Unfortunately, the new normal is staff shortages, increased costs and uncertainty.
Depending on how the statistics are manipulated, unemployment is currently running at between 4.7-5.6%; but what is not widely known – yet most pundits seem to agree on – is that approximately 4% of the potential workforce is, for one reason or another, either unable to work or unemployable.
The biggest issues affecting businesses at the current time are:
- Labour shortages including increased pay rates and costs to both employ and retain staff.
- Increased costs driven by a combination of capacity issues, supply shortages and the Government’s policy to increase both the lower paid wage workers income and further complicate conditions of employment.
- Shortages of raw materials with the corresponding price increases associated with more demand than there is supply.
Unfortunately, while all the above are outside the control of most small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) there are things that you and we can do to improve your current and future situation. This includes “learning to be Agile” or, in plain English, “learning to be more adaptable and being more prepared to take advantage of our new normal by thinking outside the box.”
Many of you will be asking “how the hell do we do that?” Well, here’s one example affecting small contractors who work for the large infrastructure companies:
Large infrastructure companies are making their contractors jump through a “one-size-fits-all” health and safety policy, the entirety of which is largely irrelevant to the average contractor. Only 1-4 hours of a required 2-day health and safety induction is actually applicable to many individual contractors. The 2-day ‘training’ programme, which is normally completed at the contractor’s expense, means 2 days of lost earning potential in a market where there is currently an acute shortage of skilled labour.
In the current environment most contractors have more work than they can physically handle, so they should be looking at taking on only the best earning and fastest paying jobs. And because the big players are amongst those struggling to acquire skilled labour, they no longer have the power to dictate terms to contractors to the extent they did previously. In order to attract the contractors they depend upon, the big players, too, have to adapt to the new normal.
If you are unsure of how to go about taking advantage of the new normal, then speak to a Business Advisor like myself. It’s my job to think outside the square and find fresh and innovative ways to improve your business. Remember the obvious often only becomes the obvious when a fresh pair of eyes brings it to your attention.
If you’ve read this far, here’s a little bonus: a 2-minute online Business Health Check with immediate feedback on how accurate your perception of how you think your business is functioning actually is: https://intotheblue.co.nz/business-health-check/
Into the Blue NZ Limited – expert at thinking outside the box.
For more information on making the most of the new normal please call John on (021) 625-871.
For more information on Into the Blue’s services please click this link https://intotheblue.co.nz/services/