The State of Things

by Kristen Enright, SGEi Director of Culture and Learning, AUS | NZ

Over this past year, I have sat down with hundreds of business owners, executives, emerging leaders, managers, and every title in-between from companies across New Zealand and Australia. These individuals come from different industries, backgrounds, skill sets, personalities, passions, and pay grades. However, despite their vast differences, certain themes have continued to pop up in our strategy and coaching sessions. The workforce has undoubtedly changed over the last half-decade, but things are settling, building, and booming again. However, people are feeling pressured in many similar ways. So, I thought I’d break down the state of the workforce on this side of the world with a few tips on how to work through it and improve company culture.

Lack of talent

People are working differently post-COVID. Whether working from home, via a hybrid schedule, or leaving the traditional workforce completely, the talent pool has changed, and they have different expectations. Because of this, it can be hard to find good staff. Pair that with an industry with seasonal workers or high and low seasons, which can make things particularly difficult. So, how do we combat this new environment and ensure the work is getting done and our teams are full?

  1. Have a strong culture and hire for job fit.
  2. Focus on your values.
  3. Know the expectations.
  4. Create opportunities.

Lack of time

With a hybrid workforce, difficulty finding and retaining talent, and demand stabilizing/increasing, it can be difficult to “shut off” work at the end of the day. Even if you are fully staffed, the new working environment post-COVID has created an atmosphere where it’s more difficult to disconnect from work—and it is weighing people down. So, how do we navigate this new environment so that work is getting done but we don’t burn out?

  1. Be in control of your schedule.
  2. Set the “out of office” standard.
  3. Know your place.
  4. Ask for help.

Lack of opportunities

We get a job because we need a paycheck, yet we work because we want purpose. However, no matter how passionate we are when we start a job, it is easy to get stuck in the weeds and start to lose that passion. When this happens, people start to blame the job. They blame the managers, the environment, and the corporate culture. One of the last places we normally look to blame is our own actions. Taking a look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it could be the most effective place to start to generate the fastest benefits. So, how can we get out of the weeds and not only make room for opportunities but potentially create them ourselves?

  1. Know your role.
  2. Delegate
    • Know the task.
    • Know what type of task.
  1. Pick your head up.
  2. Get out there.

The themes above aren’t earth-shattering or anything you’re seeing for the first time, but they make a huge impact on our ability to perform and improve company culture. It all comes down to doing our best to control the situations around us through reflection, empathy, recognition, and clarity.

  • Reflecting on what is actually causing stress. Is it a lack of talent or a lack of focus on who to hire that is causing workforce shortages?
  • Having empathy for our teams and ourselves when setting expectations for our team and workplace. Ensuring our actions reflect our values and culture.
  • Making sure there is recognition, both for our teams and ourselves of what our roles look like and being able to recognize when we may be stuck in the weeks.
  • Having clarity on what our individual and team goals are, what ignites our passion for our work, and how we can best empower the hearts and minds of all of those around us (including ourselves) to achieve success.

Over the coming weeks, we are going to break each one of these sections down with more tips and exercises. Don’t miss this opportunity to put these into practice. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn for these tips and more!

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