#TheHappyOrganization Through Engaged Employees, Innovated Processes & Delighted Customers | M2M Business Solutions.
There are three stages of any crisis: pre-crisis, crisis response and post-crisis.
Pre-crisis, the first stage, involves prevention. You try to identify known risks and prevent them from becoming crises. But the Covid-19 pandemic, a global health emergency declared by the World Health Organization in March 2020, was not the type of known risk most organizations were prepared for.
Within days, businesses found themselves grappling with a global crisis unlike anything they’d ever experienced. They were forced into the crisis response stage without really knowing how to respond to the evolving uncertainty and risks.
Fortunately, it’s the end of 2022 now, and we appear to be past the more acute phases of the pandemic. But while some organizations are attempting to enter the post-crisis or recovery stage, all business leaders can still feel the effects of the pandemic.
Leadership Challenges In The Pandemic-Transformed World
This unforeseen event has led to unique challenges that business leaders should focus on in order to survive and thrive in the pandemic-transformed world. I’m highlighting a few challenges that I believe require immediate attention, with some tips that can help leaders to come back stronger.
1. The Talent Shortage
The number of talented workers has fallen considerably since the pandemic began. For example, in the U.S., according to an SHRM report, 3.2 million more Baby Boomers retired in the third quarter of 2020 than did in the third quarter of 2019.
Another report found that of women who left jobs in the U.S. between February 2020 and January 2022, more than 1.8 million have yet to rejoin the workforce.
With the talent shortage increasing, organizations are expected to compete aggressively for the limited talent pool.
The right hiring is key to avoiding talent shortage. For leaders and recruiters, it’s essential to know what they need. Start by creating a talent avatar that clearly defines the right fit in terms of experience, skills and personality needed for the role. And once you have the right talent, leaders should focus on:
• Reskilling and upskilling
• Redeploying workforce
• Offering promotions and higher pay
• Offering incentives like remote working, reduced workweeks and flexible schedules
• Avoid forcing excessive workloads on existing employees and consider hiring part-time employees to pick up the slack
2. Attracting And Retaining Top Talent
According to the JOLTS report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10.3 million job openings in the country in October 2022.
However, the number of unemployed persons per job opening stood at 0.6. So, there is only about 50% of the talent to fill in the job openings. Moreover, 4 million employees quit their jobs in October.
With many employees still quitting jobs and not enough talent to fill the vacancies, attracting and retaining top talent has also become a significant leadership challenge.
Here are some tips to help employers attract and retain top talent:
• Rework the hiring process to make it shorter and simpler.
• Limit interviews to fewer rounds.
• Define tasks clearly suited to the employee’s abilities and passion.
• Offer workplace flexibility and stability.
• Help employees connect with the vision and mission of the company.
• Provide opportunities for career growth.
• Recognize employee contributions and keep reminding employees how valuable their contributions are for business growth.
But most importantly, it is important to treat employees well. The best way to retain employees is to treat your employees how you’d like them to treat your customers. The key is to build an environment of trust, respect and support.
3. Leading A Hybrid Team
Remote working became the norm for many during the pandemic. And even now that most businesses have reopened, many employees are not keen to return to their workplaces.
They want employers to implement a more flexible hybrid model that combines working from home and working from the office. According to a McKinsey report, 52% of American employees prefer the hybrid model.
However, maintaining successful professional relationships with employees you don’t regularly see face-to-face is a new challenge for many leaders.
Use these tips to lead a successful hybrid team:
• Build a clear hybrid working structure.
• Regularly schedule meetings with every team member.
• Organize online/offline team-bonding activities.
• The “out of sight, out of mind” approach could prove detrimental; treat remote employees the same as office employees and give them due recognition.
• Use social technology tools like Zoom, G-Suite, Slack, etc., for better communication with team members.
Navigating Today’s Workplace
Challenges and catastrophes are not new to business leaders. However, few past events have been as profound as the Covid-19 pandemic. To recover from a calamity like this, leaders need a well-thought road map that considers each of the unique challenges the organization is facing so that they can effectively tackle them.
Strategy should also pave the path for a pre-crisis plan so that organizations are better equipped to handle such events in the future.
Building a truly agile organization is the key to navigating through these challenges.
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