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  • robmarkwell

Retention & Performance – A Growing Concern for Businesses.

Most recruitment businesses, like many other sectors, have seen more changes in team dynamic and behaviour in the last four years than perhaps the 15 proceeding.


I hate to bring up the C-word again, but the impact of Covid and lockdown on how we approach work, team management, learning & development and leadership was such a seismic shift, that many companies are still battling to get it right.


Labelled at the time as the “new normal”, remote working was praised as maximising the use of evolving technologies to re-establish a better work-life balance. And mostly, in my opinion, it has achieved that. Evolution is not only necessary, but also unavoidable.


However, I would argue that it may not be that clear cut. Every company relies on engagement, on culture and on upskilling & mentoring the next generation of talent, aka the leaders of tomorrow and the current board members’ succession plan.


And throughout the last four years most of the focus has been about what the next generation see as fitting. How they see their world being run. From my point of view not enough development resource has been invested on how we upskill the managers and leaders of today. Not enough strategic realignment has been done to consider how a leadership teams can continue to protect and cultivate culture, lead teams remotely and achieve performance.


Technology is fantastic and every business should embrace the empowering connectivity it offers but as we covered in a recent article about The Limitation of coaching over Zoom, we all have to admit that there is something about face-to-face human interaction that allows us all to develop a deeper, richer understanding of someone’s feelings, and thoughts. Thereby, enabling a more meaningful connection.

Afterall we are social animals with pack mentality. It shows itself in the form of families, friends’ groups, stadiums, concerts...etc. The place of work is no different. A place of work is where ideas are formed, mentoring happens, friendships are built, wins are enjoyed and true support is offered.

Even if WFH is just two or three days a week, serious thought has to be put into how communication, management and culture are adjusted to not only serve the next generation of talent and the senior leadership team, but to best serve the business.


Let’s be clear here, work-life balance is important but in the context of work, work is a business with a P&L. And a business will not perform in line with planned outcomes, unless it is functioning efficiently, effectively, and profitably.


We have seen countless recruitment companies embrace this “new normal” with open arms. They have listened to their teams, welcomed video calls, remote working, revisited packages, holiday allowances, working hours and various softer benefits.


Surprisingly on many occasions such changes have not brought about the expected renewed comradery and engagement, akin to pre-covid times.


Instead, there are growing issues with retention, performance, engagement and a noticeable degradation of culture.


Add on managers who are not upskilled to lead teams remotely within a struggling economy and we have a perfect storm.



Part of our work at BlueInk is steering shareholders and leadership teams to make sure they get the balance right. That doesn’t mean pulling the dial all the way back to companies at the detriment of staff and the evolution of the workplace. It’s making sure that every team member, from junior to senior gets the input, the support, the culture and the performance management that is necessary for them to excel at their jobs.


And that’s where true engagement and motivation can come from.

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