How to create a positive culture for the post-pandemic workforce
Rutherford Cross consultant Harry Thomson discusses what employees are looking for from the post-pandemic workplace environment, and what businesses can do to build positive connections with the workforce and become an employer of choice.
The challenge facing business
There has been a very noticeable shift in the workforce as we settle into the post-pandemic world, as discussed in our previous article The Rise of Quiet Quitting. The fact remains that we are continuing to see a rise in employees seeking new opportunities and an improved work-life balance.
This has been compounded by external factors such as the cost-of-living crisis and looming threat of recession. However, unlike recessions gone by there is an unprecedented talent shortage worldwide and still very much a need for businesses to continue to hire. This is leaving the modern workforce with more opportunities than ever to move forward in their career depending on their desires.
Why is this happening?
The pandemic impacted the way people view their work life balance in several ways. Firstly, it highlighted that flexible and hybrid working was not only possible, but in many cases had a positive impact on productivity. Secondly, the gravity of a global pandemic made many people re-evaluate what they are looking for from their careers and employers.
Every business is different and will attract different individuals into each business based on a variety of factors including skillset, sector, purpose, and values. When a business is going through a hiring process, it is just as important to match an individual’s ability to perform the tasks of a job as it is to ensure that they are going to fit well within the culture of the business.
With the market shifting from a surplus of candidates available to a surplus of roles and fewer people to fill them, businesses are requiring to be far more proactive in developing their culture to cater for the modern workforce. The companies that are doing this are finding it much easier to retain and attract employees to their business and the ones that aren’t are finding it a more challenging environment.
This has been compounded by more and more organisations proactively showcasing their culture and workplace benefits on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. This has made it far easier for the modern generation to get snippets of information about how other organisations are treating their employees. This information is then beginning to resonate with people more and more as they move into their day-to-day life as they continuously find businesses offering better packages and work-life balances.
How are successful businesses redefining workplace culture?
The office environment:
We are all very much aware of the technology solutions available to us to communicate internally and externally such as Microsoft Teams, but have we considered adapting the modern workplace to accommodate this modern technology? A recent report from JLL revealed that up to 56% of businesses are planning to redesign their offices to accommodate the modern workforce. The benefit adds the ability to easily find a quiet place to have virtual meetings.
Communication is key:
Listen to the modern workforce about the benefits they are feeling about the ability to be able to work from home as it has become the norm. Take a proactive approach to see what improvements employees would want to see in the business culture to aid in fixing issues before they become bigger problems.
Give the employees the ability to be heard, as it is easy for them to feel like a number in a system after a period. If the changes that they want to be made within the business can’t be done, then communicate with employees to ensure that they fully understand the reasons why. The reason “The boss said no” is simply no longer good enough in today’s world and needs to be backed up with reasoning as to why.
It is human nature to naturally develop and grow over time. If you invest time in helping employees gain new skills, then they are more likely to want to stay within a business long-term if they are continuously developing. With training, you can provide training opportunities both internally and externally to help people grow in the areas that are best suited to their needs.
As financial pressures continue it will be important to incentivise your employees to stay within the business as it can be costly and take time to train someone new. As people are going through a real period of change financially and sacrificing a lot within their personal and potentially not feeling as fulfilled outside of work, this can lead to a lack of motivation within work. It can be worthwhile acting swiftly when implementing a pay increase before another business takes an employee away.
On paper, this is certainly easier said than done, and will not change within a business overnight. But if businesses want to attract the best talent in the market there are some changes that can be made to improve their standing amongst the competition.
The businesses that fail to incorporate the majority of these will feel the effects of ‘The Great Resignation’ far more.
If you are considering your accounting & finance hiring requirements or would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article please email Rutherford Cross for a confidential discussion with one of our consultants.