It’s time to step up to the challenge

With the dynamic of the business world shifting, with 60% of people employed by smaller businesses. The Festival of Work session “Leading Good Work in Practice” lead by Peter Cheese, Dame Helena Morrisey, Charlie Mayfield and Andy Briggs was a panel discussion about how we move through and out of the current crisis. The mean message from this is that we are all responsible for making change happen and we need to embrace the changes as we continue to see them.

The challenges we are currently facing are by no means small and they appear to be changing almost daily; we have a responsibility to appropriately respond and ensure that our organisation is working in a sustainable way. This includes creating more diverse workforces, embracing flexible working and creating positive cultures whether we are working together or apart.

Diverse and inclusive businesses are able to make better decisions, why? Because they are not only relevant but they are a true representative of our communities. As we go through a period of reflection and future planning, now is the perfect time to see what our Coronavirus legacy will be, what are we doing differently and how are we working differently as a result of the current pandemic?

Some businesses are taking the time to develop their employees by utilising and embracing technology, I have lead many training sessions myself since the lockdown began and for me, there is a clear shift in motivations, engagement levels and employers should be keen to continue this. People have taken the opportunity to develop themselves and HR should shift its traditional skin of processing and become more empowered to develop the organisation throughout and leading the case for change should start here.

The topic of communication has always been a challenge, it has become a Marmite subject and within most exit interviews from departing employees, one of the main themes that is likely to appear is communication needs improving. We know it is essential for regular communication throughout the organisation, but it needs be heard both ways. It is all well and good issuing a qarterly update but that give no idication of the roles played by individuals, in fact is creates a command and control culture which has been proven many times that this approach is no longer effective. By conducting regular reviews and obtaining feedback, organisations can generate inclusion and create cultures of trust. It also allows leaders an opportunity to learn and develop themselves by fully understanding the knowledge and capabilities within our workforces.

With so many organisations forced to embrace working from home and more flexible approaches, now is the time to evaulate and respond to the challenges that the current situation has presented. When it comes to flexible working, people all have different needs and as we are forced into a position where working from home has become the new norm, business leaders need to embrace and acknowledge that whilst initially it didn’t seem ideal, it presents an opportunity to work in different ways as well as opening up the job market to those who may not have been able to access work in a way they needed to with the traditional 9-5 approach.

We have an opportunity to work smarter not harder, let’s do more of that.

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