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Friday, 11 February 2022 15:33

The Theory of Business Evolution

As everybody knows, Charles Darwin famously established the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection. Sometimes referred to as survival of the fittest, I think it’s better to describe it as the process whereby the most suitably adapted to the prevailing conditions and environment are enabled to thrive and grow.

Throughout history, there have been a number of events which have rapidly and drastically affected the environment and tested the theory to the extreme. The events that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs and the subsequent rise of mammals for example.

If we translate the theory of evolution to the business world, we can see that we have recently been experiencing a number of changes to the environment that might adversely affect those businesses that are not suitable adapted or at least ready to adapt. Some of these changes have come about by design, but of course others have taken us by surprise. They include:

  • Digital Transformation: Perhaps better described as “Digital Disruption”, our shift towards the use of digital, and in particular mobile, technologies has been both seismic and dramatic. Although largely through design, the rapidity of the digital shift has been remarkable and ruthless to those not ready to embrace it; think Top-Shop.

  • Brexit: Whether or not this was predictable is open for debate but certainly some of the after-effects have taken us by surprise. We seem to be going through an extended settling down period over trade but the loss of European workers has probably had more to do with improvements in economies in their home countries; which has led to…

  • Vacancies: At 1.2million, the number of jobs waiting to be filled in the UK remains the highest for over 20 years. This, as we’ve discussed in previous posts is not only putting strain on already stretched workforces, but has changed the dynamics within organisations and the balance of power. With so many job opportunities, Employers are conceding to workforce demands for fear of losing staff and paying more to attract and retain workers.

  • Covid: Nobody saw this one coming and whilst we seem to be coming out of the woods now, we have been through two years of extreme turmoil. The worst of the pandemic may be over but we’re now seeing the knock-on effects such as more cases of mental health issues, a workforce that is reticent to let go it its work-from-home culture and an erratic economy that’s lit a fuse beneath an incendiary inflation and wage-rise struggle.

So, what can we do?

Businesses need to adapt and must ensure they are ready to adapt to the changes. During lockdown, restaurants for example, had to switch to a take-away model in order to survive and adopt platforms such as Let’s Eat and Deliveroo. No-one had to develop new technology, just be open-minded to what was already available.

Line managers need to take on more responsibilities for themselves, including some of those traditionally owned by HR. These days managers should be equipped to handle employee issues within their own department, including performance matters, disciplinaries and recruitment. They should be able to formulate the development plans for their team members from induction to promotion but also be aware of their teams’ wellbeing. Our HR for Managers course is a perfect solution here.

Recruitment needs to change too. The smart guys know their recruitment channels and have been developing their employer brand and building relationships with their future workforce for years by engaging with schools and colleges. A lack of workers also requires thinking beyond traditional recruitment networks. There is a population of workers who are looking for a career change so you may need to be prepared to provide training to those who can demonstrate the right aptitude rather than expect everyone to come pre-skilled.

Our Attract, Recruit, Retain seminar still has places available and can set you on the road to a more holistic approach towards recruitment and retention. Equally, our forthcoming Workforce Planning seminars are more nuanced and will help you develop a longer-term plan that aligns with your overall business plan.

Employee wellbeing has become more than a nice-to-do and a positive work-life balance and a sense of fulfilment now ranks above salary for job-seeking graduates. There is also a growing movement in favour of a four-day working week which again, may need to form part of your longer-term workforce plan. The role of the employer is evolving to one that is far more parental in nature and those who can show themselves to be a good place to work will attract the talent they need to survive.

There is oceans of support out there to help businesses through this evolutionary period and a lot of it is free, including many of our own workshops, seminars and training courses. Just look at our events page on the website.

You can call us for support about anything raised here or for support with anything employee and HR related on 01452 331331 or drop us an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Read 297 times Last modified on Friday, 11 February 2022 15:43

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