As we move through the fourth quarter of the year, any thought that the constantly evolving world of work would have stabilized even slightly by the end of 2022 is out the window. Based on what we’re seeing at our organization and many of the companies we work with, feedback from colleagues in the industry and stories in the media, the workforce and labor market are still very much in turmoil.
Finding, hiring and retaining quality candidates has never been more difficult across practically every profession, industry and job type. Employee engagement is declining. Many people are still searching for “the next big thing.” Labor productivity has decreased. The work-life balance equation continues to shift.
The list goes on, filled with trends and circumstances we all know all too well. And there are no indications that many of these dynamics will change at any point in the near future or, in some cases, ever.
Against this backdrop of seismic shifts among the workforce — or, perhaps because of it — we’re seeing some concerning signs in the economy. Layoffs have increased, the cost of everything is going up, and some level of recession seems increasingly likely.
None of this is meant to convey a sense of doom and gloom. In fact, far from it. Because while we’re all familiar with the situations described above, it’s also true that many companies are still doing well by many measures. In our case, some of the key performance indicators we look at — such as number of client and prospect meetings per week, submissions of proposals to clients and prospects, and MSAs signed — are all up significantly over the last 45 days.
In talking with other companies, I often hear about similar results: Growth may have slowed a bit and become increasingly less predictable, but growth is still happening. What are some approaches you can take to find success in today’s ever-changing business and employment environment? Here are three to consider:
Listening. Plan to spend a good portion of your week intentionally and actively listening to customers, employees and other stakeholders. Set aside dedicated time each day to talk with customers about how they and their business are doing, and then follow up in two to three days with recommendations for addressing the client’s challenges and opportunities.
Flexibility. Be prepared to adapt and adjust to changing circumstances, new requests and unanticipated situations with customers and employees on a daily basis. Flexibility, underscored by empathy, goes a long way in instilling the confidence, loyalty and support of people who look to you for leadership and guidance during these unsettled times.
Accountability. This may be the single most important trait of a successful company. At a time when there are so many factors influencing our business that are out of our control, making sure we’re holding ourselves and our team members accountable for those aspects of individual and corporate performance we can control is essential.
Each day provides an opportunity to make a positive impact on our people, our company and our customers during this truly historic period. Embrace it and enjoy!