Business efficiency and productivity trends for 2022

Natalie Toniotti
AUTHOR
Natalie Toniotti
    9 minute read

Is your business looking to increase productivity and efficiency in 2022? If so, we have compiled this list of business efficiency trends to provide some inspiration. Even better, we’ve broken them up by area to make it easier to apply within your business.

Human resources

As we move into a post-pandemic world, the long-term effects on employment are still being felt by HR departments globally. Mark Whittle, VP of Gartner Advisory states “as organisations move from their initial pandemic response to more sustainable operations, they’re trying to build resilience into everything, from strategy to work design, to enable the organisation, its leadership and employees to sense and respond to change, repeatedly.”

Gartner surveyed over 500 HR leaders across 60 countries to identify the human resource trends expected for 2022. The top efficiency trends they identified for HR functions were:

Hybrid work will transform business operations

Around 95% of HR leaders expect remote work to become the norm for a vast majority of their employees. In a Deloitte survey, they found that 50% of employees didn’t want to return to the office and would prefer remote work. Another study found that only 9% of the global workforce ever really expected to return full-time to the office, with 53% of large businesses now anticipating a reduction in their in-office footprint. This will spell change for current HR policies and procedures that HR managers need to be ready to support. Hybrid workplaces are a great way to offer this flexibility.

Learn how to facilitate a healthy hybrid workplace.
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Contingency plans for skills shortages

The overarching ‘umbrella’ issue of a global talent shortage is still impacting businesses across all industries. The number of skills required to support the jobs of today is increasing by 6.3% per annum with new skills replacing old ones thanks to economic changes and the effects of Industry 4.0. In fact, 29% of the skills that were listed in job advertisements back in 2018 are no longer present in job advertisements in 2022. 

With 31% of businesses having difficulty finding suitable staff and 69% of them struggling to retain quality talent, the resulting unrealised annual revenues are amounting to around U.S. $8.5 trillion. Investing in global resourcing strategies, like outsourcing, instead of being limited to the local market can help HR managers and talent acquisition teams open up to a high-quality, global talent pool.

Workforce well-being maintenance

The pandemic brought to the surface the issue that many businesses were not investing in the general well-being, both mental and physical, of their employees. Due to the stress the pandemic placed on employees, businesses began to introduce activities that supported their employees' well-being such as virtual yoga classes and free telehealth consultations.

Since we are entering a post-pandemic world, it’s important for HR teams to not forget the value their employees will continue to place on efficient workforce wellbeing programs. This can go a long way in maintaining employee retention rates and fostering the element of trust between employee and employer. These programs can also help to improve employee engagement with happier and more engaged employees found to be 12% more productive than their counterparts.

Sales

One of the constant challenges facing SMEs is how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their sales process and sales teams. Within sales, business efficiency can be determined by prospect-to-client ratio, closing deals and hitting financial goals. For many businesses, this involves business growth and the recruitment of quality salespeople. Recent studies have found that 1 in 3 companies are not sure exactly how to scale their operations.

To help your sales managers and front-line sales consultants improve productivity and ultimately close deals in 2022, businesses need to really understand what prospective clients want.

Address security and privacy concerns

With the increase in business reliance on cloud-based software due to the anticipated continuance of remote or hybrid work models, the 2022 client profile is shaped around looking for data security, privacy and accountability within business relations. Currently, only 57% of B2B companies can confidently say they meet that requirement. Businesses need to prove that their client's information is secure as a starting point.

Invest in customer experience strategies

Without focusing on existing clients, and making sure you provide them with a positive customer experience (CX), your business could suffer greatly; with 56% of consumers globally having stopped working with a brand due to a single bad service experience and 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. 84% of companies that invest in improving their customer experience have reported an increase in revenue as a result, while 73% of companies performed better financially in comparison to their competitors due to their above-average customer experience. Customer experience and employee engagement levels also go hand in hand with companies with effective CX initiatives seeing an employee engagement increase of 20%.

