Speaking to MaltaCEOs.mt, People & Skin Founder-CEO Joanna Delia shares her thoughts about the past nine months, whilst revealing her concerns about the challenges plaguing Malta’s economy and workforce.
“Business Leaders are faced with a challenging climate,” Dr Delia says. She cites “apathy from the governing authorities with lack of regulation, lack of enforcement, and lack of impunity for rogue service providers” as some of the harshest obstacles she faces daily.
Another deep-rooted issue plaguing the corporate world, the CEO says, concerns the “lack of female representation in decision-making positions.”
Apart from its intrinsic shortcomings, Dr Delia warns that this lack of diversity leads to “naivety in policy.” This, in turn, means that “the entire spectrum of society’s needs is not catered for.”
With all this being said, Dr Delia highlights that xenophobia and “the way in which the authorities deal with foreign workers” are the biggest challenges that her business is facing.
“The authorities and leaders should focus efforts on promoting the need for society to accept and respect foreign workers,” the CEO says.
“All sectors have problems with employee retention due to difficulties and hurdles thrown on foreign workers, as is the fact that their work permit must be re-applied for every year. A lack of effort to curb xenophobia and highly publicised populist actions such as repatriation when all sectors are struggling to find employees is very dangerous,” Dr Delia continues.
Given these staffing-related challenges, the Founder-CEO has prioritised flexibility when leading her team.
“[This value] is necessary for good work-life balance for myself and my team,” Dr Delia says.
“This is crucial to keep levels of motivation sky-high – a happy team means happy clients. Dedicating time and investment in staff training is another very important consideration,” she adds.
With all this being said, Dr Delia looks back on 2022 with positivity, dubbing it “the year of recovery and reuniting with the international community professionally, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Now, the People & Skin CEO is set on preparing herself and her company for whatever challenges 2023 might bring along. Dr Delia predicts that these will be related to staffing and increasing costs.
“We must make sure to be more efficient in order to balance the frustrations of a shrinking pool of employable persons and authority time lags,” she says.
On the other hand, “matching consumer prices to increased costs while maintaining high standards which ensure client satisfaction is a necessity. Hopefully, the community also benefits from an increase in salaries.”
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