2022 is about to close and this is not a New Year’s resolution or even anti-resolution article. This article is about what I have learnt from the research conducted in creating the last 5 editions of The Behaviour Shift as it relates to the most important part of any business…


For further context, the reports used to create these 5 editions came from Deloitte, Axios, PWC & Michael Page. The respondents were from Asia Pacific, United States and Australia. The total number of respondents were close to 25,000 (most surveys and articles to read online are created using circa 1,500 people).

If you work in an organisation that has (cough) people in it, then read on.

In case you you wanted to go back to the last 5 editions, here they are:

  1. How you can maximise your teams’ potential.
  2. Is HubSpot’s “Global Week of Rest” just a big tech hype or a mental health blueprint of hope?
  3. Talent trends and the great disconnect.
  4. Your leadership choices has everything to do with it.
  5. Success and happiness in the workplace.

What did I learn about people that you really need to know?

Surprised with what employees care about the most

No, not really surprised at all actually. Reward and recognition still sits at the top when it comes to what is important to people within an organisation. If you asked me will this change in mass over the next 12 months? I would have to say probably not. Certainly not for the majority of people earning under 100K per year in Australia.

“The average earning of a full-time worker in Australia is $92,000 and of course that average is skewed upwards by CEOs like Macquarie Bank’s Shemara Wikramanayake, who takes home $14.6m a year. The median income was just $62,868 last year”.

Global inflation (sorry I said it), general uncertainty, climate change, politics and everything else has people initially ensuring that money into their accounts is really what matters most, but will that last much longer?

What once were new expectations becomes the new normal

What is gaining huge momentum, that could be the most important factor for employees sooner rather than later?

The answer to this really fits into the bucket of how employees feel at work. Think wellbeing, culture, lifestyle benefits, flexible working arrangements and organisation vision.

Here’s the kicker when you start to add all of these factors together, they begin to dwarf the importance of a paycheck. Where did this crystalise for me? When reading across these articles that:

  • People are asking about company wellbeing strategies before taking jobs.
  • People are leaving organisations because they no longer believe in the vision, no longer feel like they belong in the culture.
  • People are willing to sacrifice salary, bonus, or promotion for greater wellbeing, mental health and happiness.

Gone are the days where you necessarily have to overpay to get good people to join your team because you can now show other vitally important actions your organisation is taking to ensure your humans are feeling as human as possible.

Let me repeat that “People are asking about company wellbeing strategies before taking jobs” (more on that shortly).

How to maximise your team

The 1st edition of The Behaviour Shift focused on something I believe in deeply as a Life Impact and Leadership coach; that is supporting teams to pursue their best potential. As much as I believe in this, many people still don’t fully grasp what it means.

“You are who you are everywhere you go. So don’t expect someone that is struggling in aspects of life outside the hours of 9 to 5 to be all they could be when they put on their business game face, it’s just not a long term plan.” – Luke Fenwick

As much as it’s brilliant to have sales training sessions or an off-site meeting to spark some momentum, nothing beats supporting the individuals in the team to connect with their values, aspirations and creating a plan for the best version of themselves to be fully present and engaged in all areas of life.

Yes, some people might turn around and say “hey, this job is not for me anymore” but so many more will be going all in with more frequency in personal life and work life; lifting the organisation performance right up! Their mindset shifts from not seizing the moment to owning the fact that they have agency over their entire success and it depends on them showing up!

Hey Elon here, “Can we all just get back into the office”?

If you are in the camp where you just want everyone back into the office like it’s 2018, then I have news for you. Most people don’t want to do it!

Having flexible working arrangements such as 2 days from home is now very much expected. I don’t think it’s a secret that people love being able to do stuff during the week that takes up time on the weekends, people love not having to commute, people love playing their own music and yes people log wearing all kinds of pants that normally cannot be worn in the office. And you know what people also love, having more opportunity to have a healthy routine, which sometimes is as simple as more walks around the block whilst taking calls with their teammates.

