The last few years have been unpredictable, to say the least—but as we start 2023, some things seem certain. The labor shortage is set to continue through the first quarter, which makes finding and keeping top talent a priority across industries. Rising costs are causing everyone to find budget-saving solutions. And as remote work and data security continue to be trending topics, the importance of a secure and stable IT infrastructure is no longer a ‘nice-to-have,’ but a necessity. Here we’ll break down some of the challenges the new year may bring and how to prepare your operation to weather any obstacle!
Wellness is… Well, Good for You!
Establishing work-life balance is one key factor in combating burnout and attracting and keeping talent. Today’s job candidates are seeking wellness-focused benefits. While yoga classes and regular massages might be out of the budget for most companies, employee assistance and health and wellness programs can provide a cost-effective way to provide resources like counseling, guided exercises, and nutritional information without breaking the bank. Shifting managerial focus to measure success by employee output vs. hours worked also provides workers the flexibility to manage their work/life schedule as they see fit. This free option, which embraces a more fluid workday schedule, allows employees to stop watching the clock. Small steps can send a loud signal—one that job seekers are listening for as they conduct interviews.
Room to Grow
New or recently added members to the workforce are expected to hold between 12-15 jobs over their careers. While this number seems high, it shows that younger employees crave flexibility and clear advancement opportunities. Placing your focus on transferable skill education, implementing cross-training programs, and creating a pathway for individuals to grow are all signals to current and future employees that they have room to expand without seeking a new job.
Keeping Quiet Quitting at Bay
Burnout proved to be a real problem in 2022. Businesses across industries saw over-achieving employees shift to doing the bare minimum in a trend known as “quiet quitting.” While this trend has been closely tied to younger workers, the disconnected phenomenon spared no age group. Over 50% of the U.S. workforce identified as quiet quitters, according to a recent Gallup poll. Add to that the downward trend of employee engagement, which saw the ratio of engaged vs. actively disengaged employees fall to a 10-year low of 1.8 to 1. So how can companies turn these numbers around in 2023?
Remote and hybrid work have been contributing factors to this burnout. So, do you have to return to the office full-time to recapture your team’s interest and drive? Not necessarily. Creating an infrastructure where it’s not only possible but easy to accomplish tasks remotely, and a culture of connected employees can tackle these engagement issues – whether you’re working in or out of the office.
Establishing an environment where employees feel and can see that their contributions matter is key to increasing engagement. Maybe that’s through creating a more transparent workflow so each team member can see how their contribution impacted the larger project. Or it could mean taking praise public and calling out wins in team meetings or group settings. And, of course, creating opportunities for team members to connect, whether that is at an office mixer, team lunch, or corporate event, can only increase the level of community your employees feel.
Equipping Your Team
The shift to partially or fully remote is now a benefit most employees depend on. A survey by McKinsey’s American Opportunity found that of currently employed individuals who are offered a remote/hybrid option, 87% of them take advantage of the opportunity. As we have all learned by now, remote workers are only as effective as their equipment. Utilizing up-to-date technology is not only nice to have but is required to stay competitive when recruiting and retaining talent. Advanced phone systems bridge the divide between home and office with call waiting, conference calling, and other convenient features. Web-based troubleshooting and task management tools like qManage allow everyone on the team to stay on the same page—no matter where they are working. And virtual server hosting solutions allow you to outsource the monitoring, calibrations, and other components that come with hosting a server so your team can focus on what they do best. If you were waiting for a sign to invest in comprehensive technology to make remote work easier, this is it!
Get Smart About the Technology You Use
Data security will continue to be a hot topic through 2023. Embracing the most up-to-date systems will provide your teams and clients with peace of mind. That includes embracing Endpoint Detection & Responses (EDR) over traditional Antivirus solutions for malware, beefing up your email security, and investing in solutions that go beyond spam filters and offer encrypted email and advanced inbox monitoring.
As technology gets smarter and AI continues to penetrate every corner of our lives, the phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ has never been more relevant. Working smarter can mean streamlining your team’s processes, saving time, and in some cases, taking monotonous tasks off their plate. Smartphone system features like Auto Attendant automatically receive and direct calls to customized extensions. At the same time, Voicemail-to-Email alerts you via email every time you receive a message and even attaches a .wav file for easy listening. No logging into your voicemail mailbox required. These convenient and time-saving solutions can boost your team’s morale and bottom line – and all happen to be included in LCS’s NDT phone system.
The new year will bring a fresh set of challenges for businesses to face—but with the right people, tools, and strategies, 2023 can be your operation’s best year yet!