Around 79% of employees would quit a job in which they did not feel duly appreciated by their managers, while 69% of millennials are concerned that their company does not develop leadership skills. Good leadership helps employees identify and reach for goals, while also fostering better teamwork and enhancing motivation. Future managers wishing to excel in their positions should take note: leaders will require vastly different skills than they did in the past, with new values such as diversity, transparency, and goal-focusing taking centre stage.
Knowledge of Diverse Team Management
“Hiring diverse talent isn’t enough—it’s the workplace that shapes whether people remain and thrive,” reports McKinsey and statistics indicate that companies with a sound diversity and inclusion policy are almost twice as likely to be innovation leaders. Currently, the vast majority of job seekers are seeking to be hired by companies that value diversity. Moreover, as Gen-Z enters the workforce and baby boomers are ‘forced’ to remain in employment for longer, teams are likely to be inherently diverse and require leaders who know how to manage people of different ages and backgrounds. Leaders will also have to be globally aware, with knowledge of foreign markets and global economics being important during a time in which a majority of companies are facing competition from companies abroad.
Transparency is Key
Transparency has always been considered a key characteristic of a good leader, alongside good communication, observation, decisiveness, and trustworthiness. Leaders who are transparent keep their team informed about where the business is heading, set clear goals, and welcome honest feedback from staff. When communication is open and employees feel free to ask questions about roles, goals, and procedures, they are less likely to make false assumptions about their company, problems are solved quicker, and trust in one’s leaders grows.
The ethos of decades as recent as the 1990s stipulated that employees should work in physical offices from nine to five and be subjected to consistent monitoring. The advent of remote work and international teams has taken the focus off micro-managing and placed it on results-based work practices which are based on independence and freedom for workers. Of course, projects still need to be managed and workflows ensure and team management tools and cloud sharing are enabling this to happen while still offering workers the flexibility they need for a good work-life balance.
Adapting to change
The leaders of the future will have to be strategic opportunists, finding new opportunities and adapting to them quickly before competitors do. Over the past decade, companies have been faced with rapid change, fierce competition, and the rise of new technologies. Times of uncertainly and global health challenges, meanwhile, have required companies to adapt quickly and decisively to new requirements such as digitization and (in some industries) the jump from physical to online stores.
If there is one thing that has marked the last decade it is the vastly changing nature of the workforce. New technologies, remote teams, and a greater need for diversity and transparency are a few forces that have also changed leadership needs. Future leaders will do well in fostering a global perspective so they can stay ahead of international competition and mark themselves as leaders in innovation.