The past 18-months have posed unprecedented challenges to businesses and the leaders who drive them forwards. COVID-19 forced many employees home with a laptop and no robust work from home policy, incurring challenges with management, communication, and productivity. But businesses did adapt.
Now, as we slowly return to some sort of normality and businesses wrestle with the idea of bringing people back into the office, or not, the question arises: do employees want that and what impact does the emerging “hybrid model” have on leadership?
A poll conducted earlier this year by Foluso Aribisala shows that most employees want this flexible “hybrid model” which offers remote and office working options. Out of almost 500 responses to the question “which workplace model works best for you?”, 73% of people said, “a hybrid of both options”, which soared ahead of other responses of “return fully to the office” (13%), “work fully from home” (11%), and “satellite offices nearer home” (3%). Another survey found that out of 1,000 working adults surveyed, 39% would rather quit their jobs than return to the office full time.
So, with the change in working models looking more permanent, leaders need to be on board now more than ever if they’re looking to really drive a successful business in 2022 and beyond. Here are some of the key trends to watch out for as we move towards and into the new year.
If we’ve learned anything throughout the pandemic, it’s that you must be proactive. That “wait and see” stance isn’t going to get you anywhere. You must pay attention to movements in your market and actively listen to your clients and your staff so that you can get ahead of any issues that might arise. Remaining flexible and agile is fundamental to success.
In order to really stay ahead of the curve, you should adopt an agile mindset and culture within the business, that allows you to constantly trial and experiment new processes and ways of working in order to achieve optimal efficiency and effectiveness and overcome obstacles quickly. If you can respond promptly to changes in customer behaviour, market volatility, and changes in demand, you are mitigating risk and encouraging business sustainability and success.
Investing in training and driving a culture of learning in the workplace is a great way to make sure you and your staff are constantly upskilling to keep up with new trends, tools, and technologies. In Maxwell Bond, for example, we have just welcomed our brand-new Head of Performance of UK & Germany, Mel, to the team. Mel focusses purely on training our staff to be the best consultants they can possibly be, which has a positive rolling effect across the wider business. As staff are upskilled, business processes, problem solving, and communication can be drastically improved, meaning your businesses is running efficiently and is scalable. Upskilling and promoting internal staff is also a great way to tackle attrition and staff turnover, whilst saving on recruitment time and costs, especially in more competitive markets.
Remote working is here to stay. Leaders need to be prepared to, and know how to, adapt to these new working conditions. Leaders need to be prepared to put more effort into effective communication across a range of channels. This might mean investing in new tools, setting new expectations, and ensuring that any remote workers receive the same amount of communication as those in the office.
Every person will react to different management styles in different ways. Acknowledging this in the way you lead is so important. With the age range of the workforce expanding, leaders need to know how to lead and manage different generations, whilst keeping them all engaged on the same level. This is also important when considering inclusivity. This inclusive culture needs to encompass all work-related activity, from generic day to day work to social activities that are set by the company. In order to address and improve diversity, leaders first need to create a culture and environment that are inclusive.
Inclusivity must come first. Setting this precedent starts with leadership.
Businesses are becoming increasingly more complex, especially with the more widely adopted hybrid working model which has physically and spatially split workforces more than ever before. This has put more pressure on leaders to adapt to this new way of working and ensure all their staff are engaged, supported, updated, and communicated with equally.
The list above illustrates 5 of the key characteristic’s leaders need to embrace to truly excel in 2022 and beyond.
If you’re looking for a leaders to take your business to the next level, please get in touch.
Maxwell Bond have recently had success filling two executive roles for two companies within 3 weeks, as well as hiring two full tech squads for ecommerce businesses before the Black Friday and Christmas. We can do the same for you.
Call us on 0161 359 3280 or email me directly.
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