Businesses are getting plenty of advice this week as the
working year starts. Business editor Dene Mackenzie looks at
some of the advice on offer.
This year, New Zealand is expected to have the ''rock star
economy'' of the world with growth set to top the OECD. All
sorts of agencies are providing some how-to advice so
businesses can take full advantage of any growth.
Randstad New Zealand director Paul Robinson said while
steady, sustainable growth might be the main resolution for
many businesses this year, achieving a new year's resolution
required consistent focus.
Challenging business conditions in a stagnating economy had
seen many organisations looking to solidify their market
position in the last 12 months, rather than looking forward
to the next stage of growth.
''It's clear businesses won't stay in this holding pattern
for long, especially with the surging economies of
neighbouring countries creating more competition for
business. This will see an added fight for customer loyalty,
market share, and perhaps the greatest battleground with the
fight for talent.''
Ensuring a 2014 workforce was made up of the best and
brightest talent who were happy, engaged and motivated to
perform, businesses needed to invest in their staff, make
them feel valued and proud to work for the business.
Businesses also needed to find ways to stand out from the
competition, Mr Robinson said.
MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said January was the ideal time
to reflect and tackle
new strategies and goals instead of taking a ''business as
Operators who committed to clarifying their priorities early
would likely reap the rewards. It could mean the difference
between flourishing and floundering.
''Set some specific and inspiring goals around key areas of
your business you wish to develop. Begin by asking yourself
what you will stop doing as well as start doing in 2014.''
However, it may not be all plain sailing for employers,
judging by the Hudson Report, which monitors employment
trends. The report showed hiring expectations dipped slightly
in the three months ended December. Hiring intentions were
down 2.9% from the September quarter's five-year high.
The drop came despite New Zealand's economic indicators
showing organisations were well positioned for 2014 as a
result of strengthening business confidence and solid
economic expansion, Roman Rogers, executive general manager
of Hudson New Zealand, said.
Nearly two-thirds of the more than 1000 employers surveyed
said they intended to keep staffing levels steady this
''Although indicators suggest another year of continued
economic growth, employers are cautious and remain hesitant
to commit to a new head count, particularly with the eye to
the performance of the Australian economy.
''The employment market remains tight, so employers' ability
to find the people and skill sets they need to take advantage
of the more confident economic conditions will be critical to
getting ahead in the next 12 months,'' he said.
The labour marker was still subject to fluctuations in
demand, so the challenge for employers in 2014 would be to
navigate the change from a pure focus on productivity to
pursuing new growth opportunities and making the decision to
take on new staff.
Hiring intentions in the South Island remained the strongest
across the regions with 49% of employers intending to
increase staff numbers, largely driven by Canterbury, Mr
Resolutions for 2014
1) Keep focus on your employer brand. Business leaders
will need to look at how to attract the best people while
also holding on to their stars.
2) Place workforce considerations at the top of
business conversations. Every business leader will be looking
at how to manage their existing workforce and maximise
resources while positioning for growth. The aim is to ensure
the business has the right people and human capital plans in
place to achieve your goals.
3) Ensure your organisation is inclusive. Ensuring
your business is set to cater to a multidimensional workforce
will be key to any ongoing success. Diversity is not limited
to the talent you hire, it extends to the ways in which
employees want to work.
1) Learn from last year's hits and misses. What
changes can you make to ensure mistakes are not repeated and
opportunities are not missed.
2) Stay on the business track. A solid business plan
will help you make better business decisions about the
strategies needed to continue to operate and grow.
3) Do not try to be all things to all people. Wearing
multiple hats can be exhausting. Outsource tasks you loathe
so you can spend more time growing the business.
4) Grow to love your numbers. Learn about profit and
loss statements, balance sheets and cash-flow statements and
do not shy away from the numbers.
5) Do not be afraid to embrace technology. Cloud-based
accounting software, convenient mobile apps, online business
management tools - today's business tools - can save time and