Greetings from Sydney 👋 and thanks for making it back to The Big Dip newsletter, where I serve you up with the latest goings on in business, technology and Cape.
With literally every workplace in a state of change as we all come out of the extended lockdowns, it's got us over at the Cape HQ pondering:
- Can a remote first 4 day-work week tackle the talent shortages?
- How will ‘The Great Resignation’ impact staff retention?
- What does ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’ mean for leaders?
So we got busy with knocking together a 'Future of Work' November special.
Stay tuned for what we have in store.
Have a listen: The Good Money podcast
After 18 months+ of Working From Home, we finally got out of the latest set of lockdowns to discover what our new ‘norms’ might be. This has put a spotlight on how and from what location we all work from with the debate around the 4-day work week and remote work the hot topics of the day.
how a remote-first 4 day work week practically works. With payroll being one of everyone’s biggest monthly expenses, we help you understand the impact this has on your cashflow and the overall productivity of your workforce.
💡 Get inspired
with how you can cut wasteful spending, without having to cut your headcount.
Acquiring competitors was a growth strategy of Ben’s at Vocus Communications, completing 25 in a 5 year period. Which saw their workforce grow from 50 to 2,500. He does however warn against 50/50 mergers and provides a useful framework for what makes a successful acquisition program.
Founder mental health: Four steps to creating healthy habits
With the celebration of Australia’s first Mental Health Awareness month, I got to work on a candid & whistlestop write up of the first hand struggles, trials and tribulations as a founder when it comes to the still ‘taboo’ subject.
Having recently read James Routledge’s book Mental Health at Work, one interesting observation he comments on is the noticeable decline in the numbers who regularly attend a place of worship, as well as the collapse of local community life. Which he argues is placing more emphasis on the need for stronger communities in the workplace & from across our industries as a whole.
- Be sure to put on your oxygen mask before helping others. As one of my own mentors loves to tell me “you can’t pour from an empty cup, Ryan!”
- Talk to your team about what you’re doing for your own mental health.
- Boundary setting. We all know that having boundaries (e.g. not working 24/7) is beneficial to mental health.
- Communicating the importance that mental health at work is not just the management team's responsibility, but everybody’s.
Updates we’ve been following
A lasting effect of this pandemic will be the revolution in work expectations.
Thanks to several government relief support programs, from rent moratorium, student loan forgiveness, everyone, particularly if they’re young & with a low income, has more freedom to quit a job they hate and hop onto the next best thing.
What this means for you
The question comes down to how can you retain people when faced with this tidal wave of resignations? Check out this Forbes article for their top 3 suggestions.
Planning for leadership debt, unlike financial debt, ain't easy to spot on a balance sheet. But you can spot symptoms in companies: miscommunication, a culture of micromanaging even senior leadership and high overall staff turnover.
At some point, founders in particular need to get out of the way. And for a startup to really grow up, founders need to create an environment for other leaders to thrive in, which means recognising their own limitations and learning the fine art of delegation.
What this means to you?
Millennials and Gen Z’s no longer want bosses, they want coaches. They don’t want ‘annual reviews’, they want ongoing conversations.
Sounds great. But on how on earth do you tackle that? Well, if you’re new to the coaching game then it's worth checking out what the good people at Lisnic are building to make it easier to get connected with the right mentors to develop your leaders.
Companies succeed or fail based on leadership's decision making capabilities. Covering everything from who you hire, fire, promote, your strategic direction, new technology adoption, the company’s mission etc.
What this means for you
Understand that “for every decision you make - and this includes giving tough feedback - there will be someone who thinks you should have made a different one.
Popularity doesn’t matter. Doing the right thing does.”
If the new purpose of business and the future of work is all about maximizing human potential, then how your leadership team handles conflicts to unlock that potential will be critical for your success.
Society has raised many of us up in a world where talking about money is a taboo subject. The one subject that will miff off your team more than anything is how much they are being paid.
Building a clear policy around this is essential unless you’re focussed on:
- Making your current employees wonder whether you’re underpaying them.
- Discouraging women & people of colour from joining and staying with your team.
- Perpetuating the gender pay gap.
What does this mean for you?
Putting my Cape hat on, we’re big advocates of removing politics from the office environment so people can focus on the value they provide to customers. Which is exactly why we’re building a culture of radical transparency. Starting with implementing salary grids based on roles and where people are at in their personal development in that role. Adaptation is required for local vs remote roles.
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One final thought... Dismiss change at your peril
The curse of leadership means that without a crystal ball (plz feel free to share if you happen to have one) we all need to be constantly aware of the changing landscape and learning to adapt as required.
We otherwise make bad calls. One of most notable of the modern era was that of the then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer dismissing the technological shifts of smartphone adoption:
"500 dollars? Fully subsidised? With a plan? I said that is the most expensive phone in the world. And it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard. Which makes it not a very good email machine."
We should learn to forgive Ballmer. He along with Gates did after all gift the world with one of the most comical dance parties of all time…
Till next time folks,
Founder, CEO of Cape