Both 2020 and 2021 had their challenges, but they also created some incredible opportunities! In this blog our Director Georgina talks about why we believe 2022 will be a year where Jersey businesses can thrive.
We’re all aware that we’ve been living through a pandemic, and that’s why we promise you’re not going to read the ‘C word’ in this article. What we are going to talk about, though, are the truly amazing lessons that we've learned over the last few years and what they mean for Jersey businesses in 2022.
To say 2020 and 2021 have been ‘unique’ would be an understatement. We have all lived through a radical shake-up in terms of how we live and work. A lot of it has been challenging. But a lot of it has also been, well, revolutionary and rather brilliant. In no particular order, the last two years have shown us:
1. Our bosses are human beings
We believe this 'humanisation' of the workplace has the potential to be the greatest gift to have come out of a global crisis. With cats that walk across keyboards, kids busting in and doorbells that ring at inopportune moments! This has worked both ways – they got to see into our homes and lives too. And we've realised that we were all just people juggling different things, at different times, in different ways, and ironically, that makes us the same.
In 2022 smart organisations will apply this lesson by treating people like people rather than resources. Flexible working, focus on outcomes rather than time, quality over quantity and building real connections will attract and retain talent.
2. Time to reflect was a good thing
Okay, so perhaps we had a little too much time! We're not even sure how many lockdowns we have had at this point, but we do know that hitting pause, for many businesses, has not been a bad thing. Initially, it was a little scary. Recruitment for operational and support roles like receptionists or projects significantly reduced to allow companies to focus on their core business and survive. But they did more than that – they reviewed, rationalised, and thought about things.
We believe this is why, in 2021, we already began to see a surge in recruitment for support roles and diverse, brand-new positions that never existed before. The luxury of time to reflect has added strategic depth to our client’s offering, and the new roles demonstrate this. Many of them are also experiencing fantastic levels of growth.
3. We learned to let go
Letting go was a very interesting feature of the last two years. We saw companies make quick decisions to end services and products which weren’t working for them or weren’t agile enough to survive the rapid pace of change. We saw individuals who had been in jobs for years hand in their notice. Situations that, prior to 2020, would have probably just ticked along were suddenly over. And while at times this was nerve-wracking, it was also quite liberating.
We saw this in 2021, but we believe increasingly in 2022, both businesses and people will move on a bit more quickly if things aren't working. This trend isn't a bad thing – it's a focused thing. When you know what you want, you also know what you don't want.
4. Variety is the spice of life
This sounds like an old lesson, and it is, but it’s also a renewed lesson! After spending so much time at home in the same space, with the same people, many of us are understandably craving new experiences and connections. And if people can get this at their existing place of work, then they are far more likely to stay.
As part of retention strategies in 2022, we believe we will see businesses take this into account. Of course, people still want an employer offering a decent package with benefits and flexibility, but they also want to know how they will be able to grow. This 'growth' doesn't necessarily have to be part of a job description – we understand that some jobs are what they are, but offering new ways to learn and connect will make a considerable difference in job satisfaction.
5. Home is where half the heart is!
We loved working from home! Except for when we hated working from home. The sudden streamlining of technology to allow a workforce to operate from their kitchens was, frankly, mind-blowing. It enabled many positive things, from eliminating commutes to giving people space to concentrate. But it also, for some, created loneliness and disconnection. This is why, when people are asked 'do you want to carry on working from home', the most common answer is 'sometimes!'.
In 2022, businesses that can provide hybrid working could have a real advantage in the recruitment space. However, this doesn't just mean making sure people can work from home; it also requires rethinking the office space and its use. We are seeing some new workspace solutions developed by our clients that will make them very attractive to candidates, and we expect to see others following this example.
So how has Rowland's applied these experiences to our own business? Well, we’ve launched some new services that meet the needs of the changing world we find ourselves in, and we introduced hybrid working as a permanent option for our team. We’ve also promoted several staff members, invested in well-being training, and refocused our entire strategic focus to be about partnerships!
And just as importantly, we've welcomed a new baby, celebrated five house purchases and learned a lot more about each other's lives. Our business has never been more focused, and our team has never been closer or more aware of each other's values. That may sound a bit sentimental, but after what we've all been through, we're okay with that! We believe that 2022 has the potential to be a year where we all thrive, in partnership with each other, our clients and our community.