Are you ready for 2024?19 Dec, 20235 - 7 Minute Read
As the new year approaches, it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on your busi...
As the new year approaches, it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on your business strategies and prepare for a prosperous 2024.
The dynamic nature of the global economy and the evolving workplace landscape means that your business needs to be adaptable and forward-thinking.
2023 has been a slower year than many were expecting. We have seen many changes within the economy:
- The national minimum wage increased almost 10% from the rate in 2022, and we can expect it to increase potentially another 10% (up to £11.43) in 2024 to meet its target.
- Inflation remains high and may only return to its 2% target by the latter part of 2024.
- The labour market has lost some of its momentum and workers are less confident about switching positions.
- Pressures in supply chains continue meaning there are still low productivity rates.
But it's not been all 'bad'! Perspective is everything.
The REC recently published their stats for 2022- 2023 which paints another picture:
- The recruitment industry contributed £41.3 billion to the UK economy in 2022, of which £33.9 billion was temporary and contract placement activity and £7.4 billion related to permanent placements.
- UK recruiters made 25.7 million temporary / contract placements in 2022, with 976,400 temporary workers on assignment on any given day. You also made 702,950 permanent placements in 2022 – up from the projected half a million!
- There were 29,635 recruitment enterprises operating across the UK at the start of 2023.
But, with 2023 almost behind us, let’s focus on the future! In this blog post, we'll explore some actions for UK employers to kickstart the new year on the right foot.
1. Prioritise Networking in Your Industry
Success is often a collaborative effort. Strengthen your professional and personal networks by actively engaging with others in your industry or community. Attend events, join relevant groups, and nurture meaningful connections. Not sure where to start? Try LinkedIn. In the last year, LinkedIn users have increased by 60 million members proving that it continues to be an effective platform to connect with like-minded people across the world.
2. Invest in Employee Well-being:
Recognise the importance of employee well-being. Consider implementing wellness programs, mental health resources, and flexible work schedules. A healthy and happy workforce is likely to be more engaged and productive. If you already have things set in place, be sure that your team knows exactly where they can find the support they need. Mind UK do a fantastic job of providing information and support across multiple well-being topics. Check out their website.
3. Skill Development Initiatives:
The pace of technological advancement requires a skilled workforce. Invest in continuous learning and development programs to upskill existing employees and attract top talent. Consider partnerships with educational institutions or online learning platforms. With so many incredible platforms on the market these days, it’s best to focus on one topic at a time to ensure you’re getting the most out of your learning! You could even ask around in your network for recommendations.
4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives:
Foster an inclusive workplace culture by prioritising diversity, equity, and inclusion. Establish DEI initiatives, ensure unbiased hiring practices, and promote an environment where all employees feel valued and heard.
5. Adopt Sustainable Practices:
Sustainability is not just an environmental concern; it's also becoming a key factor in attracting customers and talent. Evaluate and implement eco-friendly practices within your business operations, from reducing waste to sourcing responsibly. As a business, we have noticed that our continued focus on reducing our carbon footprint has encouraged some of our clients to do the same. By moving most of our forms and documents online it not only saves printing costs, but also by making it digital we can find data more quickly. It’s a win–win! You can read our environmental promise here.
6. Enhance Technology Infrastructure:
Stay ahead in the digital landscape by upgrading your technology infrastructure. Invest in tools that streamline operations, improve communication, and support remote collaboration. AI and other automation platforms are taking the world by storm. Already, 54% of global consumers are using AI every day and we can expect this to increase in 2024 significantly. AI has the capabilities to support multiple aspects of your business; from Marketing, to Sales, HR, Operations, and the rest. And as great as it can be, it will never fully replace the human touch which is so important to many businesses.
7. Agile Project Management:
Adopt agile project management methodologies to enhance flexibility and responsiveness. This approach can help your organisation adapt quickly to changing market conditions, ensuring a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving business landscape. This could be something you do with your Senior Management or Board of Directors at the beginning of the year to ensure that you have preliminary guidelines for how to be successful. Of course, leaving room to be flexible and adaptable is crucial!
8. Review and Revise Policies:
Take the time to review and update your company policies, ensuring they align with current legal regulations and industry standards. This includes employment contracts, remote work policies, and any other guidelines that impact your workforce. This is often a forgotten task, however, it is important to work this into your 2024 Plan of Action to ensure that you’re ready for whatever the year throws at you.
9. Financial Planning and Budgeting:
Conduct a thorough financial review and create a robust budget for the upcoming year. Consider economic forecasts, inflation rates, and market trends to make informed decisions. Ensure that your financial strategies align with your business goals. As overhead costs continue to rise, it’s important to have a preliminary budget to work to ensure there aren’t too many surprises along the way!
10. Communication and Employee Engagement:
How are you fostering open and transparent communication channels within your organisation? Regularly engage with employees through surveys, 121 meetings, and feedback sessions. This not only strengthens the employer-employee relationship but also provides valuable insights for improvement. A great way to start this is by conducting yearly or 6-monthly Employee Satisfaction Surveys where you can give your employees a platform to voice their thoughts.