As we approach the end of 2022, individuals won’t be the only ones thinking “new year, new me.” The imminent arrival of 2023 also gives businesses an opportunity to start afresh and change how they do things for the better. So, with January moving ever closer, what exactly can you business do to give itself an edge in 2023? Here are three of the most positive changes a business can make to give it an edge.
1. Emphasise Diversity And Inclusion
Over two third of UK companies are now committed to workplace equality. Not only is emphasising diversity and inclusion the right thing to do, but it can offer a number of business benefits, including stronger productivity, a wider talent pool, and new perspectives that bring innovation. A number of studies by Mckinsey have found that companies with greater sex, ethnic and cultural diversity are significantly more profitable.
Understanding bias and creating awareness around it is crucial for creating an equal workplace. As explained by diversity and inclusion consultancy EW Group: “Unconscious biases are formed through positive and negative life experiences involving other people, and our opinions and actions are informed by these memories. We are fully aware of some of these biases, but some are implicit rather than explicit and are often displayed subtly and without premeditation or intention.”
This makes unconscious bias training crucial. By creating awareness around the mental shortcuts that result in biased judgements, you can reduce discrimination and allow your employees to thrive in an environment where they feel included and respected.
2. Embrace Hybrid Working
Although the pandemic forced most businesses to operate remotely, many discovered the numerous benefits of this way of working. As a result, more and more teams now operate with a flexible hybrid working model.
This gives businesses the best of both worlds. Employees and companies can still enjoy the benefits of remote working, such as maintaining a better work-life balance and reduced absenteeism, while reaping the benefits of in-person working too. These include an enhanced culture, improved facilities and better work relationships.
Whether it’s one day a week, four days a month or as little or as often as employees like, to implement this model, you need to decide how often employees should work on site. If fostering your company culture is an important reason for returning to the office, we recommend having set days in the week where either the whole company or whole departments come in. This guarantees that workers actually spend time with each other at work.
3. Go Green
The perilous state of the planet is no secret, and more and more businesses are doing their part to combat this. Research shows that sustainability is a top priority for over a third (37%) of businesses.
Again, this isn’t only an ethical move, but one that can pay dividends for your business, particularly considering more consumers are trying to be more eco-friendly themselves. According to a study by SmartestEnergy, 81% of people prefer to buy from sustainable companies, with IBM finding that half of consumers are willing to pay more for a sustainable brand or product. Among the main ways you can go green include:
- Reduce waste – Reducing waste means fewer products going to landfill and incineration, both of which contribute to environmental pollution. There are so many ways to cut business waste, such as going paperless, opting for reusable items and promoting recycling among teams.
- Minimise energy consumption – Minimising your energy consumption benefits the planet by conserving finite resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In order to cut your energy usage, consider taking steps like using LED bulbs, buying energy efficient equipment and insulating your office properly.
- Go meat-free – Encouraging your employees to reduce their meat intake is a great way of making your business more sustainable. Why not have a dedicated meat-free day, and only supply vegan or vegetarian meals to your employees?
And that rounds off our list. We hope that by following these tips, your business will have an edge against the competition and will have a prosperous 2023 and beyond.