The Latest Operations and Hiring Trends

April 13, 2022 Crowe PR

Author: Casey Blatt

It’s no surprise that the past two years have been trying on most businesses. Regardless of industry or sector, the global pandemic, dynamic economic climate, and hyper competitive war on talent have been top of mind for leaders across the board. And with good reason. Business owners, executives and those in leadership roles have been forced to break old ways of doing things and adopt a whole new version of reality that, at best – gives people more freedom and flexibility, and at worst – blurs the line between productivity and work/life balance.

As we embark on the third calendar year of the pandemic, there are a few things we believe will evolve coming out of the shadows of 2020 and 2021. The rise and fall of COVID-19 variants and cases will dictate workplace trends like long-term remote work, flexible hours and reliance on technology to outsource mundane tasks. Companies that were looking forward to returning in-person are delaying their lease agreements and considering alternate solutions, such as sharing workspaces with other like-minded companies, or issuing coworking space stipends to find some form of human connection. Here at Crowe, we make a point to get the team together for in-person workdays and bonding opportunities throughout each month. This allows us to better collaborate, find solutions together, have a more hands-on opportunity to coach and manage and build trust.

Offering flexibility in hours and schedules will continue to play a vital role in employee recruitment and retention. By taking a more understanding and empathetic approach with your team, you can begin to build a rapport of trust and communication to allow for the type of flexibility that is helping employers win offers in this competitive labor market. Life happens, distractions pop up, and if teams can navigate those with ease rather than anxiety and guilt, we can all achieve a beautiful high performing culture that can be equally flexible and understanding of one’s business (and/or clients’) needs.

Outside of connectedness and flexibility, employee engagement and operational success will continue to be driven by promoting work-life integration. Things like robust health benefits, generous paid time off, employee wellness programs and diversity & inclusion efforts will make or break companies’ ability to maintain a healthy team and pipeline of candidates. With adopting or improving these areas, we anticipate seeing recruitment and retention efforts stabilize in the back half of 2022 and make way for a surge of new opportunities to give workers the chance to reinvent themselves and get in touch with what they are truly passionate about.

For instance, our team at Crowe has been conducting midyear ‘Flight Path’ check-ins for the past three years that enable us to get a better sense of one’s strengths, passions, work styles, personal and professional goals and more. Aligning on core drivers and goals enables us to develop a growth road map that supports each employee individually and as part of the greater team. Listening to employee preferences as much as observing what they are good at doing can give clues as to how to best motivate, incentivize and inspire others to continue to evolve with your business.

For those in service-based businesses, the climb towards providing the most value possible for customers will continue. There will, no doubt, be a handful of economic challenges we face as a country before we return to any sense of “normalcy.” As such, providing the most excellent client service and going above and beyond scopes of work will likely determine the financial fate of many B2B companies. Integrating services and growing client offerings will be a surefire way to withstand new waves of adversity in 2022 and be a true test for companies to prove how relevant they remain. Listening to and understanding our clients’ challenges and providing solutions that may involve likeminded offerings can greatly increase client satisfaction and retention, despite ongoing challenges.

Our team is optimistic and excited about the potential 2022 brings. We understand that, while the road ahead might be rocky ahead, there are smooth paved paths ahead that await us as we emerge out of some of the most challenging years we have faced in our lifetimes. We’ve seen grit and endurance persevere and will continue to build the better for a brighter future. At Crowe PR, we have already taken on many projects and initiatives to further embrace change and aid us in our decision making the remainder of this year. We have a stronger and more supportive team than ever, are working with clients doing incredible, world changing things, and are looking forward to banding together to tackle whatever challenges come our way throughout 2022.

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