Top 10 Leadership Trends That You Need to Consider in the Workplace
In the past two years since the pandemic began, there have been dynamic shifts in the workplace that employers and employees have had to adapt to. What was once thought to be a temporary situation has now become the norm for today’s working environment. This has introduced new considerations in managing teams to ensure optimum productivity, high engagement, and business continuity.
According to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index 2022, many managers are caught between fulfilling leadership and new employee expectations. In fact, 74% of them feel that they don’t have the resources or the influence to drive changes for employees. It was also noted that 54% of managers say that business leaders are out of touch with employees’ needs.
Whilst there is still a lingering struggle for some leaders to return to pre-pandemic work conditions, it will only pose further problems that can negatively impact the business. Evolving and adapting are crucial for businesses nowadays to survive and thrive. Here are the top leadership trends that will help you in your continuous navigation of the New Normal workplace.
1. The hybrid work set-up
Giving employees flexible options on how and where to work plays a significant factor in improving their productivity, increasing their engagement levels, and solving retention/attrition issues in the organisation. This empowers your staff to deliver on their work duties whilst managing their personal responsibilities. There are a myriad of online tools, applications, and platforms to help you manage your remote team in terms of tracking their performance and maintaining communication channels with them.
2. Audit operations to improve efficiency
Organisations will need to assess their operations and adjust when necessary to keep up with the evolving business landscape and working environment. This may be an arduous and time-consuming undertaking. But there is no better time than now to improve processes, procedures, and regulations for better efficiency and an even better bottom line in the long run.
3. Setting boundaries
Whilst technology has helped maintain the connection between you and your staff, you also need to set boundaries. Micromanaging them to check if they’re actually doing their work will only lead to feelings of resentment from your team. Some employees have experienced “meeting fatigue” from the day-to-day deluge of online meetings, webinars, and presentations. Time management is a key soft skill for leaders that should also be applicable in a remote work set-up. Keep the meetings short and to the point. Know the best time to engage with your staff and trust their ability to accomplish their tasks without you constantly checking on their progress.
4. Reengage your connections
Whilst the pandemic situation is now more manageable than before, these uncertain times have sharpened your staff’s need to look to their leaders for guidance and for morale. It is imperative that you provide support for your team by sustaining the connection. Practise empathy to understand what they’re going through – personally and professionally. Respecting and recognising their concerns and their efforts helps to establish trust with your team and vice-versa. Use various communication tools and team-building activities at your disposal to keep them motivated and engaged.
5. Apply DEI
Practising diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace is a significant contributor to ensure the success of your organisation. It has been proven to be beneficial for business growth as it helps to expand your talent sources, provide work opportunities, promote job satisfaction, and cultivate a more enriching working environment. DEI is a continuous journey in the workplace so it’s important to stay committed. You can learn more about developing DEI strategies in our previous blog here.
6. Offer wellness support programs and resources
A company’s first priority in terms of corporate social responsibility should be its own people. Offer programs that support your staff’s physical and mental well-being. Share stress reduction techniques. Organise exercise activities. Encourage healthy habits. Discourage working long hours for more personal time. Provide a safe space for them to discuss their concerns. These are just some of the many ways that your organisation can take care of your employees. Remember: they are not cogs in a machine. They are people who will flourish more in a supportive workplace.
7. Employ learning and development programs
Some employees feel disengaged with their work due to the lack of opportunities for professional growth. Offer educational platforms to your staff so they can develop a new skill, learn a new process, enhance their current skillset, unlock their leadership potential, or strengthen their management skills. LinkedIn and Coursera provide a multitude of subjects that are relevant to career or personal development. Connecting your staff to business mentors via webinars is also a great way to share valuable, real-world insights that they can apply to their work.
8. Invest in tech infrastructure
The business world is continuously reinventing itself in the Digital Age. The last thing you want to happen is to be left behind. Investing in technology is a sustainable strategy and a future-proof solution that no business can do without. Whether it’s hardware, software, or online platforms, explore where you need to make upgrades and improve efficiencies to optimise your team’s performance.
9. Nurture the growth mindset
Finding opportunities in challenges is a trademark of having a growth mindset. Encourage your staff to be open to new perspectives and to help them go beyond what they perceive as limitations or obstacles. Staying ahead of the curve will help you and your team to solve problems and manage issues that could arise at work. You can learn more about how to develop a growth mindset in your career here.
10. Cultivate a positive work culture
Whether onsite or remote, people spend most of their waking hours at work. Lead the way in maintaining a working environment where people can perform their tasks comfortably. A toxic workplace doesn’t inspire a team. It can even lead to the resignation of great talent in your organisation. Ensure that your company’s corporate values are actually reflected and practised in the workplace. As a team or individually, your staff will thrive in a work culture that’s brings out the best in them.
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