The key leadership trends that will define 2022 are to great extent continuing patterns that started back when the pandemic struck . The shift to remote work has pushed employers to transform established business processes and make them more fluid and agile.
In this article, we will have a look at the leadership trends of the business world during the pandemic and the remote work model. After this, we will explore the key trends of 2022 and what companies could do to respond to them.
Key Leadership Trend No.1: The Great Resignation
High staff turnover and constant hunger for top talent has become persistent over the past 2 years. The great resignation defines the current situation in many industries. The shift to the remote work model has driven many people to reconsider their career and personal goals.
The reasons behind the great resignation whirl are various. With the sudden shift to remote work, many considered spending more time with their families instead of chasing work deadlines. Others have spent the extra free time rethinking their career choices. However, most employees who quit were simply unhappy with the way employers treated them.
So, how can leaders in organizations prevent or minimize attrition? First, look into how you manage work processes with retaining staff in mind and respond to unprecedented circumstances like the pandemic situation. If you own a business or are an HR manager, it is your responsibility to recognise blockers in communication and task execution. Also, look out for employee burnout, as well as opportunities to praise achievements and teach new skills.
Key Leadership Trend No.2: Higher Demand for Leaders in Business
The transition to a remote/hybrid work model has made it harder for employers to spot employees with leadership potential. The distance and flexible work hours has improved work/life balance and wellbeing to some extent. However, it has also exacerbated the need to develop talent internally.
To conquer the talent shortage in 2022, employers should be ready to upskill, mentor and invest more time and resources in workshops and in-house training. Many roles that have remained unfilled will be covered by existing employees.
This is among the key leadership trends that is not going away any time soon. Thus, the high demand for leaders would call for restructuring of business processes and roles. Consequently, clearly outlined responsibilities are very important so upskilling and on-the-job training is successful.
Key Leadership Trend No.3: Flat Organization Structures
As roles and job descriptions become more fluid, so does the typical hierarchical team structure. Long gone are the days of the sole leader that every other employee on the team reports to. The tendency in 2022 is towards flat, agile structures. Also, the need for increased levels of collaboration and transparency in the workplace has increased.
According to McKinsey, in order for leaders to implement a flat organizational structure, they need to make sure they minimize the management layers. Truly agile organizations only have three. The reason behind this is simple. Making sure the edges of the company have an easy access to leadership and vice versa. As a result, managers can have the best information and innovate quickly to max out efficiency.
In the dynamic and digitally infested business world of 2022, it is key to empower employees and invest in their professional growth. Thus, a clear-cut vision for the core values of the company and easy communication across teams are a must for success.
Key Leadership Trend No. 4: Gender Balance and Complete Diversity
Another key leadership trend in 2022 that has been developing over the past few years is the strive for gender balance and diversity in organizations.
Leaders globally have already recognized the perks of achieving a diversified workforce. For one, it boosts company reputation and attracts talent committed to change and growth. According to the Bloomberg’s 2022 Gender Equality Index, 72% of the participant companies had a role in the boardroom dedicated exclusively on diversity and inclusion. In addition, 83% have a direct strategy for recruiting women.
Companies that pride themselves with a working diversity and inclusion strategy tend to have better results. The importance of equality in business has become a fundamental ingredient of a trustworthy structure.
Key Leadership Trend No. 5: Focus on Employee Wellbeing
With the continuous work from home, lack of enough physical activity and direct work communication, employee wellbeing and mental health issues have raised in importance.
Burnout due to lack of separation of work and home, excessive virtual communication as well as pandemic-related changes in social life are here to stay. With 70% of employees reporting burnout at the end of 2021, mental health in the workplace had shifted from being an HR issue to a constant discussion on the top levels of companies.
Employers need to consider employee wellbeing in correlation with engagement and experience as these three aspects are interdependent. For example, a team member that doesn’t relate to the company culture due to lack of clear communication would not have the motivation to get results.
Key Leadership Trends of 2022: Wrapping Up
In a nutshell, leadership trends in 2022 are a continuation of changes the pandemic brought about. The great resignation and talent retention have become serious problems that companies now have to strategize for.
As a result, there is a higher demand for leaders in organizations. This is the case mainly where internal planning for upskilling and training has been insufficient. As a result, mentoring employees to do different jobs within a company so that the structure becomes flat and fluid has become a must. Gender equality and inclusion have also become a trend leading to the success and flexibility of a company. Also, employee wellbeing is now a topic present in the boardroom as it is a concern of the current situation.