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2021. The year that reminded us Rome wasn't built in a day.

As I reflect on the year that has been, it seems again we have a year of 2 parts: before August and after August. Or otherwise known as before Delta, and after. Lockdowns have frustrated many since August, as has the chaotic and rushed introduction of vaccination mandates.

There was a sense of calm and comfort found in the months between June 2020 and August 2021. During those months, I had been a busy bee growing the client base and the team. My goal has been to build capability and resilience so the business can keep going during lockdowns and I can keep working part time. The latter is a work in progress, and I have given myself another 6 months to nail that one out. Hard to believe my youngest starts school in just over a year.

Early this year, the team grew from 2 employee with 2 very casual contractors, to 3 employees and 3 part time contractors with regular clients. Our client load has roughly doubled from roughly 8-10 active clients each month to around 20. Since moving to Hamilton last year, we have helped over 120 different businesses. I was really surprised by this as I hadn’t taken the time to count clients, but it also explained the growing pains and challenges we have faced this year.

I launched DIY HR and have done nothing with it since. Be on the look-out for this to come to life in 2022. Instead, I turned my focus to a new website. I am proud of what Samantha and our team of creatives have achieved. If you haven’t already check it out. – www.staging.stapleton.consulting

As much as I have wanted to tick off the work and get it all done at once, I have often had to be reminded that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Fixing those gaps in our processes and pushing to get that website or online learning platform finished, it all had to be given the time and attention it deserved. This meant some of it had to wait in line until 2022 or 2023. So many learnings from this year to carry forward.

On the HR front, there have been several changes on the legislation front and many forecasted challenges came to fruition. These will all continue into 2022 and beyond. Here is what I see are the HR topics for 2022:

• Vaccination policies
• Employee retention and candidate attraction strategies
• Hybrid working models and culture
• Health and wellbeing (heard of Pandemic Flux Syndrome?)
• AI for HR
• Succession planning
• Introduction of Matariki as a paid public holiday
• Holidays Act reform

If there was an overused HR phrase or words for 2021 it would be ‘The great resignation’ and ‘Flexible working’.

‘The great resignation’ is linked with Pandemic Flux Syndrome and explains why so many out there are choosing to escape in search of something more or better. It is the way our brains are wired. 2022 is going to be about supporting people to stay or return if it doesn’t work out. So instead of talking and fearing the great resignation, I am researching and reading about Pandemic Flux Syndrome. Watch this space for a piece on this over the break.

To be honest why aren’t we calling ‘Flexible Working’ something along the lines of ‘dynamic working’ or ‘hybrid working’. If the last 2 years have taught us anything, it is that we all need to be responsive and adaptive to what changes around us. This has been not only in working environment but also adapting to others. How acceptable is it now to have our children join in on a zoom meeting? That is pretty much the definition of dynamic. Flexible on the other hand is all about being ready and waiting to respond to change circumstances. The latter sounds more reactive to me.

Ponder on these thoughts over the break and I will share more in the new year. I am predicting ‘hybrid workplaces’ will be the next HR buzzword for 2022.

When you leave work to start your summer holiday, remember – the money you haven’t made in 2021, due to disruptions is unlikely to materialise by putting the pressure on to do more done in 2022 using the same methods you have always used.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. What are those incremental adjustments you are going to make so 2022 brings all that strive to achieve?

From me and the rest of the Stapleton Consulting team, we wish you many happy days of laughter and fun with your family and friends. Have a lovely summer holiday everyone.

We will be back in the office on 10 January and some of our team are on-call over the break should a challenging HR issue crop up.