What are some of those issues?
A shortage of labour and concerns about worker well-being.
Let’s dive deeper into these.
This is a big problem for many sectors. This has largely come about as a result low volumes of training over many years and of course, the constraint on immigrating skilled workers from overseas.
For the trades, there is not short-term solution to fast-track training apprentices. The answer is to attract labour from other New Zealand companies.
Traditionally that has implied paying higher wages which some employers cannot afford to do so they need to be more creative and make their company a more attractive place for employees to join.
Well-being and Welfare
This is no longer a wishy-washy, feel-good issue for airy-fairy businesses. Staff (all people) well-being is a significant issue. We only have to look at NZ’s terrible record for health, suicide and poverty compared to all the other advanced economies. We fall way behind.
The pandemic has made many of these issues worse. At the same time, the shortage of labour has had poor impacts on stress at work and working conditions in general. We also see that we have higher working hours than those other countries. In May, Stuff published,
“The Productivity Commission’s Productivity by the numbers report released on Thursday shows New Zealanders worked 34.2 hours per week, higher than the 31.9 hours per week worked in other OECD countries, and produced $68 of output per hour, less than the $85 per hour in other OECD countries. The figures cover the year to March 2020.”
What Is Well-being?
There are many descriptions but the one I like uses five areas:-
Mental health has also been in the news recently and is a very complex issue, one that for decades has been brushed under the carpet. We are now seeing the human and economic cost of that stance of ignorance. On the positive side, we are also seeing that people, government organisations and employers are recognizing that they can have a positive effect by taking the issues seriously.
Spiritual well-being is a personal view, but one that is more widespread than people initially imagine. It is not only a belief in any religion but is much wider.
“Spiritual well-being means the ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life through a person's connectedness with self, others art, music, literature, nature, or a power greater than oneself.
Spiritual well-being is about our inner life and its relationship with the wider world. It includes our relationship with the environment, our relationships with others and with ourselves.”
Physical well-being has been encouraged for many years. For many people, more or better exercise is the key issue here. While those with physical work like the trades might say they are getting exercise, they may be getting strength building but what about cardio or flexibility? These are key aspects especially as people age.
Health is the result of many different issues. Exercise is a big impact but so are the inputs, food, drink and other elements. We have an obesity epidemic in NZ and have the third most-overweight population in the OECD. Poor food is a big factor with many people choosing unhealthy foods like white bread, fried food, or too much fat and sugar.
Emotional well-being is a result of many inputs. Psychology Today says emotional well-being is “the ability to practice stress-management techniques, be resilient, and generate the emotions that lead to good feelings.” As we saw above, labour shortages are an increasing impact on stress levels for already overloaded workers.
How Can You Use Well-Being For Your Business?
In any situation, a responsible employer ought to look at those five aspects of well-being and implement tactics to support their staff. In the current market of labour shortages, having a well-planned well-being programme can make your business a more attractive employer.
A well-being programme does not have to be expensive nor onerous. There are many things you can do including having a well-being designed for your workplace. But there are simple things you can do:-
- Encourage short exercises at morning tea to keep bodies flexible.
- Have a nutritionist talk to your staff and recommend the best foods for their type of work. (A chippie needs different food from a bookkeeper).
- You can provide workplace posters for mental health organisations, alcohol consumption, and more.
At any stage, feel free to reach out, click here to book a 15-minute meeting on my calendar.