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Top 4 Lessons from 2022 to Build a Better Workplace

Every year, like many others, I take the time to reflect on what I have learned in the past year. There has been a whole lot of learning this year! Thinking back to January, I would have never anticipated so many changes and challenges in our economy and business. 

Day by day, month by month, we’ve been trying to keep up with the changes. It’s hard to say whether anyone could ever fully understand all the impacts of COVID, particularly those unrelated to the illness itself. The pandemic has affected everyone so much and the trickle-down effects simply keep going. 

In the workplace, we still don’t know what the future will bring. But there are a few things we can take away from the past year, and perhaps use to predict employment trends in 2023. 

Here are some lessons based on my experience as a business owner and in conversations with employees, clients, and fellow business owners as it relates to their talent and workplace culture. 

Lesson No. 1: We need a new workplace model.

Over the last 2 years, many organizations have kept the work-from-home model because it worked well for their teams, whereas others have made every effort to get their employees back into the office. 

But the question remains; what is the best way to work: work-from-home, full-time in the office, or a hybrid model of the two? 

What we know is that the idea of working from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday, is becoming archaic. Flexible work schedules are a must. But how do we, as leaders, manage this?

This is a work-in-progress and needs to be evaluated often. The workday is changing and like any other change, there will be bumps, changes, and adjustments. What works today might not work tomorrow. Employers are still trying to figure out what model works best for their business and employees, so be agile and do not be afraid to pivot when needed.

Lesson No. 2: Employers and employees need to find a balance–together.

Employees want flexibility and comparable compensation. They’re looking to develop professionally and have a direct impact on the organization. 

Employers worry about the bottom line. Companies need to be profitable and maximize their resources. Planning human resources well will be especially significant in 2023, which requires communication and collaboration with employees.

Ultimately, employees are a direct impact to an organization’s bottom line, both negatively & positively. Business plans need to look at situations (i.e. what could happen) versus just numbers, and how we can involve our employees when the unexpected happens.

Lesson No. 3: Our employees need trust & space to flourish.

On a similar note, we need to give employees room to make mistakes, learn, and grow–don’t micromanage your team members. 

Micromanaging doesn’t help with the company culture or growth & development. In fact, this will directly impact your bottom line because employees won’t feel satisfied with their roles within the organization. 

By ensuring you are an employer of choice, you can be assured that you are engaging & retaining the top talent with the right skills for your needs. We should be confident in our teams and trust them to do their jobs well.

Lesson No. 4: Growth & development are crucial for employers, too.

As employers, we always need to grow. We need to learn, be nimble, and change our ways if the current methods are not working. 

There will come a time when we have to accept that we’re not as good at what we do anymore and it’s time to get out of the way to make room for those we have trained. We all have limitations. But by hiring employees we trust to work in the business, we’re able to work on other projects, such as planning growth strategies, onboarding new talent, or looking for new opportunities to expand your scope.

On a personal level, this means I’ve been able to build my recruitment training program. This program is designed to help small- to medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations recruit top talent. Recruitment is not something companies typically train leaders to do, but it is crucial to the success of an organization. This program will help you recruit & train with more ease & success.

You can find out more about the program Improve Your Recruiting Skills by clicking here.

The economy in Saskatchewan and Alberta has remained strong and there are plenty of opportunities. It’s clear that the Canadian labour shortage will continue to pose a challenge for employers looking to hire in 2023. Employers, such as those in Saskatoon and Calgary, will need to focus on both attracting & retaining top talent in order to get back to business. 

This year has required a lot of learning, pivoting, and navigating through uncharted waters. 2023 will be  much of the same, but there is plenty we can take from what we learned in 2022 to help us move forward. 

Reach out to Essence Recruitment and find out how we’re helping our clients plan for a successful 2023.

Written by:
Tracy Arno
Published: January 5, 2023
Updated: April 27, 2023