From a lack of engagement to out of practice employees and increased resignations, employers across the UK are facing several challenges following the pandemic and the increase in remote working, according to HR experts.
As an employer, it is important to guide a business through hardship to avoid unravelling under pressure, and the HR specialists at Breedon Consulting have highlighted five of the biggest challenges currently faced by business owners, with practical advice on how to overcome these hurdles.
Managing director of Breedon Consulting, Nicki Robson, said: “The pandemic has certainly highlighted and increased the frequency of challenges that business owners have to deal with, and although it can feel more comfortable to delay tackling initial challenges straight away in case issues get resolved with time, it can be risky delaying, as employees may leave because they’re not engaged or continue to underperform, leading to poor business performance.
“Leadership in a post lockdown world is set to be more focused on the people rather than the task, with a recognition that if staff feel engaged then they will perform well, but if an employee feels unhappy, then their performance will drop. Good communication will be even more important, together with better defined OKRs and KPIs with measurement mechanisms in place.
“Providing support to those in leadership positions is our bread and butter at Breedon Consulting and we offer a range of support options to help employers manage all aspects of the employee lifecycle - from managing options for hybrid working and flexible working requests, to performance improvement plans, re-onboarding plans, and employee engagement surveys with recommendations based on feedback.”
Here are the five challenges employers are currently facing in the workplace:
1. Lack of employee engagement
One of the biggest challenges employers are currently facing is a lack of motivation amongst employees. Many staff members have been left to their own devices and have become demotivated due to working solo for an extended period of time in unprecedented circumstances. Conducting an employee engagement survey can really provide insight into how the team is feeling and highlight any issues which need to be addressed.
2. Returning to the office
Employers may find that employees are struggling to adjust to returning to the office, following remote working. With no commute, staff have had extra time to spend at home or with their loved ones which they may have a hard time relinquishing. Employers should organise return to work meetings to provide support to those coming back to the office and be open to flexible working requests.
3. Poor performance
The difficulties of remote management while employees have been working from home has also created issues with monitoring and managing staff performance appropriately. Careful communication is vital when tackling this challenge, so it’s best to approach the topic sensitively if underperformance has not been addressed within the past year. Introduce regular 1-2-1 check-ins and two-way feedback systems within the business to address underperformance issues.
4. Employees looking to leave when asked to return to the workplace
The pandemic has caused a surge in the number of employees working from home and a lot of employees may not be willing to go back to the office and previous ways of working. Be flexible and recognise the world of work has changed and that implementing hybrid options can really benefit your business for the future. Striking a balance between remote working and office working can prevent staff from leaving for a fully remote role.
5. Employees falling out of practice
Due to the length of time spent either on furlough or working from home, employees may be struggling with certain aspects of their role. Patience is key when overcoming challenges, and it’s also advisable to explore learning and development options to remind employees of the processes and training they may have forgotten.
Breedon Consulting is offering free 15-minute consultations to talk about challenges that business owners may be facing at the current time.