Fourth quarter 2023 is one to watch and there's plenty to see and learn. The first three quarters of the year seemingly crept by as business leaders towed the line on expenses and fought to fill open vacancies.
The third quarter of this year has proven to be an "employee's" market as wages inched up, demands for flexible work schedules, remote work and more paid time off won over modern office spaces and specialty coffees in the breakroom.
So what have the last three quarters taught us that we can use to finish the year on the sunny side? From my perspective, 2023 has been a year of resilience and the fourth quarter is the start of restoration.
Here are the six lessons that I've learned:
Invest in upskilling in-house talent. Your staff already knows the company and will appreciate you spending time and money on their development, thereby reducing turnover.
Invest in systems to streamline tasks and increase efficiencies. Some positions may become unnecessary and you can use staff for more crucial job duties.
Recruit non-traditional types to fill open vacancies and use their talents to build the job description.
Keep the focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility to foster a sense of belonging.
Be mindful and supportive of health needs, especially mental health. If you don't have a Wellness team on board, develop one. Check on your people often and be as flexible as possible.
Be transparent - tell the good, the bad and the ugly truth about what's going well and what's failing. If you don't tell the story, your staff will make up a story and it may not be accurate.
Even if your monthly returns have missed the mark, you can still call it a win if you retained great talent, improved efficiencies, recruited new talent that added value to the team and a fresh set of eyes, your staff feels like they belong and are cared for, and you can hold your head up because you are operating with integrity.
With these lessons in place, your organization is set for a year of restoration and growth in 2024.