Use positivity to combat job seeking in January

At this time of year, our thoughts turn to the season that brings the nation together – the January sales. But also at this time of year, teams are typically looking for motivation amidst the return to work, dreary weather and Blue Monday.

This could explain that, according to Glassdoor, January is by far the most popular month for job seekers, seeing a +22% difference compared with a typical month.

To ensure this doesn’t affect your business and derail 2024 growth plans, leaders should look to build a company worth staying at. Below I outline three key actions for business leaders and HR teams to embrace in order to combat increased job seeking.

Three ways to create sustainable employee happiness

Make work fun

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as fun work and it relies on collaboration; something that can go a long way towards problem-solving and creative thinking.

Your workplace must be a shared experience in which everyone helps each other; one where successes are celebrated together.

For your team to work as collaboratively as possible, ensure you’re sharing information between departments and individuals, and that there’s a digital paper trail of who’s doing what.

Workplaces have come a long way in the past few years and the key to that has been moving on from the individualistic ‘sink or swim’ cultures.

A culture that thrives off individuals will only serve to hurt the team, so be sure you’re promoting training and development programmes that contribute to the bigger picture.

Success should not be defined as trampling on those beneath you. Instead, it should be one tied to communal achievements, teamwork and supporting the development of others.

Make curiosity, not judgement, the backbone of your culture

Over half (51%) of employees feel more productive when working from home and, across Europe, the percentage of employees working remotely has actually risen since the pandemic.

But for every positive headline around remote working, there’s a negative one.

This is why the answer for your business should be to avoid the noise and focus on what works for you and your team. Instead of rolling out a one-size-fits-all policy, lean into your employee data and see how people perform at their best.

Empower employees to be happy at work

Similarly, a curious culture can have a profound impact on how inclusive your business is.

Unless you spend the time getting to know and listening to your teams, you’ll only see snapshots of who they are and whether or not they feel empowered to be their whole selves.

Especially if your team works outside of the office, misunderstandings can accelerate. So be sure to bring learning and curiosity with you on your cultural journey.

Implement technology to empower, not replace

No matter the ‘wow factor’ of tools such as ChatGPT and DeepAI, business leaders must remember that the technology should not replace your people – but empower them.

Whether it’s by automating admin-heavy tasks, streamlining workflows or helping you create a first draft of something to later finesse.

It's official: work makes people happy, says ONS

Goldman Sachs might have said that over 300 million jobs would be disrupted by AI globally, but disruption is a vague term – and nobody is ruling out positive disruption.

This means that jobs which are constrained by busy work are suddenly freed up to incorporate more human input.

This is particularly relevant for finance teams, with 98% of companies globally saying that the role of CFOs has changed – something that’ll only continue with the ongoing financial crisis. Business leaders should therefore focus on this department as a canvas for not just AI implementation, but a technology roll-out too.

Making next year a positive one

We spend most of our lives working, and so it stands to reason that business leaders and HR teams should do everything they can to make this time as positive as possible – for their employees and colleagues, but also for themselves.

The key is acknowledging that doing so and running a successful business aren’t mutually exclusive. Positivity drives performance, and communicating that to your teams, as well as outlining how you intend to implement it, will help organisations combat January job seeking.

Fie Fisker is people and culture domain lead, Pleo