The State of the Great Reshuffle: Five Ways It’s Impacting Small Businesses Today

The state of the great reshuffle and five ways it’s impacting small businesses todayThis article originally appeared on Inside Small Business on October 5, 2022. You can read it here.

2021 saw the boom of the term ‘The Great Resignation‘ but what we witnessed was actually more of a ‘Great Re-shuffle’. People haven’t been leaving jobs, they’ve been moving jobs.

It’s no secret that recent events have forced us to remember what’s really important: our lives. Working from home was a solid reminder for us all that work is just one of the many aspects that make up who we are. It’s a candidates market out there, so people are wanting roles that truly align with their values, their beliefs and how they want to contribute to the world.

Here are five key themes that keep surfacing across countless conversations:

1. Internal focus – bringing things closer to home
Businesses are focusing only on what’s necessary. Leaders are needing to have greater agility in strategic moves at a cultural level.

There is a keen desire to shift focus to incremental improvement practices. Personally, I think they will be better off in the long run with this approach.

2. Strategy alignment – focus on alignment of organisational strategy
Whether it’s new teams who are just firing up, or existing ones with old habits, leaders are being forced to get clear about the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ in order to help their teams see the north star and work productively towards it. It is a simple alignment exercise to set a vision and a mission that everyone is excited about. It might sound like “wasted work” to get this together as a founder because you know it, but your team need it. They need to know how they are contributing to the greater good. Doing this work with your team and sharing it across the organisation will help increase intrinsic motivation and will improve results.

3. Succession – promotions internally
New leaders are emerging in organisations. This means that great talent is moving out of working their “craft” and into managing people. We’re seeing a lot of investment in leadership alignment and training to make sure the team they worked with thrives with their new leadership. This training is critical to help avoid burnout in new teams and leaders.

4. Project management – improving efficiencies
With new promotions or roles comes needs to come new ways of working. Teams are screaming for project management efficiencies. Long gone are the days of aloof, spur-of-the-moment directions and spreadsheets to keep track of moving parts.

I’m seeing a very loud calling for project management practices, particularly the need for cross-functional, lean and agile rituals and practices to be adopted company wide. If you need speed, contribution, collaboration and buy-in on projects, project management is something leaders can no longer ignore.

5. “Quiet quitting” – disengaged teams
The relatively new buzzword on the block. There is a growing trend of individuals contributing the absolute bare minimum required in their role. Individuals that have detatched themselves from often toxic, poorly managed environments, that do not align with their personal values or belief systems.

The hard truth is, engagement at work is not an individual characteristic but an experience created by team members, team leaders and organisations. Poor leadership, processes, recognition and direction are bringing staff effort to a scratching halt and nobody can afford that. Not now, not ever.

Moving forward
Everything has a silver lining. Historically, economic downturn has been the birthing place of great innovation and a chance to reflect on what we represent and who we are as organisations, teams, humans, co-workers… friends. This reflection must be done to help ourselves, customers, staff and overall business performance. Reflect as a group, you don’t need to go at this alone, you as a leader will be empowered by this reflection.

Let’s use this opportunity for focusing inward to build stronger foundations and a greater future.

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