Hybrid and remote work has become the norm. 65% of respondents from a survey admitted they want to work remotely full-time, even post-pandemic.
This presents many advantages, such as increased flexibility and access to a global talent pool. But it also brings up new challenges. Managing a remote workforce requires a different approach to traditional in-person management.
This blog post will explore strategies for managing and scaling your workforce in 2023. You’ll also learn about challenges and opportunities in the current workplace.
Challenges with today’s workforce
Attracting and retaining talent
The job market is highly competitive today. Organizations often need help attracting skilled workers in a specialized field. This is mostly due to a limited talent pool or an inability to offer competitive compensation packages.
Unconscious bias refers to the attitudes and stereotypes people unconsciously hold about individuals or groups. These biases impact decisions in the workplace. These decisions could be hiring decisions, performance evaluations, and everyday workplace interactions.
For example, while hiring a team member, managers unconsciously favor a candidate who might have gone to the same school as they did.
Maintaining work-life balance
Since employees started working remotely, it became difficult to switch off from work. Work and personal time got mixed up.
This causes work stress to spill over into an employee’s personal life, leading to burnout.
Various factors, including a heavy workload, lack of autonomy, and lack of support from management, can cause burnout.
Employees working in silos
Often employees resort to working in isolation without collaborating with others. This leads to duplication of effort, missed opportunities, a lack of innovation, and inefficiencies.
Five Strategies to manage your workforce effectively and scale them in 2023
1. Embrace the hybrid work culture
Adapting the hybrid work culture has proved to be beneficial to many organizations. Yet, it comes with its challenges, such as:
- Maintaining coordination between teams. Teams use many channels, such as email, messaging apps, video conferencing, and in-person meetings. This can be hard to keep up with.
- Remote workers feel disconnected.
- Collaborating and building relationships.
- Less access to work resources and tools.
So, how do you build a strong work culture and a positive team environment?
- Invest in communication and collaboration tools—preferably an all-in-one platform with many features.
- Create a culture of trust and accountability. Trust your employees to do their job and provide them with the creative freedom they need to give their 100%.
- Set clear goals and expectations for your team members. Irrespective of where they’re located, conduct meetings with them.
- It’s more important to focus on employee well-being. Check-in with your team regularly. Promote mental health and well-being resources. More importantly, encourage employees to take breaks and disconnect from work.
- Create a sense of community within the workplace. You can do this by encouraging social interactions and team-building activities. This can help employees feel more connected to their colleagues and the organization.
- Recognize and reward employees for their hard work and achievements. You can do this through verbal praise, public recognition, or monetary incentives.
2. Screen candidates based on problem-solving skills
Problem-solving skills are essential in today’s workplace. They help employees overcome obstacles and improve their job. You see, good problem-solvers are often good decision-makers. They weigh the pros and cons of different options and choose the best course of action.
You must assess your candidates based on their ability to solve problems whenever life throws one at them.
An effective way of doing so is to create an interview process that assesses them based on this and job-based skills.
- Use pre-employment skill tests. Always include an interview question about problem-solving to assess a candidate’s soft skills. These include their listening, analytical, creative thinking, and decision-making skills.
- Ask the candidate to provide specific examples from their life. For instance, how they have solved problems in their previous roles. Look for evidence of how they identify issues. Observe how they analyze data, test solutions, and install action plans.
- Look for evidence of problem-solving skills in their resumes. Identify cases of resolving complex issues, addressing customer concerns, or developing creative solutions.
- Present the candidate with hypothetical scenarios related to your industry. Ask them to walk you through their thought process and how they would approach the problem.
3. Leverage AI to manage repetitive tasks
There are several ways to use AI to manage repetitive tasks at work. Here are some suggestions:
Use tools that mimic human actions and automate tasks. These tasks include data entry, report generation, and invoice processing.
Use chatbots to handle repetitive tasks. These tasks could be answering customer queries, scheduling appointments, and sending reminders. You can create a chatbot using AI tools and integrate it with your website or messaging app.
Install machine learning
Machine learning algorithms help analyze data and make predictions. For example, you can identify patterns in customer behavior and recommend products or services.
Natural language processing tools can understand and interpret human language. They allow you to automate tasks that would otherwise need human intervention.
Invest in AI-powered project management tools.
AI-powered project management tools help you automate various tasks. These tasks include scheduling, resource allocation, and task assignment tasks. They use machine learning to analyze data and make predictions. So you can optimize your workflows and improve productivity.
4. Practice inclusive hiring
Inclusive hiring involves hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds. More importantly, it’s about providing them with equal opportunities. This is regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, etc.
It aims to create a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Here are some practices that managers can adopt to practice inclusive hiring:
- Set diversity goals: Aim for diversity in your hiring process and track progress. You can set specific targets when hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds.
- Expand your candidate pool: Use various sources to reach a diverse range of candidates. Use job boards with a pool of diverse candidates. Try attending career fairs catering to underrepresented groups. Even better, leverage your network to reach out to candidates from diverse backgrounds.
- Review your job postings: Make sure your job postings are inclusive. Make sure you don’t use any language that could discourage candidates from applying. Use gender-neutral language and avoid using language specific to one gender or culture.
- Train your hiring team: Provide training to your hiring team on inclusive hiring practices. Topics include unconscious bias, cultural awareness, and diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
- Check your hiring process: Check your hiring process. Identify any barriers that may stop candidates from diverse backgrounds from being hired. Review your interview questions, assess your candidate selection criteria, and examine your candidate feedback process.
- Build a diverse and inclusive workplace culture: Build a welcoming workplace culture. Make sure it’s inclusive of employees from diverse backgrounds.
5. Focus on employee development and learning
What makes an employee productive and motivated at work? It’s not always about the compensation and benefits the job offers, but career growth is also a huge factor.
Surprisingly, only 29% of respondents from a recent survey find their organization’s career development opportunities “very satisfying.”
Offer your employees adequate upskilling opportunities that benefit them and the organization.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Offer training programs relevant to their job roles. Provide opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge.
- Pair employees with mentors who can guide and advise them on their career paths and help them develop new skills.
- Allow employees to observe and learn from colleagues (job shadowing). Pair them up in different departments or roles to understand the organization’s operations better.
- Provide access to online courses and webinars relevant to their job roles. Allow them to learn at their own pace.
- Encourage employees to lead training sessions or workshops to share their knowledge. This way, they can share their expertise with their colleagues.
Drive business growth with a strong workforce.
Managing and scaling your workforce in 2023 will need a proactive approach to stay ahead of the curve.
Embrace new technologies. Create a strong company culture. More importantly, foster collaboration so you can lead your team in many ways.
Stay flexible, proactive, and adaptive to changing business needs. Soon you’ll be on your way to building a resilient workforce that drives growth and success.