Here Are The Insights You Need To Weather The Economy
CEO ActivTrakis a seasoned technology executive and entrepreneur focused on delivering enterprise-grade solutions to mid-market businesses.
Becoming a leader is a challenging time.
My social media is flooded with articles about the growing headwinds crippling our economy – the impact of remote and hybrid work on recruiting and retention, the cost of unused commercial office space, the ballooning of budget-eating SaaS technologies.
Today’s reality after a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic looks very different Compared to past recessions, different road signs are needed to guide us forward. There are four key areas that keep popping up when I talk to other companies – I thought I’d share some thoughts on advice to help address these issues.
human resource planing
Operational adjustments to today’s work environment can impact an employee’s ability to remain productive, focused and engaged.According to Gallup data, with only 36% of U.S. employees working, there is plenty of room for improvement. This requires consideration of how resource needs can be met with more stringent spending and hiring conditions.
Before taking drastic measures like layoffs, it’s worth asking first: Are any people or teams currently underutilized or overutilized? Can some employees take on more work or can they be reassigned? How does team productivity differ in remote, hybrid, and office work environments? Do we have the right training and policies to ensure ongoing balance and well-being? Answering these questions can help identify key business initiatives that have less employee impact, greater employee engagement, and better business outcomes.
Employee engagement and burnout
According to the 2021 report post Asana (via CIO Dive), “72% of employees [feel] The stress of multitasking during the day as multiple platforms vie for attention. How does this affect their focus, fatigue and morale? Even before the pandemic, 91% of professionals in the US Say Unmanageable stress or frustration can affect the quality of their work, with around 70 percent saying their employer isn’t doing enough to minimize burnout. The shift to remote and hybrid work will only exacerbate this. When considering workforce planning and headcount, we must also consider how to retain and develop existing employees.
As leaders, we have a responsibility to ask: Where do employees spend their time? Is it too much, not enough or just right? How does this vary by time of day, day of the week, or different location? Are they constantly bombarded with distractions and distractions? How does this compare between teams and individuals? Armed with this data, organizations can take steps to ensure healthier work habits that directly impact employee engagement and retention. This can include reducing unproductive meetings, eliminating the need to continually manage “check-ins” or setting up core work hours for collaboration.
For decades, organizational design experts have focused on a human-centered approach to improving how people work together and how companies respond to change.However, business leaders face many challenges in this regard, as NOBL Academy describe:
“Bureaucracy is holding us back from moving forward. We’ve become less customer-centric and don’t see how our actions affect the big picture. Our mission is to work longer, harder, not smarter, to deal with a faster world.”
That “smarter” part is the key. How do the top performers perform on the process? How many of these jobs are deep work, multitasking, and collaboration? Are there opportunities to learn from them and train others? Which are the right metrics to choose to capture the baseline for productive work? How can we more effectively engage and empower employees to understand and improve their own work habits? Establishing metrics for working time, productive time, and focused work time can be a powerful way to gain insight into team efficiency and effectiveness — which brings me to the fourth and final consideration: technology use and investment.
Resource use and investment
“Resources” in this category include technology and real estate.according to Research According to Ladders, by 2023, “25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote.” That’s a lot of empty meeting rooms and potential SaaS licenses missing. Box Chief Revenue Officer Mark Wayland said outspoken: “Our tech stack is like an overcrowded club – I can’t get more apps in until a few people leave. … If you can’t answer the ‘what can I retire?’ question, I Do not listen.”
He is not alone. While remote work does place an operational burden on IT, more CIOs are asking: Which technologies account for my biggest spending? How are they used and by whom? What opportunities are there to optimize licenses or increase training? Similar considerations apply to office space.as a return to the office uphill, as are inflation-driven lease and operating costs. Hybrid and remote teams make these investments harder to justify. Do you know how often employees come to the office? Do you have more space than you really need? Is the space optimally configured to promote focused and collaborative activities that generate productivity and results?
Having the right insights can help turn economic uncertainty into action during difficult times. Fortunately, many of the answers we need are right in front of us; we just have to look more carefully and work harder to find them. The four areas above are a good place to start.
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