It feels like we have made it past the challenge of Covid-19, and even acclimatised to hybrid working. But there is a hangover from this - organisations were faced with many challenges during the pandemic, and as a result income was impacted and in turn changes were made to how we approach our work and how we resource it.
The fallout from this seems to be a continued demand for growth - and for some who saw an unprecedented rise in income generation from new streams, it is expected we will continue to see this year on year. And with this demand for growth, there is not a correlating investment in resource to provide the infrastructure needed.
This is resulting in people working longer hours, feeling immense pressure at the targets they need to meet and feeling underappreciated. It also creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you meet those demands with the limited time, budget and resource you have, then it fuels the assumption it can be done. With little attention being paid to the impact on people.
It is all too easy to quantify the cost of not hitting targets and adding additional resource - but the hidden cost to this current state of being is to staff wellbeing, morale, health and retention.
It might be a time for leaders to really tap into their Fiery Red Energy, and firmly provide evidence to show what will happen if you continue to work at this pace with no support or additional investment. Something will break. And that will either be your people, or a project.
How do you feel - when I suggest you really clearly only commit to achieving targets by clearly indicating what will not happen as a result. To only take on additional activity by letting another piece of work go?
Too often, I am seeing a real negative, downhearted, defeatist attitude of "we will not get it", "they will say to do it all"….So what is within your sphere of influence here? And how best can you leverage it?
My best piece of advice is to be prepared to have those challenging conversations with the leadership team. But do this by taking into consideration what colour energy you think they lead with. And then preparing in advance - and make sure to speak their language.
For Fiery Red Energy - Talk in terms of impact on the bottom line, using facts and figures, including evidence of absences, sickness and staff turnover. Be direct, be firm, be straight to the point. And come with a solution to recommend.
For Cool Blue Energy - Be clear in advance what you want to discuss, and what the outcome of the conversation should be. Provide all the detail you can. What is being asked of you, what resource you have available, and therefore what can and cannot be done. Ask them to consider it, and come back to you, and put in a follow up meeting.
For Earth Green - Be all about the people! Talk in terms of the people impact on wellbeing, morale and health. Let them know what is occurring and your concerns if nothing changes. And talk in terms of the wider impact this will have on the organisation. People who lead with this colour do not want to let anyone down.
For Sunshine Yellow - Start with high energy, and be positive. Embrace the growth demands and show you see how visionary they are and how amazing it would be to get there. Keep the conversation topline, no need for details. And be solutions focussed. In order to get to this amazing end goal, what will we need to make it there and be successful. Talk in terms of how you can make it happen, not what will stop it from happening.
I hope this helps you. And you can find out far more about each of the colour energies in my Leadership & Communication Workbook here.