The past few years have taught many of us the importance of being able to pivot in response to a changing environment and it looks to me like it’s time for us to focus on “The Great Reshuffle!” Now is the perfect time for us to reap the benefits from moving ahead while concentrating on strategies to attract and retain our most important asset- our talent.  These strategies may involve more modern ways to focus our business plans, bring our teams together again and make sure our brands and corporate cultures resonate positively with the right messaging and actions to help us, and our employees, thrive.

Our own staff is an endless source of inspiring diligence as they work to help our partners fill positions in what has become probably the most competitive landscape that I have witnessed in our 27-year history. Surely, we’ve all navigated through global crises, domestic turbulences and recessions, but frankly, the business environment we are facing today is unlike any other most of us (if any) have experienced.  While there is still a lot of turmoil in the marketplace, with varying predictions about when this will all end, I look at The Great Reshuffle as a catalyst for change, and an opportunity for both employers and employees to focus on new perspectives, exploring innovative ways to grow, learn and flourish in our current environment. 

For my fellow leaders it may be the way we conduct and manage our businesses. This reshuffling is propelling leadership to focus on all aspects of our businesses in different ways; take fresh looks at what practices still work; assess what changes are needed; and, also potentially revise our leadership approach to adapt to the changing environment.  Business as usual is not necessarily going to help companies succeed as we go forward.  Prioritizing both talent retention strategies and attraction will likely continue to be more essential than ever for success as all leaders aim to thrive through the daunting, yet surmountable, employment statistics and talent shortages that we have been facing over the past few years. It’s time to consider a paradigm shift in your strategy, from seeking cultural “fits” to cultural “adds.” It’s important to be introspective, retrospective and forward-looking all at the same time, so that we have the proper plans and tools to grow our business and nurture the growth of our talent.

It’s a great time to assess our leadership styles, and refine them.  Look around.  Seek opinions from your own mentors and business partners. Seek opinions from your employees. Listen to your teams. Be sure to connect with them in a meaningful way. Learn what is important to them—what was important last year may no longer be relevant this year.  Be relevant!    Conduct employee surveys and take positive action.  Does your company culture reflect these values? While I don’t believe there is any one-size-fits all solution, we do need to realize that the office environment may not look the same as it did a few years ago and we can benefit from embracing a culture that will also be embraced by our talent. Employee engagement is more important now than ever before, and our focus on everything from how we work, where we work, when we work, and how we are valued, are all part of the many facets of feeling “fulfilled.”

And, as many of you know, I embrace compassionate leadership and would encourage others to do the same.

During this time of The Great Reshuffle, it is a great time to invest in our employees.  The first thing many of us think of when we say “invest” is salaries and benefits.  Yes, those are certainly important considerations.  Yes, many of our clients are increasing salaries and expanding benefits. In order to attract and retain talent and to remain relevant in the market, upskilling opportunities should also be an important focus for businesses of all sizes.  It certainly will continue to be an important employee benefit here at Atrium.

One of the most important benefits that can be offered to employees I believe is the opportunity to expand on their knowledge.  Thus, learning and development programs are becoming an increasingly important part of our own business.  Some examples of programs we are offering include: diversity, equality, inclusion and belonging; connectivity, or being mindful of the resources that are around you and available, and how to open yourself up to them; emotional intelligence and the art of effective communication; time management- both professional and personal, including how to better manage your days for a healthy work/life balance; technology training; project management training and several others.

It’s also very important to create a sense of belonging while also empowering your talent to bring their best selves to work every day. Let’s face it, that means we as leaders also need to bring our best selves to work each and every day.

I encourage us all to look at The Great Reshuffle as a positive time for change.  It’s up to us as leaders to move forward with these changes, so that our internal talent and the leaders we are grooming will continue to be assets whose value will contribute to our mutual growth and continued success.  

And last but not least, be authentic and lead with compassion.