a recession in more than two decades – the last one being the “recession we had to have” back in the 1990’s when interest rates hit the high teens (let’s hope that never happens again). Recession combined with the rising inflation we’re starting to see might have more of an impact than the pundits predicted back in 2021 – when it seemed like we might all continue on our merry way as we had before Covid darkened our doorsteps.

The dollars that were squirrelled away in bank accounts during Covid are likely not to go as far in an inflationary environment as their savers intended, combined with harder to get jobs might just drive job-leavers and job-pausers back to more traditional jobs. Don’t believe me? Just yesterday, I saw a news story about a well funded fin-tech company dropping 30% of its jobs due to a tightening financial environment and today there was a massive stock market fall. It might just be the beginning, but mark my words, it’s likely to continue. There are upwards pressures taking hold everywhere and once that really begins to bite hard, jobs will be harder to come by.

All of that having been said, in the shorter term, whilst it’s still a job-seekers market, it’s likely to be harder to replace those that leave your business. So what should you consider either putting place or heralding if you’ve already got it?

Company values

What values does your business live and breathe each day? What does it hold dear? Aside from revenue, customer service and great products/services (which seem to have become a bit ‘hygiene’ factor). Especially the younger generations (Z and Millennials) are looking for real examples of diversity, inclusion, social equity and responsibility. BUT…it has to be real, not just on a poster on the wall or up in lights on the website. Maybe you’re an all woman team or have women leaders or your staff at all levels represent the united nations or your social responsibility programs support homeless youth and you all volunteer to help out at a local shelter. If you’re doing something like that, have it be part of your pitch to new hires (yes, for the moment, you’re the one pitching to win their agreement to join your business). If nothing immediately springs to mind, think about what social cause you might be able to support moving forward. If you need help coming up with something, ask a younger member of your staff – they’re sure to have ideas, they’d love to contribute.

Real leadership

In his book Leaders Eat Last – a book essentially about leading Millenials, Simon Sinek talks about  the fact that true leaders really listen and then act. Not just smile, nod and continue on their way. Younger generations abhor a ‘she’ll be fine’, ’let it slide’ approach. They want accountability and fixes for things that matter – I.e. toxic workplace cultures, poor behaviours, inequalities, unkept promises, etc. Consider taking the approach that great leadership can be found regardless of title and empower your team to function independently.

Recognition

Everyone, regardless of age, stage or generation, likes a moment of basking in a job well done. Make sure you’re delivering recognition the way the receiver prefers, as not everyone likes to be clapped and celebrated in a group setting – even if the group is just a handful of people. Sometimes a quiet “thanks” is what’s wanted. And even if the job didn’t quite work out as expected, younger generations like feedback. Not only does it highlight you care about how they’re performing, it shows you’re keen to see them to improve. However, make sure you’re clear about any KPIs up front. Measuring results with no real guidelines (or training) in advance isn’t effective or particularly fair.

A chance to move the business forward

It maybe helping with a new website, getting your business on social media, moving your business onto a new cloud platform like Xero or implementing a new sales platform, whatever it is, chances are your younger staff have an idea of what’s new in your sector’s technology and what they’d like to see happen. Allowing staff some scope to research and possibly implement forward looking change in the business not only allows them to grow and feel like they’re contributing something of extra value, it also saves you time and possibly sanity too.

And that’s where we can help. If you’re looking for someone to help you implement a move to book-keeping cloud technology for your company to make reconcilliations and record keeping easier, we’d be delighted to help. You can call us on 6023 1700.

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