With the fourth quarter of 2021 just around the corner and the new year just around the corner, it’s time for leaders to develop a strategic business plan for 2022. As is usually the case, a New Year offers a fresh start, a much needed reset. , a renewed focus and new opportunities.
While many lessons have been learned, adaptability and resilience have become new buzzwords, technology has exploded, and innovation has been essential to survival, business leaders are eager to put 2020 and 2021 in their mirrors. With these reactionary years in the past, it’s time to move forward with a proactive strategic plan for 2022 that addresses key areas, helping to avoid any instinctive decisions going forward.
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While organizations can certainly learn from history, it is important to think about the future by acknowledging the past and what worked; and moving forward with a defined plan and goal to achieve greater business success.
Below are four key areas for business leaders to consider when planning for 2022.
Approaching a human strategy
The biggest challenge employers face today and in the future are their employees. Organizations are struggling to attract and retain workers, as evidenced by the “big resignation,” which is expected to continue until 2022. According to the US Department of Labor, a total of 11.5 million workers have left their jobs during the three-month period between April and June in 2021. With employee resignations at an alarming rate, many companies face operational challenges, especially in small and medium-sized businesses where a low percentage of resignations can have a dramatic impact due to the size of the business.
Executives need to identify the reasons why employees are leaving and address these issues in their business plans for competitive advantage in 2022. For example, the pandemic has made workers reluctant to change jobs during mandatory shutdowns and periods. uncertain economics. Many workers also expressed their views on working arrangements, mental health support, burnout, flexible hours and opportunities for advancement. When a defined plan spells out the employer’s expectations, potential hires and existing employees are more confident on the basis of transparency and feel reassured that their desires match the organization well. When there is no doubt about the job requirements, it can also help speed up the hiring process, as both parties are on the same page.
Additionally, paying close attention to corporate culture to help identify areas for improvement will make a big difference in employee morale, productivity, confidence, and loyalty. In some cases, team building activities or lunch and learning sessions can be planned to promote cohesion and camaraderie. In an effort to support employee safety and mental health, accessing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and / or implementing an employee wellness program may be a wise use. of company funds in the new year.
When employers are transparent, respond to employee needs and nurture a good culture, they can become employers of choice, especially during extraordinary times when workers are extremely selective about their working arrangements.
Implement a corporate social responsibility program
The implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs is gaining ground in more and more companies across the country. This is a critical area that business leaders should seriously consider in their 2022 plans due to the impact it can have on multiple levels, including new hires, existing employees, customers, community, brand awareness and corporate reputation.
Young people in the workplace and within customer bases have strong beliefs about companies with CSR programs. They want to be associated with companies that are making a difference in the community, so it behooves leaders to integrate or expand their CSR initiatives.
Volunteering, corporate giving programs, and conservation efforts are standard ways to demonstrate CSR. However, 2020 and 2021 have given rise to important societal issues, so there are great opportunities for companies to address diversity, equity and inclusion with corporate statements and action plans. ; compile detailed disaster preparedness and response plans; and supporting employee well-being by paying more attention to physical workspaces.
Whether it’s offering paid time to volunteer at company-sponsored events and / or other non-profit activities or addressing employee well-being and issues societal, actions taken by companies to implement or expand CSR programs not only make employees feel good, but they also empower the community, increase brand awareness and have a direct impact on bottom lines .
Offer development opportunities
Business leaders should take stock of the development opportunities available to employees, not only from a succession planning perspective, but also from an employee attraction and retention perspective. When leaders think about the future, they remember how important it was to retrain and develop workers quickly during the pandemic, and they understand how critical this area will be in 2022 with a growing workforce. evolution.
As an increasing number of workers experience burnout and re-evaluate their employment options, they may be inclined to learn something new at their current company or to seek opportunities elsewhere. When employers can provide the training necessary to meet their needs, businesses are more likely to increase employee retention and reduce turnover, which can be very costly for businesses.
Companies should plan more in-person and online training programs to provide these opportunities to new and existing employees; implement a library of course competencies for self-directed learning; create a mentoring program; and encourage conference attendance for networking and industry-related peer learning. In addition, it is essential to have a comprehensive performance appraisal program in place. This is a great tool that supervisors and employees can use to chart improvement plans; identify additional training needs; and setting career advancement goals.
Companies that provide development and retraining opportunities for their employees will have more engaged workers who will use discretionary efforts to help the business succeed.
The business world quickly realized how important technology is to current operations after witnessing the Zoom boom. The 2022 business plan should include any technology upgrades or new facilities needed to stay current and competitive.
With more remote and hybrid employees in the workplace, businesses must consider all current and future needs for laptops, iPads, company-supplied mobile devices, and other technological equipment necessary to conduct business. Providing the right tools enables more personal interactions and strategic discussions, while improving the overall employee experience.
In addition, with new technologies comes training, which should be factored into the plan. Upgrading employees quickly with new software and tools, processes or procedures takes time and money. When employees are well trained, new initiatives work in a more streamlined and efficient manner.
As people and their needs increasingly come to the fore, business leaders need to think about the future by remembering the monumental steps that have moved companies forward and identifying ways to build on those. practices and programs in 2022. When business leaders start with a people strategy, implement CSR, and deliver the skills and technology employees need to perform at high levels, the business will be well placed. to attract and retain the best employees, which will lead to continued success.
Don Alix is District Manager for Insperity, a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions. For more information about Insperity, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.