How to avoid a summer of discontent


Business owners are facing a summer where relations with staff will decline as inflation continues to rise and the employment gap continues to widen.

Many businesses emerged from the pandemic with teams that were feeling under pressure and running short on motivation. A situation compounded by a shortage of people to fill vacancies and high staff turnover.

The pandemic provided a moment of reflection for many employees, which is driving ‘the great resignation’, where a survey by accountants PwC found that 18% of workers said they “are very or extremely likely” to switch jobs this year.

However, it seems that few management teams also took the opportunity to reflect on how they could do things differently to provide their employees with a better way of working.

A fundamental change is needed to the relationship many companies have with their people. Only by creating more empowering and engaging places to work can businesses hope to retain staff and attract new talent.

Now is the time to make a fundamental change. There is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape the workplace for the better before life snaps back to pre-pandemic norms.

The separation between management teams and employees should be banished to history. It’s an approach that will have a direct benefit to recruitment and retention of staff, alongside a more strategic approach to managing pay disputes.

A study by the Social Market Foundation found that happy workers are up to 20% more productive than unhappy workers. As the economy recovers from multiple lockdowns, employee satisfaction is increasingly important. The argument is a simple one - organisations thrive when their people are happy.

We can define a happy employee as someone who believes that they matter in their role within a company and their work has an impact. People also need to know they are making progress against a defined career path and they feel supported in their jobs.

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