Make your workforce a New Year's resolution

Tuesday 14 January 2014, 12:32PM
By PPR New Zealand

While steady, sustainable growth may be the main resolution for many businesses entering 2014, we all know that achieving a New Year’s resolution requires consistent focus. Challenging business conditions in a stagnating economy has seen many organisations looking to solidify their market position over the past 12 months, rather than looking toward the next stage of growth.

However it’s clear that businesses won’t stay in this holding pattern for long, especially with the surging economies of neighbouring countries creating more competition for business. This will see an added fight for customer loyalty, market share, and perhaps the greatest battleground with the fight for talent.

Ensuring your workforce is made up with the best and brightest talent in 2014 who are happy, engaged, and motivated to perform, you need to: invest in your people; make them feel valued and proud to work for your business and find ways to stand out from the competition. HR & recruitment specialists, Randstad recommends you follow these important tips:

1.     Keep focus on your employer brand
As competition grows, business leaders will need to look at how to attract the best people while also holding on to their stars. Employers should revisit their value proposition and communicate this at every opportunity. Do you offer the right training and development opportunities to allow people to up-skill and take on new projects? And do you let everyone know about these opportunities to further their career? Investing in developing the skills of your workforce, and positioning for the next stages of growth will be a major theme for 2014.

It’s important to remember maintaining a strong employer brand is an ongoing process. Put structures in place to regularly check employee attitudes, needs and satisfaction levels across your workforce and work on any problem areas immediately. If an employee feels their voice is being heard, and they are valued for their contribution to the business you are more likely to hang on to top performers and attract the best talent in the market.

2.     Place workforce considerations at the top of business conversations
Every business leader will be looking at how to manage their existing workforce and maximise resources while positioning for growth. It needs to be a well managed balance with one eye on the future while nurturing and boosting performance and productivity of the current workforce.

Resourcing needs must be at the centre of all strategic business conversations and a key part of this will be asking the right questions about present and future workforce requirements. HR professionals must work together with senior management with a unified vision to ensure the business maintains effective workforce planning throughout the year. The aim is to ensure the business has the right people and human capital plans in place to achieve your goals.

3.    Ensure your organisation is inclusive
As we start the New Year and look to make positive changes, businesses should look at how they engage with and embrace diversity in their workforce – including international talent, people of all ages, different cultural backgrounds and identities, people with a disability, indigeneity and sexual orientation.

Ensuring your business is set up to cater to a multi-dimensional workforce will be key to any ongoing success. And to realise, diversity isn’t just limited to the talent you hire, it extends to the ways in which employees want to work. 2014 will see a greater emergence of flexible working options, particularly for people who have caring responsibilities, are of mature age or who are return-to-work parents.

It will be the year of managing a truly blended workforce - a mix of full time, part time, remote, temporary and freelance employees and ensure they are all satisfied, engaged and highly productive. It’s important to maintain a strong organisational culture, while also having adequate systems and planning in place to make sure all types of employees are moving toward the same ultimate goal.

Making your business standout, particularly amidst increased regional competition will be key for organisations to attract and retain the best talent locally and from around the world.

When making your workforce resolutions for the New Year, ensure these reflect your overall business plans and are integrated into the wider company strategy. Making sure your organisation is an attractive and engaging place to work will be vital, and businesses with the strongest HR plans aligned to the overall business goals will have a significant advantage over the competition.

So ask yourself: What does your business want to achieve in 2014, and how can your workforce help make it happen?

Paul Robinson is the New Zealand Director of recruitment & HR services specialists, Randstad. Randstad is passionate about matching people with organisations that will develop their potential and matching organisations with people that will take their business to the next level. Randstad employs over 500,000 people every day with the aim of “shaping the world of work”. For further information visit