Lessons From Lockdown (Spa + Clinic #88)

Lessons from lockdown

People & Culture have never been a more important aspect of your business. Savvy business owners are enlisting help from experts to ensure they stay in touch with their people and stay ahead of the Great Resignation.

The years 2020 and 2021 will be remembered for many reasons including long lockdowns, the worldwide adoption of Zoom, wearing masks for everyday outings and the unprecedented use of the word ‘unprecedented’. However, some of the most lasting changes created by the pandemic are those that have impacted workplaces around the world.

During the height of the pandemic, workforces shifted focus, transformed their product offering and adapted to remote working models, all in an effort to survive. Despite the stressful and turbulent aspects of dealing with a worldwide pandemic, an upside of the long periods of lockdown was the shift in the way people think about and act in the workplace. Resulting in both physical and cultural workplace changes that will remain with us forever!

Workplaces that truly thrive in the ‘new normal’ era will be those that learn from worldwide trends, take time to listen to their employees, embrace change, provide flexibility and focus on creating a positive workplace culture that nurtures mental health and employee wellbeing. This is a big task and many businesses simply can’t focus on all these aspects and run a profitable business at the same time. Another trend has been a huge uptake in enlisting experts in the field of People & Culture to help manage the post lockdown generation workplace.

It is not just employees who are changing, it is employers too! The pandemic has forced business leaders to embrace the digital age as the traditional workplace retreated to the home for many workers. Employers and employees were forced to focus on what is really important to them and reflect on the things that they had simply accepted as part of employment, such as travelling long distances to work, putting up with long hours, unreasonable workloads or dealing with the office grouch or bully!

Time away from the workplace gave both bosses and workers the opportunity to reflect on what is really important to them. For many employers it was the first time they had truly focused on: what was not working, how things could be done differently and how important workplace culture is in attracting and retaining top talent. Thanks to COVID-19, the people management space has been transformed forever and embracing new technology or allowing employees to work from home is only the tip of the iceberg.

As the world returns to the new normal, employees are crying out for greater flexibility in the hours they work and to have a say in where they work. Now more than ever, there is a focus on a positive workplace culture that will protect and nurture mental health. Astute business owners are looking at worldwide trends including ‘The Great Resignation’ and listening to their employees’ demands, all in a bid to stay ahead of the game and ensure they not only retain their valued employees but also attract top talent to their teams. ‘The Great Resignation’ is a term that was given to the worldwide trend that is seeing people leaving their jobs in droves across UK, USA and Europe. The World Economic Forum provided a shocking statistic; 41% of employees worldwide plan to leave their jobs this year (2021). A PwC report titled What Workers Want: Winning the War for Talent, in which 1,800 Aussie workers were surveyed, revealed a staggering 38% of workers plan on changing jobs in the next 6 – 12 months.

Retaining key people and attracting the best in the candidate pool has never been more important. According to a study by Seek, the average time to fill a vacant role in Australia has grown to 82 days, up from an average of 68 in 2018 and a figure that has doubled since 2010. Additionally, it takes an average of 26 weeks for a new hire to be
fully competent in their role, providing great incentive to implement changes or business owners to ensure they hold on to the top talent already in your business.

In our changing workplaces, where people are focused on personal wellbeing and flexibility, work-life-balance and making life choices based on the delivery of these requests, there is no better time to be looking carefully at your People & Culture!

Lizzy Boots is the Director of Boots & All Consulting. bootsandall.com.au

As seen in Spa + Clinic #88