With 2017’s Q1 behind us, it’s time to look back and reflect on some of the big pushes happening in the business world this year. While this list doesn’t focus on any specific industry or any specific company size, below are some key components we believe will lead to a successful workplace and happy team in 2017, no matter your size or industry.
1. Time to go digital
Since Y2K, one would assume that investment in the digital sphere is not only a safe bet but one that most companies have already made. However, there continues to be a need for digital innovation and upgrading in most companies. The use of video, either for clients, internal training or townhalls, has created a greater global reach for many nationally focused clients. Whether you’re a CEO or a month into your entry level role, take a step back and ask yourself: “Do I see any opportunities to grow the company’s reach and service through evolving digitally?”.
2. Stop playing “Broken telephone”
Most people remember the broken telephone game in school. Say a message to one person, they repeat it to the next and so on, by the end, the message is generally distorted or incorrect. The same seems to go for internal messaging and communication. Too often, executives send out directives to leaders – with the intention that those leaders will then relay the message to staff. While this may work for some updates, don’t dismiss the power of “face-time” and communicating person to person. Hold town halls, meet with people, invest in the human touch.
3. Wellness is the new dental
In the past, companies could win over potential employees with health & dental coverage. Over time, the term “wellness” has emerged as the key to recruiting and retaining top staff. Ranging from physical wellness, such as gyms and yoga memberships, to mental wellness, such as personal time off and company events, there has been a shift in the “perks” that not only draw, but also ensure companies to retain top talent. What can you offer your staff to keep them happy, and feeling valued from day 1 straight through to day 1000.
4. Allow people to lead themselves
We’ve all grown accustomed to the traditional pyramid structure of reporting; 10 staff report to 1 team leader who reports to 1 manager who reports to 1 executive, with slight variations. With the growing drive to be more self-led and self-developed, many new hires are looking for the opportunity to prove themselves in a less constricting environment. Consider your star players, perhaps it’s time to give them some freedom to lead, even if it’s just themselves. The only way you will develop tomorrow’s leadership for your company is to start empowering them now.
5. Where is the next rung on this ladder?
It’s important to acknowledge that not all people strive to climb the corporate ladder. Here, I like to use the analogy of people climbing the “corporate scaffolding”. Many employees want options to move laterally and climb their own way and at their own pace. It may take more time for them to reach the top, but when they do, they will be exceptionally well-rounded and well-versed in their functions and the company. Do you think you have staff that fit this profile? Ask. Provide staff with understanding or future opportunities and see if they’d rather climb the ladder or traverse the scaffolding.
6. Learn & earn
While wellness is crucial and so is personal development, many companies have begun to explore external learning opportunities for their staff. As the digital age has created an exponential learning cycle, your staff will need the ability and tools to continue to learn. As staff attain new skills they’ll apply them in their roles, ensuring your company’s innovation and success. Consider local or online resources you can direct staff to, or are there training opportunities you can perhaps subsidize? Can you host lunch and learns, or have guest speakers come in for a day? Any one of these investments will pay for itself with an increase in staff engagement and personal development.
7. Open concept workforce
As a team member looking up or an executive looking down, everyone in your company should have a better idea of what different teams or groups do. Either to better understand your business service or simply to better understand your company’s internal work. Having clarity between staff roles and executive roles creates a more open workforce. If you are going to make crucial decisions, either as an executive or a new hire looking to grow in the company, understanding what is in front of you, and knowing what brought you here, gives you the informed guidance to make the best decisions.
By: Andrew Martel, Senior Business Analyst