If you run your own business or if you are in a managerial position, then you will be under no illusion about how difficult the next few months are going to be. The cost of living is skyrocketing, world events are going to have a real impact on businesses and individuals, and UK companies are taking on higher debt just to stay afloat. Just when we thought that things were starting to look a little brighter after two years of struggling, it has become very apparent that we are going to need to stay resilient and resourceful for some time yet.
However, there is no reason for despair. We have shepherded our businesses and our teams through two years of unprecedented difficulty, after all. If we want to make sure that we can continue to take steps forward and reach for new levels of success, we are going to have to find new ways to succeed. One of the most important watchwords in the months to come is going to be efficiency. We are all going to have to learn how to do a lot more with a lot less, and that means finding ways to trim the fat both financially and in terms of time.
We are also going to think very carefully about how we can continue to look after our employees. The reports about the Great Resignation seem to have died down a little in recent weeks, but it would be foolish to think that the reasons for people deciding to leave their jobs and seek new employment have simply resolved themselves. If you want your company to continue to fire on all cylinders, then you need to make sure that your team feels happy and productive. With this in mind, we have put together a few ways that you can help your company to improve both its efficiency and employee satisfaction.
Start with an Audit
The best way to think about how to move forward is to understand how things have been going in the last several months. While it is tempting to write the last couple of years off as an anomaly, the fact is that a lot of the changes that we have gone through are here to stay. The marketplace is not going to revert to the old normal completely, so the data that you have from 2020 onwards is going to be extremely useful.
For example, the full pivot to digital that every business was forced to do is never really going to go away. If you still have some old methods or areas of business that have been in significant decline since March 2020, then it is probably time to cut them loose.
Use Software to Lighten the Load
In this era of hybrid working, it sometimes feels like we are working twice as hard to simply confirm a piece of information. We are all pushing ourselves to work harder than ever, and when you are using the same processes that you did before your business started to grow, then you are going to notice a loss of inefficiency. This is why it is so important to look at how software could make things much easier for your staff.
HR can be one of the most time-consuming and stressful roles in a business. There are so many different responsibilities and requests to keep track of, all while making sure that HR staff can stay available and receptive to the needs of staff. Good HR software can streamline their work processes and make it easier to keep track of everything. If you want to learn more about how to take some of the strain off your HR manager, visit myhrtoolkit. They offer a free trial and can help you to make the HR process more SME friendly.
Encourage Your Employees to Develop New Skills
One of the main causes that we have heard for the Great Resignation is that a lot of people out there have been feeling like there are no opportunities for progression in their current roles. If you want your business to grow, then you are, of course, going to have to bring in new team members, but it is just as important to make sure that you are developing your current staff.
Encourage your employees to pitch for new positions and talk to them about what skills they would like to develop. You should also think about which areas you want your business to expand into in the coming months and offer training options to your employees. Talk to your team leaders about offering the opportunity for less senior employees to shadow them so that they can find out what goes into making some of the bigger decisions. Investing in your employees helps to create a better workplace culture. This will help everyone to feel like they are part of something bigger and that they are all working towards the same goal.
Commit to A Working Situation
One of the biggest discussions over the past couple of years has been the constant tug-of-war of the return to the office issue. It has been more than two years now since we all first started working from home, and if you have yet to reach a concrete decision about your working situation, then it is high time to commit. Uncertainty on this issue is not good for employee morale, and it can seriously impact your productivity.
It is worth remembering that there are a lot of benefits to giving up the office entirely. You will be able to offer truly flexible working hours, and you can recruit employees from all around the country instead of relying on a local talent pool and people who are willing to relocate. You will also be cutting down on costs for you and your employees. On the other hand, some businesses require their staff to be on site. You may also feel that the creativity that can arise from an in-person brainstorming session is simply too important to give up. Hybrid working may very well be the answer, allowing some employees to work from home and others to come into the office. You will need to decide whether the cost of this is something that you can afford.
Communication is one of those areas that we all know is vitally important, and yet which often suffers as soon as there is any kind of rush or problem. For obvious reasons, we have all put a lot of work into good communication over the last couple of years. As we head into the summer, you will need to continue those efforts. Communication is just as crucial for employee morale as it is for business success.
You need to let your team know how you plan to work through the next few months of difficulties and reassure them that you are going to protect their wages and pensions. But communication is also going to be absolutely crucial when it comes to dealing with your business partners and suppliers. With rising prices and increasing delays, you will need to ensure that you get the information about any possible problems as soon as possible. Finally, communication is a cornerstone of customer service. With the marketplace as competitive as it is, this needs to be an area of focus.