I’m excited to be writing this letter from the floor of AIME, Asia Pacific’s leading trade event for the meetings and event industry, as we kick off 2023.
Here in Australia, an intense flu season sent many businesses into a spiral as they struggled to maintain staffing levels. But it’s not just the flu – one of the key issues facing organisations worldwide is the much-touted labour shortage. Businesses large and small, governments and NGOs are all finding their ability to perform and thrive is being hampered, in some cases catastrophically, by a lack of skilled employees. We’re all hearing about it and experiencing it either at work or in service and product delivery delays. In the latest Directors Sentiment Survey from AICD, 60% of directors surveyed reported labour shortage as their top economic challenge.
We’re also hearing a lot about higher-than-usual turnover (the ‘great resignation’) and culture and engagement issues with a more remote, online workforce. Throw in rising inflation and general economic uncertainty, and it’s a recipe for an unstable workforce. Right now, your people are possibly feeling disconnected from the organisation and financially stretched with the cost of living pressures.
Focusing on culture, creating a sense of community within their teams and the wider organisation, and amping up recruitment drives are some key strategies that can help make a difference.
For example, with the end of the year in sight, now is a great time to plan your festive celebrations and get your people back together to connect on a human level. If your team has grown or you’ve had a significant turnover of people, this year’s end-of-the-year celebrations could be the first opportunity many of your people have had to meet face-to-face! If you’ve not already made a booking, it’s not too late to see how our team can help you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
It’s also a great time to start planning your team building activities. You can tie this into festive celebrations or schedule a standalone event to kick off 2023 with some positive energy. Creating those strong team bonds can significantly impact your bottom line, with activities targeting specific areas like problem-solving or collaboration and providing days that are just fun to get your team laughing together.
As well as planning events for your current team, it’s worth thinking about how events can help with your recruitment strategy. Did you know that the most under-employed segments of our labour market are the over 55s and the young and inexperienced? A recent article from AICD outlines how a 5G workplace (5 generations, not your mobile network) has a hugely positive impact on business. And OECD data shows a direct link between company productivity and having employees over 55.
Changing your recruitment lens and setting up regular training and L&D sessions can fill labour and skills gaps while improving overall productivity and creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. For example, think about planning a mix of in-person and virtual recruitment days, as well as training and induction sessions to better meet the preferred communication styles of different generations and candidates with a range of disabilities (including but not limited to physical limitations or neurodiversity).Ultimately, while there are still challenges (and let’s face it, life would be pretty dull if it were smooth sailing all the time), we think there’s plenty to look forward to in 2023. There are substantial opportunities to consolidate some of the changes around workforce management and event formats over the past two years, bringing together the best of in-person and virtual in creative and engaging hybrid events, as well as the continued development of new solutions in the face of economic changes.
On a personal note, I’m also honoured to have recently been appointed to the board of directors of Meeting and Events Australia (MEA). The events industry is a significant contributor to the economy, and I’m looking forward to shaping the discussions that will help drive the future growth of the events sector.
Whatever 2023 brings, we know that Cliftons will support your organisation with tailored approaches to creating exceptional events.
If you’re looking for support for your next event, whether that’s a team building day, strategy planning session or a multi-city conference, we’d love to show you what’s possible. Our team can host you in one of our venues, or provide you with a virtual overview of the options that are available.
If you have feedback or questions please reach out.