On the 1st of March 2023, Annapurna hosted an incredible event in Oslo around the topic of ‘Embracing Uncertainty whilst Building Business’.
As we already know, the past 2 years have seen many peaks and troughs for businesses with adaptations needed to both changing times and market volatility. As we navigate 2023, the uncertainty of our businesses’ climate doesn’t necessarily have to be seen as a hurdle but maybe as a growth opportunity.
The conversation was led by Becky Finnegan (Associate Director at Annapurna Recruitment), which brought about the following conversation.
‘The Great Resignation’ is still here, but whether it stays is up to leaders…
Employees are tired of one-sided work relationships which as a result has prompted them to take a stand and quit their jobs. There are a variety of reasons that have fuelled ‘The Great Resignation’, from low pay to burnout, from flexibility to growth opportunities and much more. The conversation raised a question about exactly how organisations can retain their best talent. The truth is that employee loyalty is declining and has been for decades, even prior to the pandemic. So who is to blame? Some could say that the responsibility lies within the leaders themselves and they, therefore, have the power to understand how they can retain their best talent. So how exactly can this be done?
Organisations will not want to only retain their best talent just to lower attrition statistics but their best talent should be on the path to develop into the future leaders of the organisation itself. Retaining your best talent is a complex methodology, however, there are many factors which can influence the employee experience such as storytelling, effective training and building purpose. Some may ask how can firms ensure their company strategy is continuously understood and relayed. It’s simple. Involving your employees in the formation of the strategy and listening to them is key. Team building is essential to retaining employees within this process. If organisations are not able to ask their employees what their concerns are, or what feedback they have, they will risk losing top talent due to a lack of involvement.
Remote working – Learning how to communicate your culture
The pandemic has accelerated two emerging business trends. First, is the rise of hybrid working which is the move from full-time office-based work to working remotely or in the majority of cases, in a hybrid way, comprising a mix of office-based and remote working. The second is the realisation that organisations need to think about their employees’ needs more and not just their customers or shareholders. Remote working is here to stay, but with this comes many challenges that organisations are still to this day, struggling to keep up with.
One, in particular, is learning how to communicate and even build your culture, if remote. For some firms, taking advantage of technology helps to navigate this journey as there are a growing number of tools that help to scale a company across a remote workforce, design a thoughtful employee experience, celebrate achievements, support employee mental health and wellbeing and last but not least, help to facilitate effective communication. All of these should always be used as a compliment to the personal touch. Despite these efforts for remote working, there are particular roles such as sales that may be tougher to achieve and motivate when remote. However, it was argued that high performers will be high performers no matter whether they worked from home, in the office or a mixture of both.
Uncertainty is not always a negative
Businesses have to adapt to the changing times, especially given the event of the past two years. Business uncertainty is when a business cannot predict what is going to happen or directly influence it. This (usually) leads to bad outcomes and is often centred on worries about the future and what could happen. Successful organisations are those that can turn this around and create a positive.
Whilst dealing with business uncertainty can be seen as a hurdle to clear for many businesses, it can also be seen as a growth opportunity in itself. Venture Capital (VC) investments are higher than usual at the moment with funding, which has knock-on effects of companies needing to become more disciplined, have higher margins, and create a stronger product market fit. According to Frank Knight’s book Risk, Uncertainty and Profit, business uncertainty is necessary for profit — if businesses could predict risks in advance and strategise accordingly, then their competitors could do the same. The uncertainty can be seen as an advantage because it allows businesses to identify opportunities during disruptive times and use them to gain the upper hand advantage.
Comparing now to 2008
The likelihood is that the next 12 months will not be a period of big budgets and will involve plenty of transformation across both cultures and management teams but how can we continue to succeed? Some industries have not been hit as hard but the global changes have been felt differently in different countries. For example, Spain’s use of renewable energies compared to Germany’s reliance on gas has a variety of impacts. The Norwegian government, on the other hand, plays a different part in any climate and energy issues compared to others in G20, due to its historical relationship with the Oil industry, and subsidies. Firms can learn a lot from other economies around the world that have already experienced these challenges.
ForTheFounders (FTF) is a community that offers value to Founders, CEO and Senior Execs involved in tech and digital innovation start-ups and scale-ups. With digital technology vastly improving and changing the landscape, ForTheFounders aims to uncover the secrets and insights into how technology is impacting the growth of businesses.
Our events are held at prestigious venues across Europe, in cities such as Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, London, Stockholm, Munich and many more. Enjoy a fascinating conversation amongst entrepreneurial figureheads and founders who are like-minded that share interests in topics that start-ups must consider, such as leadership styles, attraction, retention and ESG.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in and would like to take part in one of our events, simply check out our events page and sign up at annapurnarecruitment.com/category/events/