When it comes to end of financial year (EOFY) many businesses get caught up in reporting and compliance requirements. However, EOFY is also an important time to plan and set workforce goals for the next financial year. Consider: What went well last year? What can we improve on? And where do we want our business and workforce to be by June 2023? These future planning considerations are even more important as we see new challenges and opportunities emerging in a post-pandemic world.
So, to make sure you’re considering all you need for a positive and productive 2023, here’s our checklist of what to focus on:
Balancing Return to Work and Hybrid Models
We are seeing so many businesses struggle with an appropriate hybrid working arrangement that suits business needs and balances employee flexibility. We’re equally seeing the difficulty in returning employees to the office entirely. After at least two years of employees working from home/remotely, many have started to question whether they really need to be in the office 5 days a week and have new expectations of a work-life balance.
It is important for employers to:
- Have flexible working options available for employees to consider and keep conversations open on your expectation of their return to work.
Whether or not you are implementing a hybrid-work policy or expecting employees back in the office full-time, make sure you communicate this with your workforce and provide them with enough notice on when the implementation will take place.
- Promote the social and cultural reasons for coming back to work!
The social aspect of being around a team in person is a key thing we have all missed during the pandemic – so facilitate bringing your team back together, with social initiatives to welcome everyone back to the office – especially if you had any new starters during lockdown.
- Create clear channels of communication
Remember that a hybrid working model (if implemented) can be at your total discretion, and if it not working out (whether for the business or the employee), have a clear procedure in place to discuss this instead of sweeping the issue under the carpet. When working from home, it’s easier to delay having these difficult conversations, so make sure there are frequent and established check-ins for people to provide feedback on their working arrangements.
Culture, Engagement, and Investing in your People
We were all warned about this ‘great resignation’ in late 2021 but at Workplace Wizards, we’re really seeing this movement occur across all industries at all levels. A key consideration in planning your business’ future is securing your talent. On top of this, since the pandemic, culture and collaboration were hit hard with many working remotely and continuing to do so. Therefore, employers are faced with the dual challenge of restoring team wellbeing post-pandemic and inspiring their workforce for the future.
Here are our two key retention and development considerations to secure your business into the future:
- Focus on Culture and Engagement
Knowing what problems exist in your organisation can help avoid the mass exits that we’re seeing. As mentioned above, with employees re-evaluating their work life balance, work culture is even more important to ensure retention. Go beyond the ‘take time lieu’ approach if people are overworked. Prioritise health, readjust workloads and promote flexibility. Also take time to invest in a culture and engagement audit. Consult and get input from your employees on what can support their wellbeing.
This is also especially important in managing employee absenteeism. Ensuring employees have a supportive workplace means that they are more likely to firstly, communicate to you when they may be facing challenges but also, facilitate their return to work.
- Empower Career Development
With lots of movement happening and record low unemployment rates, now is the time for employers to demonstrate to their staff the opportunities available if they stay. Think about those that may be getting too comfortable in their role or have been within their position for a long time with no clear promotion or growth pathway. Capitalise on investing in their future and show them that you want to support their development. Recognition and serious commitment to development can go a long way in making your employees feel valued at work!
Build your Leadership Team
Though delivering on all the above is the responsibility of the business as a whole, your managers will be at the centre of a lot of these initiatives. From having return to work conversations, facilitating performance improvement plans and checking in on staff wellbeing – there is a renewed need for your team leaders to be exactly that, leaders.
Sure, your team leaders might be great at what they do technically, but how good are they at being managers and leaders? It’s more important now than ever to ensure your team leaders are equipped for having productive and difficult conversations and supporting their direct reports.
Here are some key topics we recommend training your team leaders on:
- Managing interpersonal conflicts
Team members have spent a long time out of the office, this means that there is an increased likelihood for interpersonal conflict upon return to work. Managers will have a key role to play to make sure these grievances aren’t unnecessarily escalated and can be resolved fairly and quickly.
- Preparing and delivering performance management plans
Investing in your team also means having leaders who can guide and track members’ performance. It is important to make sure that your leaders can identify when performance management is needed and have constructive conversations to support the employee.
- Strategic thinking versus Managerial functions
Empowering your staff through all of the above means that your team leaders can also shift their perspective to be strategic instead of bogged in everyday management. Support your managers to train up their staff, so that they can turn to being more innovative and come up with new ways to achieve business goals.
There’s a lot that goes into planning for the future – but it starts with knowing what your priorities are for the year and supporting your workforce to achieve these. As always, we’re here to support you in achieving exactly that. From facilitating team training sessions, conducting culture and engagement audits and performance improvement plans – we’re here no matter what planning stage you’re at.
So, while you budget for the FY22/23 year ahead, carefully think about your HR needs and priorities and let us be a part of the planning and implementation stage with you. Reach out to us on (03) 9087 6949 or email us at email@example.com so that we can partner with you during this exciting year ahead!