5 Top Leadership Trends of 2021: How Have Corporate Priorities Changed?
What does post-pandemic leadership look like? This juicy question is the inspiration for today’s article..
A growth-oriented mindset tells us that where there are challenges, there are opportunities. For the business world, the past 18 months has been one of the most disruptive and transformational time periods in recent history. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it's time to look at the lessons we’ve learned as leaders, and the changes we want to make as a result.
From 2020 to 2021, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the way senior managers lead their teams. Let’s check out this year’s top leadership trends... are you ready to adapt to the new norm?
What are this year’s top leadership trends?
Growth Tribe’s very own leadership elite have identified the top five leadership trends of 2021 - check them out here!
1) Greater emphasis on employee wellbeing
Employee wellbeing has been a hot topic for the best part of a decade. As the Covid-19 pandemic has turned personal and professional lives upside down, we see an even greater emphasis on employee wellbeing, and a drive to promote it with new, more holistic strategies.
Tactics widely taken by employers include increased coaching and mentorship, flexible performance expectations, and softer programs to promote a healthier work-life balance in today’s remote-working world.
2) Heightened focus on diversity and inclusion
A report by the Global Leadership Forecast shows organisations around the world re-doubling their efforts to create an inclusive working environment. We’ve known for some time that there are significant business advantages to promoting diversity in the workplace. Now, we see a heightened focus on the positive impact this has on employee satisfaction and performance.
The switch to remote work has removed logistical boundaries that previously limited talent pools. This, plus the need to reevaluate policies on an organisation-wide scale, has meant that for many companies, now is the perfect time to place D&I performance under the microscope.
3) Finding new ways to improve employee experience
Improving employee experience has become a key priority for major corporations and small businesses alike. Companies acknowledge a greater responsibility to maintain a happy workforce, as mental health and career satisfaction have universally dipped during the pandemic. Unfortunately, this new phenomenon of widespread remote work also makes improving employee experience harder to achieve.
With teams spread far afield, there is a need to develop better virtual work practices and implement experience-improving strategies which are not location-dependent.
4) A need for emotional leadership
Traditionally, “emotional” and “leadership” are two words you won't often find together. There has been a significant shift from cold, traditional leadership to a more emotional leadership style over the past 20 years, and it isn’t set to slow down now. Increasingly, companies are looking for emotionally intelligent leaders who can help employees achieve their goals by adapting to their specific challenges and nurturing their wellbeing.
5) Facilitating digital transformation
It should come as no surprise that facilitating digital transformation still occupies a top spot on the list of hot leadership trends. Improving digital operations was a priority for most organisations prior to the Covid-19 pandemic; now, it truly is of paramount importance.
Practically every major corporation in the world has been struck by an immediate and pressing need to implement reliable remote technologies that reduce face-to-face interaction. This calls for advanced digital literacy among leaders, and input from forward-thinking individuals who can spearhead new digital strategies. Digital transformation is crucial to enable remote collaboration, but also to provide leaders with the tools needed to manage targets and analyse performance at a distance.
Is it time to upgrade your leadership toolbox?
Change management is an essential part of leadership. Today’s corporate leaders must be able to maintain employee wellbeing and improve performance in an increasingly uncertain and remote world, while navigating digital transformation, and without breaking too much of a sweat!
Our rundown of 2021’s top leadership trends shows that what was important to senior managers prior to the pandemic continues to be important now. The difference is that change is happening at an incredible rate and is occurring on a much wider scale. With this change comes an enormous opportunity for growth.