The sooner you embrace this notion and work through the challenges so everyone feels great about it, the better… It’s just not going away.

Last thing you want is a burnt-out workforce and here are a few signs to spot if you are unsure whether your team is on the brink:

  • Disengaged
  • Anxious or even stressed
  • Needing more sleep or unable to sleep
  • Dip in performance
  • Needing time away from work
  • Mood swings
  • Drinking more and/or high levels of substance abuse
  • Cynical outlook on work and the world in general
  • Generally feeling sad with more and more frequency

Not all leaders are fully formed leaders.

Over the last few years, there have been people not only leaving organisations, but leaving countries, stepping away from the grind of 9 to 5 work, retiring etc. Meaning that many new leaders have been thrust into the void left. Many of those leaders have been subject matter experts in their solo roles but may not have the experience of leading humans and certainly not leading the same humans from remote locations or under pressures like a pandemic.

This has lead to the need for leadership training like never before, ensuring leaders have clear plans for the first 3 months in their role, understanding their leadership style, having the courage to still approach their work without the fear of failure or simply the fear of saying “I just don’t have the answer for that right now, but I will come back to you by the end of the day”.

It’s crucial to have a plan for your emerging leaders. It’s crucial not to give too much space and hope for a great outcome. Set them up for success with the highest level of planned support, not wait until things start smoking and maybe burst into flames.

“I was struck by how the practices of some of the best coaches and CEO’s run counter to our conventional notions of developing resilient and high-performing teams. These leaders weren’t projecting relentless confidence and self-assurance. Rather, they were embracing the reality of whatever situation they faced and appropriately sizing up their capacity to deal with it. They strived for authenticity over bravado. They were attempting to quiet down their ego instead of finding people who propped it up.” – Steve Magnus

People want authenticity, that doesn’t mean they are going to accept leaders that are bumbling fools and sub-standard but they want real conversations, they want to feel engaged, they want to hear what leaders are feeling not just get asked from leaders about what they feel.

What can you really do?

Below are 4 categories that each organisation should have a real strategy including a level of investment and time behind.

  • Well Being.
  • Leadership.
  • Have regular conversations about the state of culture, what success looks like and what needs to be worked on.
  • Foster talks about success not only as wins but progress from failure.

Watch outs for your organisation in 2023

It will be important to keep an eye wide open as 2023 begins and your teams gain momentum or in some cases, struggle to gain traction. If you are pressed for time and resource, here is what you can be paying attention to:

  • Well-being in general.
  • Who is and isn’t hitting peak performance.
  • What powerful behavioural change is happening, that needs recognition.
  • Leadership skills – who needs help?
  • Cultural change – do you need this?
  • Are leaders embracing their own truth and voice?

Let me close with this, right now the annual conference might be deep into planning with execution about to begin. But don’t just do it for the sake of it and have another work conference where each department talks about their KPIs and then head back to the daily grind.

Take time to really drive team engagement across functions, get everyone contributing, push the envelope of comfort zones, work on your reasons why.

Get the full human experience going!

I hope this helps get your 2023 lined up and ready to go.

If you need support to bring peak performance to your organisation then please reach out on 0402 242 200 for a free consultation about what a strategy could look like for your business.

I’m a Life & leadership Coach – Behaviour Strategist with over 25 years of real world experience in organisations such as LVMH and Melbourne United. I combine these experiences and knowledge to support organisations, people leaders and teams to pursue their potential. I have engaged with thousands of people over my working life and use this insight to drive successful change.

If you would like me to work with your teams or present to them on the below topics please reach out, my knowledge, insights & passion is here to help them to evolve to the next level.

  • Peak performance mindset
  • Culture
  • Leadership
  • Team building
  • Stress management
  • Behaviour crafting for busy people
  • Transition intelligence
  • Annual performance reviews
  • Healthy habits and general wellbeing

Written by Luke Fenwick

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