Leadership trends to embrace now to prepare for 2022

The pandemic has hit the business world hard. Some leaders are embracing change, inspired to grow their businesses in a new way. 

Others are being forced into a different way of thinking and acting, desperately hoping that things will get back to normal.

Society faces unprecedented challenges, and their weight can feel both crushing and motivating at the same time. 

We’ve got to change how we run our businesses, how we treat our people, and how we impact the planet.

It’s time to buck the old system and forge new trends, new cultures, and new companies. You can do it by embracing these five leadership trends in 2022.

Creating a culture of well-being

Depression causes an estimated 200 million lost workdays annually and costs employers, $17 billion and $44 billion. 

We must create cultures where employee well-being comes first. Change starts at the top, and leaders must set an example.

Every person on a company’s executive team must be committed to workplace well-being, modeling a holistic lifestyle where top priorities are physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

Leaders must build a supportive environment that focuses on the whole person, not just the working portion. 

A supportive environment offers resources for depression and other mental health issues and incentives for exercise and healthy eating behaviors. 

Creating a supportive environment requires an investment in training. Training on how to: 

  • Create psychological safety where employees feel safe to talk about their well-being. 
  • Be more empathetic and recognize that an employee is struggling.
  • Talk about challenging issues. 
  • To live a healthier lifestyle.

And finally, keep the lines of communication consistent and open. 

Leaders should regularly check in with their employees and have meaningful conversations about well-being every week.

Investing in your employees’ development

There is fear around the future of work, and it’s unsettling not to understand what future jobs will look like. That’s why leaders must embrace upskilling their workforce.

Leaders can start by mapping out a learning program focused on new technologies, job-specific skills, effective management, and leadership techniques. Upskilling programs include job rotation, adding new tasks and responsibilities to an employee’s job.

Finally, consider investing in coaching and mentoring activities. Peer-to-peer coaching and mentoring are also highly effective if you provide structure and set expectations.

Addressing inequality within your culture

76 percent of employees experience burnout on the job at least sometimes. And the top factor causing burnout is unfair treatment at work.

Leaders should ensure that the workplace is as fair and equitable as possible. 

Start with pay. Complete a full assessment of employee compensation and address the inequalities.

Another way to tackle inequality is to invest in bias training that focuses on experience sharing and teaching intersectionality. 

Create safe spaces for under-represented people to access support and give them a platform to share their stories. 

Revamp your hiring practices looking beyond the homogeneous networks tapping more diverse candidate pools. Conduct panel interviews to allow for various perspectives. 

Finally, terminate employees who don’t fit your values of diversity, inclusion, and equality. What you tolerate becomes what’s accepted and expected.

Building your technology infrastructure

The future is built on technology, and the vast majority of companies and governments are not ready for what’s to come. 

There is no time like the present to invest in your technology infrastructure.

Sit down with your leadership team and scenario plan. ‘What technology do we know we need now? What might we need in the future?’ 

Then create the roadmap. Outline priorities, investments, and talent requirements. Then create simple use cases for your top priorities or low-hanging fruit.

Embracing an experimenter’s mindset

There is no doubt that more disruption lies ahead; it’s the new norm. What you did yesterday will most likely not work tomorrow. 

To be future-ready, you must be willing to try new things, to experiment.

Create a simple two-page case study outlining the pros, cons, and potential outcomes. Break large initiatives into bite-sized chunks to infatuate customers, delight employees, and maximize flexibility.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. In fact, the more you get used to adapting, learning, growing, and pivoting, the better off you’ll be.

Now is the time to embrace these leadership trends. There are so many opportunities to be had in this time of great disruption. 

Be prepared for the next move and create an organization that changes the lives of your employees, customers, and the world.

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