Research sheds light on challenges facing every business – regardless of size

This time last year there was lots of talk about 2021 being better. Vaccines were coming and many thought that would ensure COVID-19 was a thing of the past. Well … it hasn’t worked out that way because the reality is, COVID-19 is probably here to stay. So now we need to work out how we’ll continue to operate and grow our businesses.

That process begins with identifying the risks to support our people, our business and ourselves.

Risks identified by the big end of town

It can be easy to believe that what happens in large corporations isn’t relevant to small and medium-sized businesses. But when it comes to the impact of COVID-19 on you and your staff, the playing field is fairly even.

While cyber security is considered the biggest people-related risk to business, according to research conducted by Mercer Marsh, the second largest risk is the deteriorating mental health of employees.

In particular, the research found our continuing exposure to the effects of the pandemic are:

  • Intensifying feelings of loneliness and anxiety
  • Increasing stress levels for many caused by the need to balance remote working, home schooling and border closures (both local and international)
  • Creating feelings of overwhelm due to job insecurity or loss and reduced social interactions

Workforce exhaustion is #3 on the list of business risks

Interestingly, the research identified workforce exhaustion was also a major business risk. Prolonged lockdowns and remote working are blurring the boundaries of work and home – making them significant contributors to workforce exhaustion.

Not surprisingly, exhaustion impacts a business through:

  • Reduced productivity
  • Higher sick leave and workers’ compensation claims
  • Low employee engagement and morale
  • Toxic workplace culture
  • High turnover of staff

The latter creates another concern for business which is recruitment difficulties.

Skilled labour shortages adding to the burden

From a recruitment perspective, Australian businesses of all sizes and across industries are suffering from an acute talent shortage. In fact, across the board, we are seeing employers struggling to attract and retain skilled staff. Nationally, job vacancies in professional services are reported to be at record highs.

As a result, it has never been more important to retain and engage your staff because if you lose them, you may not be able to replace them quickly. In turn, staff shortages lead to increased workloads for your remaining staff (and yourself), which aggravates workforce exhaustion, stress and overwhelm.

And so the cycle continues.

What can you do?

In the next article, we talk about cost effective options you can use to engage and support your staff. But for help that’s specifically designed to support your business, talk to the team at End2end Business Solutions. We offer an extensive range of human resource services to build your business and make you an employer of choice.

We can also assist with ensuring you comply with your health and safety requirements as well as attracting and retaining great staff.

It begins with a conversation so get in touch by calling 02 8977 4002.