Top Leadership and Management Trends in 2021

The pandemic has caused a litany of problems for businesses around the country, the effects of which have cost the U.S. a staggering $16 trillion — 90% of the country’s annual GDP.

In such times of uncertainty, elite leadership has been critical, and companies are now challenging traditions that have dictated how businesses should be run. Here are some of the top trends in leadership and management to look out for this year.

1. The Hybrid Workplace

The modern office is designed to increase productivity. However, with the rise of the pandemic, safety protocols quickly took precedence and changed the face of workplaces across the world. With the recent emergence of the Delta variant, this trend will likely continue.

Consequently, essential businesses are considering the hybrid work model as a safe way to give workers more control over their work schedule. Even tech giants like Apple have begun offering its workers the option to work remotely one day a week.

With hybrid work, businesses can boost productivity, cut down on overhead costs, and attract new talent in the future. Furthermore, with each employee rotating between remote and in-office work, workplace culture can continue to flourish, all while maximizing employee safety and wellbeing.

2. Changing the Business Hierarchy

Today, leaders who micromanage are out while leaders who thrive in a collaborative environment are in.

Promoting a hierarchy that grows horizontally instead of vertically increases employee morale by getting rid of the red tape, thus improving communications between everyone in the company regardless of their role.

This also encourages employees to take on more responsibility, improving job satisfaction and decreasing the need for constant supervision in the long run.

3. Promoting a Thriving Work Culture

To pull off a flattened hierarchy, managers are shifting to leadership styles that promote employee wellbeing. For them, a vital part of that is building a positive work culture, especially in today’s hybrid work setups.

Such a culture ensures that, though members of a remote team and in-office employees work apart, they work towards the same objectives, including the development of themselves and others. It also involves managers doing their best to check in with employees who they feel aren’t doing well for both in-office and remote teams. For this, an empathetic leadership style is ideal.

4. Employing Empathetic Leadership

By arming leaders with compassion and understanding, they are more capable of promoting employee wellbeing. Building trust between employees and their higher-ups will eventually boost loyalty and productivity.

This initiative must involve more than just one leader or department, however. Managers across HR, operations, and finance are some of the most in-demand business roles around right now, and they come not just with the hefty duty of planning and allocating resources efficiently, but also with the responsibility of taking care of their organization’s people.

HR managers, for instance, must know how to recruit, train, and guide staff. Financial managers, on the other hand, are tasked with creating long-term budgets and strategies to ensure the development of an organization and its people.

Lastly, operations managers combine budgeting and people management to create systems that ensure a balance between people’s productivity and wellness. These responsibilities would be rendered futile if empathy is not used holistically to ensure employees are thriving in the work environment.

5. Increasing Adaptability

If anything, the pandemic has proven that a lot can change in just a short amount of time. That’s why it’s a good idea for leaders to prepare their companies to adapt to any rapid and unexpected changes that may occur, such as economic volatility.

A key question to guide you here is: “What changes may affect your organization in the next 6, 9 or 12 months?” From here, you can decide what needs to be done. By keeping your leadership and management skills in line with the times, your business will be able to weather its way through any storm.

Written by Raffy Joanne
For the exclusive use of Human Bees

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