It’s that time of year again, folks. As we reach the halfway point of 2021, now is a smart time to hit pause, take a breath and see how your business is tracking. Because in the midst of pitches, meetings and your never-ending inbox, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture.
In the world of business, July 1 is a clean slate. No matter what the last 12 months have brought for your business, the start of the new financial year gives you a chance to hit refresh and refocus your energy for the year ahead.
But, where should you focus your attention (and dollars) in FY 2022? Let’s dive into three practical steps you can take to set your business up for success this new financial year.
Upskill your team
Are you giving your employees that chance to sharpen their skills? If not, this needs to be your first big focus for the new financial year.
Empowering your team to learn new skills through training and professional development courses is key to keeping morale high and getting the best results from your employees.
The stats don’t lie: employees who are highly engaged are 87% less likely to ditch their current gig. And one of the best ways to keep your team thriving and passionate about what they do is to give them the tools and knowledge to perform at their best.
Oh, and did we mention that companies with a strong focus on employee training saw 53% lower attrition? Clearly, investing in upskilling your team needs to be a priority this year.
So, where should you head for reputable upskilling and training courses? Here are some of our top picks:
- General Assembly: give your talent access to today’s top tech and business strategies with online courses across tech, data and digital marketing.
- From software engineering to product management and even digital marketing, GA trains hundreds of companies each year (including big players such as Google, Microsoft and Visa) and can give your team the skills they need to smash their KPIs in 2021 and beyond.
- TAFE NSW: whether you want to boost your team’s leadership skills or sharpen your customer service offering, TAFE offers a stack of enterprise training courses (many run online and as short courses) to give your team a competitive edge.
- Coursera: our borders might be closed, but global digital learning platform Coursera gives your team access to top content from the world’s leading universities and companies. Expect upskilling sessions in data science, leadership, business and everything in between.
Focus on digital connectivity
Did you know that 16% of Gen Z and Millennial employees have quit a job because their employer’s tech didn’t cut the mustard? With hybrid work now a reality for most of us, giving your team access to the best in tech will help them get the job done (no matter where they’re working from).
Whether your company is entirely remote or splitting your time between the office and work-from-home, every team can benefit from having seamless, cloud-based tech. Not only does it remove friction for your team, but it can actually impact your bottom line.
Stats from Dell reveal companies that invest in cloud-based tech report up to 53% faster revenue growth than their competitors. Switching to the cloud also has benefits for privacy, with 94% of businesses seeing an improvement in their security after making the change.
But what tech should you prioritise this new financial year? Here are some of our favourite places to start:
Improve your HR systems: there are stacks of top-notch HR platforms and software that can take the headaches out of onboarding and managing your team.
Xref automates the time-consuming task of reference checks, while Mentorloop is a smart tool that matches your team with suitable mentors.
Plus, Culture Amp is a cloud-based platform that makes it easy to collect, interpret and act on employee feedback.
Unifying software: is your team using programs such as Slack, Outlook, Salesforces, and Google Drive, just to name a few? Instead of navigating thousands of tabs or desktop programs, it’s time to invest in software that brings all of your tools into one place.
Monday.com is a great example of this. It allows you to centralise all your tools (from sales and CRM to IT and project management software) in one easy-to-access place, with seamless integration.
- Other great examples of unified software include project management tools such as Asana, ClickUp and Trello.
With the right tools and tech in place, you’ll save your team time, reduce friction with in-person and virtual team members and boost productivity.
Level up your workspace
How satisfied is your team with your office layout? For many employees, navigating a crowded, noisy open plan office can have a real impact on their output at work.
A study by Exeter University found that open office layouts caused a 32% drop in employee wellbeing and a 15% decrease in productivity. Plus, the University of Sydney discovered a whopping 50% of teams have a hard time concentrating in open offices.
So, what steps can you take to ensure your office space works for everyone?
Shift collaborative work into meeting spaces: separating deep-work spaces from meeting rooms will help everyone perform at their best. That means ensuring employees have access to dedicated meeting rooms to brainstorm ideas, workshop problems and deliver presentations (without the entire office being distracted, too).
Offer private spaces for focused work: everyone should be able to take or make calls without an office audience and get into the zone with a noise-free backdrop. Our modular soundproof booth gives teams the chance to escape the noise of the open office with a solo retreat to write, speak and think.
- Understand the work styles and personalities of your team: everyone learns and works differently, so use this knowledge to inform how you design your office layout. A simple questionnaire can help you assess what your team needs and make sure your office matches it.
When it comes to setting your business up for success this new financial year, a few smart investments can make a big impact on your team and bottom line. By focusing on upskilling your employees, improving your digital connectivity and redesigning your workspaces to work for your team, you’ll see tangible results in return.