While 2020 seemed to drag on and on, 2021 seems to have gone by in a flash. With 2022 on the horizon, it is time to make plans to make it your best year yet. Whether you had a banner year or you’re still in COVID recovery mode, determining where you want to take your organization next is vital. Your strategic plan may include value consideration, purpose renewal, and customer analysis.
It is no secret that everyone is short-staffed. Even those in the workforce are looking for other placements. According to Forbes, “48% of America’s working population is actively job searching or watching for opportunities.” This almost certainly means your employees are looking for other positions right now. To ensure they remain loyal, especially if they are key talent, you will need to consider the values of your company. The major values employees are concerned with right now are flexibility, equity, and wellness.
Prior to 2020, flexible work environments were uncommon. According to the Human Resource Executive, “more than 80% of employers will offer flexibility at a greater scale after the pandemic.” This proves that if an employee wants a flexible work environment, they will find it out there. If you are not offering some kind of flexibility, it is certainly something to consider. Flexibility in the workplace might include hours, space, or working from home. For example, employees may choose which 8 hours they want to work in a day, or even which 40 to work in a week. This is a major bonus for employees and it may be a reason for them to stay loyal to the company.
As people grow more and more aware of social justice issues, equitable companies are becoming more attractive to both employees and customers. A new buzz phrase, “diversity, equity, and inclusion” has become commonplace among forward-thinking companies. CNBC states: “nearly 80% of workers in the most recent CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey say that they want to work for a company that values diversity, equity and inclusion.” This means 4 out of every 5 employees wants diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. This can happen through healthcare, wages, and time-off.
In years past, it has been acceptable for employers to say, “make time for self-care!” as the “wellness” aspect of the company. This is no longer acceptable. Employees now want to know specifically what the organization is doing to promote health and wellness. Are mental-health days acceptable? Is working overtime necessary? Are your employees heard? These are some of the questions you will need to ask yourself to adjust your values for 2022.
Again, whether you were playing catch-up this year or you felt like you were running a sprint every day, some of the original purpose for your organization may have gone by the wayside. Take some time to consider the purpose of your company. What is it you do? Whom do you serve? What problem are you solving? If you take time to reflect on your mission, you will be able to visualize the purpose of your organization going into 2022.
People, places, and products changed throughout 2020 and 2021. If this is true for your product or your customers, it is time to analyze your customer base. Notice the customers who have stayed loyal as well as new customers. Consider what you are doing to attain and retain customers. Analyzing the numbers and strategies of the past will inform you for the future.
Rolling into 2021 was a whirlwind, but now you can be more prepared. Taking time to reflect on the past two years will help you make informed decisions about your strategic plans for the future.
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