2022 has been challenging for several small-to-medium businesses. “It’s been just another year of business” is something I haven’t heard any of my clients say this year.
However, this year has taught us many valuable lessons as employees, managers and business owners. So before you sit down to celebrate with your team at the annual Christmas party, take a moment to catch the lessons of this year, and plan for the upcoming year. I’d encourage you to ask yourself these two questions: To successfully grow my people and business next year,

• What will I leave behind in 2022?
• What will I take with me into 2023?

These answers will provide key insights into your business so don’t ignore these valuable lessons that 2022 has taught you. To kick-start your thoughts, here’s what I’ve seen for so many of my clients this year.

What To Leave Behind in 2022:

Ditch the Covid mindset
Covid has redefined our business like nothing else. Across the country, employers and their people have risen to the challenge, walked through the tough times and reshaped how they do what they do. Brilliant initiatives and changes have been made to take businesses to the next level. Embrace the new norm because it is exactly that – it’s now our norm.

Turning a blind eye to poor employee behaviour to keep staff
Sadly, this was a common theme witnessed this year due to staff shortages occurring in almost every industry. Yet it doesn’t mean you can be held to ransom, just because an employee has decided to book a last-minute personal appointment, or they want time off work and giving you no reason. Check that you’ve got decent engagement initiatives in place, performance and conduct policies, keep on top of your 1-2-1s and say no early to bad behaviour.

Stop passing on the blame
For some, employment legislation changes have been difficult to understand, and frustrating to implement. However, there comes a point where “it is what it is”. Employment legislation is a reality and an obligation of any employer, even before Covid. Seek to understand what your obligations are as an employer, follow them and get them implemented.  The courts do not look favourably on business owners who claim that they did not know what their employer obligations are or were. Please don’t shoot the messenger here, if you’re still confused by any changes, then let Tradie HR help you gain clarity and check that you’ve got key HR policies in place so you can walk easier into 2023.

What to take with you in 2023:

So, what about the wins, the good people stuff that has taken our businesses to the next level? This has been the aspect of kiwi businesses that has excited me the most. The changes businesses have made this year will not only give business owners and managers success for 2023 but will hopefully bring further success in the ensuing years. Here’s my top four:

Grow a people mindset
Many employers have clicked that to keep their people, they need to grow their people. Employers have been finding better ways to transfer staff to projects/work experience they have never been a part of it, creating a new challenge and keeping the team member wanting to stay. The long-term benefit is not only a more engaged and skilled workforce, but also a workforce that stays put.

Developing employee experience plans
Several of my clients in construction, electrical, plumbing and painting have worked hard, and define what it means and looks like to work in their businesses.  From this, the owners can clearly articulate what it means to work for them, and in return, they’re attracting the right type of people that they want to hire. From when people start, to when and if they leave, having a roadmap of an employee’s journey (induction, development, reviews) truly fosters your employees in having a more positive experience working at your company.

Increasing middle managers and supervisors development
These people are the “glue” that keeps your company together. More than ever, business owners have started putting time and money aside to develop this significant people asset – these exceptional people that make things happen in your business. From this investment, we have seen huge benefits, including improved productivity, fewer days off work and overall, a much happier workforce that is keen to stay.

Hold more 1-2-1s
This golden nugget is becoming so much more well-established in workplaces where managers are proactively setting aside time to have regular 1-2-1s with their team members. Issues that could have gotten completely out of control have been caught a lot earlier. More managers are gaining valuable insights into what’s actually going on for their people, noticing subtle changes that they can fix earlier and easier. If you haven’t organised these with your team members yet, open those calendars and get them set up for each month in 2023.

Don’t forget to take a break

Again, this year has challenged business owners and managers like never before. Look back at how hard you have worked over 2022 and take time to celebrate. Once you’re back in the office in 2023, and if you want to take your people to a higher level, then please give us at Tradie HR a call. In the meantime, we would like to thank all our fabulous clients for an eventful year. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with, and for you. Our passion for helping our clients to get their people stuff right remains strong. Safe and happy holidays!

This article is not intended to be a replacement for legal advice.