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Focus, discipline & attention to detail is key in 2013

New Year, New Outlook
Focus, discipline & attention to detail is key in 2013

Paul Robinson, Director New Zealand, Randstad

2013 is the Year of the Snake in Chinese Zodiac and for New Zealand employers it’s wise to take heed of what that means. If the previous couple of years have been about building the platform for future success, then 2013 is the time for focus, discipline, attention to detail and steady progress in order to achieve what you set out to create.

Employees and employers alike have had to navigate a two-speed economy with the fallout from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake still having a major impact, a maturing workforce, a rise in unemployment and a weak job market; and that’s without mentioning the continued uncertainty surrounding the global economy.

Having worked so hard to place your organisation in a position of growth, now is not the time to let these gains slip away. From a human capital standpoint, focus and discipline will be essential in order to navigate your organisation through the challenges which lie on the horizon.

Looking toward 2013, there are a number of key people issues employers will need to be mindful of in order to ensure a successful year. While talent shortages and a shallow talent pool will remain problematic for employers in many industries over the next 12 months, the New Year is likely to see a growing competiveness in the labour force as people once again look for new ways to progress their career.

For organisations wishing to attract top talent, maintaining a strong employer brand should be viewed as a necessity, especially for those who may have limited resources. Likewise, keeping talented employees should be viewed as a key issue moving into 2013. Top performing workers are the backbone of any organisation, so organisations need to ensure they are creating an environment which allows these employees to flourish and remain committed and content.

In order to ensure your attraction and retention strategy will be effective throughout 2013, here are five issues to keep in mind as the New Year approaches:

1. Make your business a place where people really want to work
As competition grows, business leaders will need to look at how to attract the best people while also holding on to their stars. Employers should revisit their value proposition and communicate this at every opportunity. Make sure you offer the right training and development opportunities to allow people to up skill and take on new projects, and ensure you are open about opportunities for employees to further their career.

All of this helps build a strong employer brand, and in a crowded and competitive marketplace this will be vital for those wishing to attract and retain top talent. A strong employer brand will be especially important if you are asking more from staff with less resources. In these circumstances, ensuring employees feel valued and an integral part of the business is vital if you wish to hang on to top performers and attract the best talent in the industry.

2. Know how to navigate important people issues
One issue which will remain a challenge throughout 2013 will be staying up to date with legislative changes and best practice within an ever changing and fluid industry. In order to stay ahead of the curve, HR departments will have to find answers to daily issues fast and deal with the issues promptly and professionally in order to maintain organisational reputation and avoid any legal situations.

Keeping up to date is difficult, so it’s important to be well read and connected with the right business partners to effectively guide you through.
3. Productivity with limited resources & the need for future planning
Knowing how to manage with limited resources will be a recurring theme throughout 2013. However, just managing your current workforce isn’t enough. In fact, not planning for the future may be one of the major factors stunting the growth of your business. Keeping one eye on the future is important in all aspects of your business, and planning your workforce is no exception. Ensuring you are in the right position to grow when the economy starts to pick up will be vital to achieving your goals.

You need to be asking the right questions, and don’t assume the workforce you have now will fulfil the needs of your business in the future. Organisations need to ensure their HR professionals are involved in all planning discussions, and that all specialist areas of the business work together to have a unified vision of their workforce needs.

Planning doesn’t stop just because you are on the right path, and businesses need to ensure there is a strong human capital plan in place so the company is in the right position to achieve its goals.
4. Know how to work with diverse talent
2013 will be a year of generational change. While this will be a recurring theme in the years ahead, ensuring your business is set up to cater to the challenges presented by this change will be important for maintaining productivity and workplace satisfaction levels.

With the workforce maturing, organisations will need to look to new employees to fill the gaps left by those leaving the workforce. Finding these people, whilst simultaneously welcoming generation Z into the workforce, will require strong HR support and a high level of planning.

The diversity of talent isn’t just limited to age. 2013 will see the greater emergence of flexible working options and a truly blended workforce. Organisations who wish to be successful will have to find a way to manage a mix of full time, part time, remote, temporary and freelance employees and ensure they are all satisfied and productive.

The key to managing all of these issues will be maintaining a strong organisational culture, while also having adequate systems and planning in place to make sure employees are moving toward the same ultimate goal.
5. Innovation needed to stand out
Maintaining a competitive edge and standing out from the crowd can be difficult when budgets and resources are limited. With so many businesses striving to find the next big thing, it’s becoming increasingly tough to find a truly original idea to attract and retain customers.

While it can be tough to find that truly game changing idea, we all know that innovation remains the key to business success and should be a key focus for the New Year. So how can organisations place themselves in the best position to remain innovative? Ensure your business creates an environment which fosters innovation and original thinking. Engage employees at all levels, especially those on the ‘shop floor’, as more often than not it’s those workers at the heart of your business who have the best insights into the areas in which your business can improve.

The world of digital and social media also opens a new world for organisational creativity, so ensuring employees are given the opportunity to learn and up skill in these areas should be a priority for many businesses.

The need for innovation will never diminish however in an increasingly challenging and crowded marketplace it becomes even more important. Listen to your people and create opportunities for innovation to be embraced.

While 2013 may be a challenging year for many employers, it’s also one filled with opportunities. It can be easier to stand out in more difficult times, if you focus on providing the highest level of service and exceed customer expectations wherever possible. It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money to do this, it may just require a bit of creativity in your approach. Something as simple as saying thank you, acknowledging input and feedback and going above and beyond what’s required in your communication and contact with customers.

A series of complimentary guidebooks are available through recruitment & HR specialists, Randstad, to help organisations start building a strong employer brand; to help navigate challenging HR and employment issues and understand the main employment trends for the next five years.

To order your copies of Enhancing your employer brand guide or the Randstad World of Work Report 2012/13, please visit www.randstad.co.nz.

ENDS

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