CHIEF OF STAFF FIVE: There are only a few days left before 2022 ends and HR professionals are busy preparing their organisations and employees for another year of wins and challenges. With that in mind, setting goals can help them identify their focus for the upcoming year and keep them in the right direction.
Here are five goals that companies may consider for 2023:
1. Set realistic targets
It is normal for companies and employers to aspire for the best outcomes; therefore, they spend a lot of resources to achieve them, sometimes going to extreme lengths. Such drive and passion are considered positive traits, but they also have downsides such as employee burnout, especially when things are becoming too big and moving too fast.
The Covid-19 pandemic also exposed organisational strengths and weaknesses and shed more light on other important issues such as employee skill, satisfaction, productivity, and overall health. These issues transformed the work culture and prompted organisations to take new strategies,
Taking that into account, how each goal is achieved must be accompanied by a realistic timeline and pace. As we approach the new year, organisations should take a step back, assess where they are currently, and set realistic, yet fulfilling goals for 2023 that will benefit both the company and its employees.
2. Embrace work flexibility
There have been studies that show employee productivity dwindles as hours pass by, highlighting the difficulty of focusing in a normal, eight-hour shift. Research also points out the disadvantages of working long hours on employees’ mental and physical health.
Before the pandemic struck, organisations ignored the concept of work flexibility, especially since the norm was to report on-site. But the global health crisis gave organisations little to no choice but to implement remote or alternative work arrangements, which employees grew to love. That’s why, it was easy for employees worldwide to quit when told to report back on-site, with some switching to companies that embraced the rise of remote working. Recent surveys also reveal that many are willing to take a pay cut as long as they can work from home.
If your company has not embraced remote working, then you might want to take a fresh approach to work flexibility, whether in the form of remote work, reduced work hours, output-based versus input-based jobs, four-day workweek, and other strategies.
3. Prioritise employee engagement
Employee engagement may seem like a lot of work at first, but it is a make-or-break for companies, considering its impact on talent retention, productivity, work quality, and organisational profitability and sustainability. This is because employees who feel connected to their organisation work harder, stay longer, and can inspire their colleagues to do the same, as emphasised by research.
Some activities that increase engagement among employees include:
• Including them in crucial decision-making processes
• Opportunities for employees to work with their colleagues from other departments
• Giving employees space for constructive criticism and feedback
• Recognising employees’ achievements, milestones, and contributions to the company
• Offering rewards for exemplary performance such as cash bonuses
However, employee engagement is a two-way street. Both employers and employees have to make an effort to make this happen.
4. More training opportunities
Investing in employee training has proven its benefits long before the Covid-19 pandemic, and it continues to be important for companies to survive, especially amid a growing talent shortage brought on by digitalisation. Therefore, business and HR leaders can help employees realise their full potential by providing adequate and continuous training opportunities.
Employee training is diverse. It can be technical, vocational, as well as managerial. The last one is important to prepare employees for bigger roles in the company. Employee training must also aim for the improvement of employees’ hard and soft skills as both of them have become crucial factors for productivity and growth.
5. Invest in technology, research, and development
Thanks to technology, we can accomplish tasks easier and faster. Over the past decades, technology has transformed workplaces globally and has become one of the top indicators of organisational success. It helps employees and organisations become more efficient and competitive, but it is also fast-evolving. With that in mind, organisations that are too slow to adapt to technological changes are at risk.
One of the ways that technology is changing the business is through Artificial Intelligence (AI), which helps companies with task automation, performance monitoring, data processing, and data interpretation, among other functions.
At the same time, investing in research and development can help companies identify deep-rooted problems and find ways to address them. Moreover, it will empower organisations to come up with cost-efficient and sustainable solutions that will benefit their business in the long run.
As technology continues to shape organisations, it is becoming clearer that adapting to, and investing in innovation have become more of a necessity rather than an option for employers and leaders.