It often used to be the case that the Christmas and New Year holiday gave people pause for thought about their current employment, so I would write articles giving advice on finding a new job. But the world has moved on and things are most certainly not what they were.

The break still gives people time to stop and think but it is no longer just about their job – they take a broader view, reflecting the way our lives and society have changed. So, for example, in recent years we have heard a lot about Generations X and Y and their different expectations.

So people may be seeking out various new opportunities, such as:

  • Planning for a new job, outside or within their existing company – this could be a sideways move, a chance to gain new skills and experience, a promotion, or a complete career change.
  • Preparing for a restructure or merger which may result in a promotion or redundancy, or facing job loss due to cuts resulting from the current political environment, e.g. social housing rent reductions.
  • Exploring the possibility of more flexibility, e.g. ‘buying’ more leave from their employer so they can travel.
  • Establishing more free time to study, learn a new language or spend more time with their family.
  • Getting to grips with the ever-changing landscape of pensions, looking into the best schemes, lifetime allowances, etc.

Previously, housing organisations often deployed a ‘one size fits all’ approach for their employees but more attuned employers now take a more tailored and considered approach, with more flexible practices in place to enable them to motivate and retain the best talent. A key point to understand is that staff are acting more like customers, even in the current economic climate, so employers need to be savvy and flexible in response.

Recognising these changes, EMA has been working with clients to develop more flexible services such as mentoring, coaching and outplacement (including forward planning, CV development and interview preparation), flexible employment, reward schemes and programmes to help managers and staff deal with organisational change.

Therefore our New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to continue to be flexible, offering no ‘one size fits all’ product but delivering the tailored services our clients and their staff customers need and want.

Anne Elliott, Managing Director, EMA