Business efficiency templates to help kick your efficiency goals today.
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Marketing collaboration

A big part of increasing business efficiency is ensuring that your marketing and sales goals align well with each other. If your sales goals go one way and your marketing the other, the message you are trying to get across to your clients could come across as confusing and even deter them. But, if you communicate between the teams efficiently, your productivity levels will increase and can result in a 32% increase in revenue, 38% increase in new client win rates and a 36% increase in customer retention.

Technology

It is no surprise that, as a lasting result of the pandemic, businesses now have at least 80% of their customer interactions digitally. Digital transformation was a recurring theme in 2020, 2021 and this continues into 2022. To hit productivity goals in 2022, digitisation across the business should remain a top priority for your IT team.

B2C and B2B digital transformation

Today, more and more consumers are taking their buying habits online. In 2021, the number of digital buyers sat at 2.14 billion. For reference, that figure sat at 1.66 billion in 2016. That means that every one out of four people in 2021 was an online shopper. With that number expected to continue increasing in 2022, it’s time to start capitalising on eCommerce and digital availability in your business.

40% of companies that had not embraced digitisation experienced significant revenue losses during the pandemic. Around 80% of customers are more willing to purchase from brands with a mobile customer service portal.

To accommodate this demand increase and keep up with the rise of eCommerce, businesses need to incorporate a greater digital component into new products, services and distribution channels.

Employee and internal digital transformation

Businesses who embrace digitisation and remote work will be able to maintain a productive workforce. The introduction of teleconferencing systems like Zoom and Microsoft Teams has kept employees feeling connected, and 41% of businesses say video conferencing continues to effectively increase employee engagement. Companies could save $11,000 per employee by using video conferencing software and digitisation tools; a big pain point when seeking to identify opportunities to improve efficiency on the tech side of a business.

\The introduction of an internal communications system is also a great start to improving employee efficiencies through your tech department. A simple way to diminish a person’s enthusiasm is to leave them out of the loop. In fact, 74% of employees have reported feeling like they are missing out on company news and information. A study by Trade Press Services found effective internal communications motivate 85% of employees to become more engaged in the workplace.

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Customer service

By delivering top-notch customer service, your business can increase customer retention and acquisition rates, ultimately leading to improved margins and profitability. Whether it’s online shopping, reading the news or making a customer service enquiry, consumers now want anything and everything... when, where and how they want it. For a customer service team or centre, this means responding to both phone calls and online enquiries. And online responses are more than just email communications; there’s also live chat, social media and even monitoring online reviews.

Chatbots

With advances in natural language recognition, most consumers don’t even realise they are interacting with a chatbot, so businesses can avoid tying up valuable customer service resources. Instead, they can dedicate those employees to dealing with more complex and important customer care issues, with 40% of online consumers preferring to interact with chatbots rather than virtual agents anyway.

Personalised customer care

77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalised service or experience. Being able to offer a personalised and tailored customer service experience requires an integrated model that includes a CRM and account management system that talks to your customer service software. But how can these impact efficiencies and productivity within your customer service function?

Personalised customer service interactions can indirectly affect consumer purchasing. In other words, your customer service team can spend less time focusing on getting clients to buy and instead spend more time on other value-adding tasks. 49% of customers also bought items they didn’t intend to purchase thanks to personalised recommendations and 40% of consumers say that personalised customer care led them to buy something more expensive than initially planned. In retail alone, there is a $2.95 trillion opportunity for companies that integrate personalisation techniques into their customer service strategies.

How can your business successfully implement these trends?

The statistics are enough to suggest opportunities for growth that will ultimately improve your overall business efficiency. Whether it be from an employee perspective of valuable skill retention and higher staff satisfaction levels to the customer side of increases in revenue, loyalty and overall brand image, there are many ways businesses can look to improve their productivity levels in their business plan for this year.

 

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