What we can expect businesses to focus on this year? What are staff really demanding from their employers in this age of hybrid working?
Sion Lewis, Vice President & Managing Director EMEA, LogMeIn provides his six top tips for success.
1. Making IT work from anywhere
“It’s an employee’s right that IT just works. There are enough headaches staff have to deal with on a day-to-day basis and the tools they use to complete the job at hand can’t be another one.
“For businesses in 2022, it’s now about ensuring the tools that were implemented during the pandemic are consolidated and working to their full potential to allow employees to do their job to the best of their ability. It just needs to work. Employees are now juggling a hybrid way of working, often across various locations, so let’s make it as easy as possible for them to be at their full potential, wherever they are, without worry.”
2 Trust is the new focus
“What will define great companies next year is how they make flexible work truly successful. This begins and ends with trust. Organisations that are mature enough will allow trust to thrive and will reap the rewards. Leaders need to empower their employees, not micromanage. Giving them the end goal and trusting them to get there with enough checkpoints along the way is the leadership strategy of the future – the days of micromanaging and policing every aspect of employees’ work is over.”
3 Tackling the talent shortage
“To tackle the talent shortage, businesses have to create a culture where people want to work. To start, they need a core, foundational programme to attract new recruits to the company. Then, it takes training and giving them time to learn the skills to do the job.
“You can’t expect new starters to know what they are doing on the first day. Over-hiring in situations and taking the time and energy to teach people how to do their roles may be the solution at a time when it is difficult to buy in talent, and could well be the primary tactics of recruitment next year.”
4 Wellbeing will remain in the spotlight
“2022 won’t see the focus on wellbeing dissipate. Good leaders need to worry about everyone around them. We all have things going on outside of work that could be providing angst, so regular check-ins are hugely important. Providing self-care days, downtime or even allowing pets into offices where possible are just a few ways to prove to staff you care. We know that with a happy and healthy workforce, loyalty follows shortly behind – so culture and wellbeing will be top of mind to keep the talent companies have worked hard to get.”
5 Purpose trumps salary
“Purpose is the priority. For a company, an individual – we all need a purpose. If an organisation doesn’t have a purpose, what is the point in working there? It’s not all about the salary. Employees need to be empowered to be great again and this comes with companies providing the whole package, including good pay.
“However, loyalty should not mean someone gets paid less. Usually, the best way to get paid a higher salary is to jump from job to job. But those who don’t can’t be penalised. As well as providing a true purpose and good culture next year, leaders should look to their loyal employee base and ensure they are getting what they deserve to further inspire company loyalty. Those who realise this sooner rather than later will be in good stead to tackle ongoing labour disruptions.”
6 Offices are now a space for collaboration
“The conversation around the future of offices isn’t going anywhere. It’s really a conversation about the offices of today. Many people want to go back to the office, just not 9am – 5pm. Employees who have lived without the commute don’t want to give up their newfound freedom so easily. This means that offices will now be used in meaningful, collaborative ways, rather than just a place for employees to sit and work.
“Meeting spaces will have collaboration tools incorporated in every aspect they can and technology that just works. They will be places to meet people safely and where employees can do their best work. Any meetings scheduled need to be productive. In the new hybrid world, we are going to need to relearn how we go to work. This means in-office collaboration time needs to be useful for everyone and office spaces must cater for this.
“We need to get people back to the office. But it must be on their terms. Future-looking organisations will provide employees with the environment that allows them to be as efficient and productive as ever, but more importantly, that makes them want to go back.”
BY SUE WHITBREAD
JANUARY 18, 2022