The importance of team

A focus on team matters more than ever – Market Update Sept 23

A focus on team matters more than ever – Market Update Sept 23

Simon Roderick

September 21, 2023

Interest rates and are they working? Are they actually inflationary, and what’s the point in raising if they take 18 months to take effect? Weakened demand, elongated sales processes, margin compression, hybrid working; these are all regular conversations we’re having. We’re lucky, and I’ve always loved the insight my job gives me, as we get an overview of the market. The problem is leaders often work in a vacuum. It’s highly unlikely your competitors are going to share how they are doing openly, perhaps old industry friends will give you some insight, but I suspect that many of the issues I’ve mentioned will resonate with many.

The challenge of the post-COVID boom was ensuring that teams didn’t burn out, the challenge of the snapback was well summed up by an FT article this week on management consulting, that for some there’s no work to balance. In growth times, leaders have the wind on their backs when it comes to top line growth and when it comes to inspiring a team. Inspiring Man City players, top of the table, and getting them to commit to training, seems a hundred times easier, in my view, than inspiring players in a relegation battle, who take to the pitch week in week out knowing they’re likely to lose. However, modern leaders need to be able to manage for both the good and bad times. If they can’t, then they will lose the dressing room and shareholders will be looking for a new manager. My feeling is that we seem to go through economic cycles much faster these days. It’s often hard to know what a catalyst for growth or contraction is, but something will come along, and it’s often totally unexpected. Actually, my feeling is that most firms aren’t doing dreadfully, they’re just not growing and by now many were expecting rates to be falling and for growth to resume. This presents a management problem, because how do you keep your team motivated?

It may be strange that recruiter is talking about retention. Lessons in how to keep your people by a headhunter -weird. The truth is, that we absolutely understand why people leave good jobs with good employers and now is the sort of time that good people leave employers. It’s the boredom factor, the grass is greener factor, and quite often there is always a stand out performer in a sector. A firm which is bucking the trend, and as they sweep up the best talent, firms need someone to replace their top performers. Also, in my view, the recruitment market is starting to improve and after a fairly dull 12 months, people will be tempted to go for that speculative coffee with a competitor.

With little growth and little internal movement, leaders need to find a way to give purpose to their teams. This could be cross training, skills enhancement courses, recognition and rewards, celebrating milestones, community engagement, mentorship and coaching, encouraging employee suggestions, and a doubling down on corporate messaging on the long-term plan. Using the time to prepare your team for the inevitable upturn and invest in developing their skills will help engage them and help the business to capture greater market share as the market improves.

About Fram Professionals

Fram Professionals focuses on placing office professionals in dynamic, innovative, or venture-backed firms in the London – Oxbridge “golden triangle”. We focus on mid-to-senior permanent hires across key functions such as finance, sales & marketing, legal, and management positions.

Contact us on [email protected] or call 01525 864 372 for an informal chat about our services.

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