What leaders should be listening for in 2023

Happy new year!

I personally find January to be a great time to take stock and look ahead to the new year and here’s why.

The last three years have shown how quickly we can adapt to change, how powerful that adaptation can be; and, that under pressure we can learn, evolve, adapt and grow.  Some people have loved the change, while others have really struggled.  

The need for organisations to listen to their people has never been greater.  In many ways it comes at a time when it’s harder than ever for people to voice their problems, concerns, and fears.

Getting organisational health into great shape for 2023

Check your sense of purpose.

Are your mission, vision and values fit for purpose?   Do your people buy into the organisation’s values and, where possible do these fit into a coherent wider sense of purpose?

Take time to understand your people

A Worldwide survey by Gallup in 2021 showed 65% of people said the pandemic had made them rethink the place that work should have in their lives and 56% wanted to contribute more to society.

At times of stress, feelings of helplessness and disempowerment can rapidly escalate.  Make sure your people feel involved, able to participate and contribute views.

Do you have a consistently respectful environment

Research from Wiley Edge suggests company culture had suffered in 63% of UK organisations as a result of high staff turnover.   At the same time people have re-evaluated what they want from their work.

 Toxic environments erode organisations at the best of times.  As the last few years have shown, even the best of organisations can have below par practices.  In times of extreme stress and this can be worse and resource pressures add fuel to the fire. 

Remote working has not eliminated, just morphed, the problem.  Ensure you have a consistently respectful environment, from being clear of bullying and harassment to respecting EDI.

Work smarter

UK Inflation in 2022 was 10.7%, but salaries lagged, in the private sector rising 6.9% and in the public sector 2.7% (year to October 2022).

 Chances are budgets are under strain. It’s not just senior management who can have great ideas about how to get the most from the resources you have, without putting everything under intolerable strain. Make sure your people all can easily contribute ideas – and know they have not gone into a void.

Wellness

According to Gallup, 43% of employees say their mental health has worsened since the Covid outbreak. Organisational cultures have suffered at times

Try to understand the challenges your people are having with wellness.  Mental and physical.  Wherever possible let your people suggest and discuss what your organisation can do to boost wellness.

There will be challenges in the year ahead for both organisations and their people.  Involving your people and listening to their ideas and concerns plays a key role in making the year ahead more productive and enjoyable – both for your organisation and your people.

Are your communications channels fit for purpose?

Have you got trusted, easy and informative ways to reach out to your people and ask the questions to find out what is really going on? Run a deep dive annual or half yearly staff survey, mini surveys on a particular topic or theme and pulse surveys gauge the mood very quickly, you’d be surprised at what you can learn from this. With all surveys, feedback is only given if people trust the leadership and feel they are being listened to, otherwise it is a pointless tick in the box exercise that serves no purpose.

Make sure you analyse the results carefully and always, always, always feedback and put an improvement action plan in place if required.  One common theme we hear from people is; why bother if no one is listening or nothing will change!

How safe and easy is it for your people to suggest and discuss ideas for improvements? What communication channels are available for them to do this?  Discussion boards are a great way to inspire employee involvement, these communications can be anonymous and are a great way to facilitate even the quieter members of staff who might just have that brilliant idea you need but are too shy to give voice it.

Around areas such as respect, EDI, wellness, as well as operational issues, bullying and harassment; do you have a trusted reporting channel for your people to speak up and safely raise concerns and problems? If not, why not?

Get planning!

Good luck in 2023 for you and all your people in meeting the challenges that lie ahead.  Even better, take it beyond luck to great planning and involvement of all. Improving your overall organisational health will lead to improved employee engagement and retention.  Happier people and happier customers!

We’re here to help you if you want to make positive changes in your workplace to help your staff. Check out our full range of products and see for yourself or even better, get in touch with me for a demo.

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A safe and secure way for your people to anonymously raise concerns via phone, tablet, or PC, ensuring you are aware of any workplace issues and can respond quickly and accordingly
A secure online place to record, track, update, and report on all speaking up matters, whether raised through WorkInConfidence or directly.
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Demonstrate your commitment to collaboration with discussion boards to accelerate employee engagement and gain greater insights – anonymous if required.

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