Abundance or Scarcity
When faced with a downturn in any area of life, we tend to conserve and seek to hold on to what we have. This response is not wrong – it’s a survival instinct. Regardless, these behaviors of risk aversion have more considerable consequences when it comes to making business decisions. A pandemic can bring about uncertainty and instability, making it feel plausible, even reasonable, to cut costs and concentrate on surviving. Also, uncertain election results can leave us immobilized, not knowing what will come next. But what are the implications of risk aversion in the long-run?
We have seen from previous economic downturns that “Those companies that will likely win in a downturn are those that are on the offense, not the defense. They are committed to developing a talent pipeline and retaining key employees during troubling times” (Grant Thornton 2019). How do we stay on the offense when it feels like we are simply rolling with the punches?
We need to keep in mind that the decisions we make now, those relating to hiring decisions and talent management, set the pace for years to come. Our recruitment efforts need to take into account both current and future talent needs. Hiring for an ecosystem mindset allows you to think beyond the immediate or even past talent needs to consider what it takes to build a distinct and resilient workforce. What makes a team resilient, and why is resilience important?
Investing in Diversity
Resilience is the ability to recover quickly or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed. The resilience of materials, like elastic and rubber, can be attributed to their ability to stretch in multiple directions, equipping them to absorb and release energy without being distorted. In the same way, diverse teams are more innovative problem solvers, as they have the advantage of seeing problems from different angles and are less likely to get hung up on the same ones as would a group that thinks similarly. In fact, world economies are proven to perform better when they employ a more diverse workforce. Remaining competitive in a time of scarcity and making decisions with an eye on the future requires diversity.
It’s easy to react to the uncertainty surrounding us today – the impacts of a pandemic or undeclared election results. Companies that have staying power during turbulent times are proactive in their responses. Rather than letting ambiguity decide the course, the opportunity exists to take control and make sound decisions that will impact your business in ways that reach far beyond today.