There is no doubt that a year of on/off lockdown, unplanned remote working and economic upheaval has propelled workplaces into a new era. The prospects for growth are exciting for those agile enough to take their opportunities in the talent market.
Effective and innovative talent management will be more important than ever to be sure that the right people are in the right jobs, ready to seize the day.
The organisations that will be successful are those who strategically plan ahead. Workplaces will continue to migrate back and forth from the kitchen table to the office desk during the working week. Successful organisations will identify potential leaders with the appropriate personality traits and skill sets to lead confidently into the future. Success will follow when teams are based on strong, healthy workplace relationships.
Recruiting out of the box
Much has been made in the media about those hit hardest in the job market over the last year. Most focus has been on the young, but older workers have also been hit particularly hard. The decline in the employment rate during the pandemic for the over-50s has been twice as severe as for those aged between 25 and 49.
Here we have both sides of the coin that might make them less appealing to employers:
- Too little experience – underqualified
- Too much experience – overqualified
In a 2020 interview with Engage People’s Paul McClatchie, Phorest Salon Software’s Managing Director Ronan Perceval explained how his organisation is not in a position to pay high salaries in line with the likes of Amazon and Google. Instead he looks for individuals who are actually much better than they appear on paper. These are candidates who may not have the experience or technical skills, but who have a personality in line with the values of the organisation and the traits to match the needs of the job. This not only enables Phorest to compete for talent with much larger organisations but also puts it in a position to further invest in developing people who have a good cultural fit.
This approach doesn’t rely on the age or experience of an applicant to indicate whether they will be successful in the role. It seeks to approach everyone as an individual who could bring great value to the organisation. To a certain extent, technical skills can be taught. Personality traits however are fixed. Organisations should look for the transferable skills that an applicant brings and ask, ‘can this work for us?’
Managing motivation in your hybrid teams
Notwithstanding the challenges, a move to sustained blended or hybrid working moving forward is inevitable. Nearly 40% of the global workforce shifted to remote working almost overnight. Pandora’s Box is open and some employers require their employees to return to a full-time office environment, other employers opting for their employees to continue to work from home. This poses a problem for leaders and HR teams. How do you manage your employees expectations?
Maintaining motivation and productivity is a pressing issue at this point of the Covid curve. For those remote workers, continuing to work from home, typically put in longer hours and have less opportunity to get away from the pressures of their work. They are more susceptible to burnout which negatively impacts the motivation and damages team cohesion.
There is also a huge impact on the leaders themselves to consider. Who can they talk to? Away from the office it’s that much harder to informally mull over issues with a wider leadership team. Instead they are left in lonely silos. In a recent survey by analyst company IDC in association with Unisys, around 40% of business leaders said they are worried about the difficulties of communicating with other team members,and a similar proportion concerned about lack of management oversight as organisations move to hybrid working. Leaders will need to take care that concern over reduced management oversight does not lead to excessive monitoring or surveillance. Could employee empowerment actually yield better results?
Develop strong teams and leaders
The answer is twofold. Make sure your teams and leaders are supported for the job they have now, wherever that may be and however that might have changed in the last year. Provide them with appropriate support if the new needs of the role push them out of their comfort zone for extended periods, to avoid burnout. Stretched is good, stressed is not.
Secondly help your people to better understand their emotional intelligence, resilience and motivation. With better understanding of why we react the way they do, we have the opportunity to make appropriate adjustments.
Teams and leaders can only be as strong as their workplace relationships. They should be diverse in thought and pool multiple talents. Well developed emotional and social intelligence within teams, combats conflict and keeps relationships healthy and creative. Build your teams, invest in them and nurture them to create the conditions for success.
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