Envisicore Business Consulting | January 29, 2023
Every leader strives to do their best to adapt to their environment and become the best they can be. In a world where hybrid working has become the norm and the ever-changing workforce continues to challenge every leader, there is a greater need for leaders to enhance their skills. Labor industry experts are looking ahead at how the workplace landscape will continue to evolve now that the needs and wants of team members have shifted over the past three years. Here is a list of five key leadership trends that may help define success in 2023.
1. Hybrid Environment Leadership
What direction do we go in for 2023 and how do we lead teams in a multitude of workplace environments? Hybrid leadership has evolved to encompass an even more diverse range of attributes that help managers get the most from team members in remote, in-person, and hybrid teams. With so many companies facing this move towards a hybrid in-office and work-from-home approach, it is critical for leaders at all levels to get clear on what hybrid leadership tactics need to be planned, implemented, changed, and supported.
Effective hybrid workplace leadership requires building cohesion among team members working together from alternate locations, working away from fatigue, being intentional about inclusion, and strengthening shared culture. The expectation of flexibility is likely to make a hybrid workforce model more prevalent in today's environment. This flexibility is often found in high performing individuals and the right leaders are critical to operationalizing this model effectively. Our flexible business sessions can assist to help train leadership at all levels to effectively lead in today's hybrid environment.
2. Collaboration Not Hierarchy
This one may seem obvious, but it is still worth the mention. The previous method of hierarchical and rigid management styles is no longer relevant and could be the downfall of many leaders. While workload and deadlines may not have changed, the way to approach the team to complete the work has. In times of disruption, leaders need to be able to develop teams quickly, easily, and effectively with minimal demands on resources and time. Studies have proved that one of the most effective ways to do this is to ensure collaboration with the team. We have reviewed many questions around collaborative leadership and would recommend reviewing our business consulting services for more information.
The sense of responsibility immediately increases when organizational structures are flattened and replaced by collaborative and cross-functional environments. Results could include improved communication and team engagement, which enables businesses to make changes and decisions faster. While there continues to be a need for organizational structure, the lines have become less defined, and crossover has become more relevant to business success. Take the time to do more cross functional activities in your business to benefit from the team holistically.
3. Develop Your Current Team
The business world is fast paced and moving more quickly than ever. As a leader, you need to ensure your people can think strategically by themselves. If you empower your team to develop themselves personally and professionally, they will be more willing to take on responsibilities. In our current competitive workforce environment where retention is critical, investing in time to develop your team is more critical than ever. Additionally, workplaces have become an important pillar for employee education, skill set development, and workforce enrichment.
Providing the team with the right training and resources to empower them to make decisions will support them to flourish. This strategy empowers people to act like leaders who feel confident enough to alert you to roadblocks in their fields and suggest ways to change course. Through creating individual leaders, businesses foster a productive, open environment in which everyone can contribute and be heard, regardless of seniority.
4. Lead With Empathy
The ability to lead the team with empathy has become an increasingly important trait for leaders. In many case studies, the majority of team members said that empathy leads to better leadership and inspires positive change in the workplace. The research also found that empathetic leadership increases employee productivity and many professional business consulting companies use this trait for leadership sessions to improve team member productivity.
Cultivating empathy as one of your leadership skills allows you to create bonds of trust. It can provide you more insight into what team members are feeling and thinking, and it helps you understand their reactions. Empathy informs your decision-making by sharpening your perceptions and intuition. Active listening, taking an interest in team member's ambitions and struggles, being supportive of them professionally, and encouraging the quiet ones is all part of being a great leader.
You have to truly listen with open ears, an open mind, and to make sure you are not interrupting. It involves paying attention to things like body language, voice tone, and the behaviors behind what is being said. Even though you might start forming opinions, it's important that you don't start developing answers or replies without listening all the way to the end. You’ll always gain more from listening rather than speaking, and the best leaders typically spend more time listening as they do speaking. This does not mean we cross over that fine line to sympathy, commiseration, or that we don't have accountability. The point is to actively listen more and to speak less.
5. Diversity & Inclusion Is Increasingly Important
All business studies indicate that diversity and inclusion positively impact results. Diverse teams in the workplace are often more creative, innovative, and are willing to step out of the box with their thought process. They also benefit companies by identifying risks and opportunities better, or able to connect with the clients better.
Developing an inclusive leadership culture should be high on the agenda for all organizations to support best-in-class progress towards embedding diversity, inclusion, and equity. Many companies have moved forward with specific initiatives to enhance their diversity and inclusion, and it will continue to be a top priority for the majority of leaders. Learn more about diversity and inclusion through our personalized business sessions.
The focus on diversity and inclusion should also be implemented with speed and conviction. Acceleration of the company's diversity and inclusion agenda is just as important as ensuring an agenda is meaningful and sustainable. Leaders must take the initiative and commitment to develop the business's understanding of the issues surrounding diversity, equality, collaboration, and other aspects of its diversity and inclusion agenda. We must increase our own self-awareness and accountability to ensure diversity and inclusion is part of the company's culture. By focusing on this very important component of leadership, and its acceleration over the last years, we can all make a difference in the success of our team and business.
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