During the last year, leaders have been dealing with added pressure such as the pressure to manage work disruptions, oversee teams remotely and hit moving targets. The recent pandemic has made it critical for leaders to be resilient and adaptive. Today, the most important thought leadership challenge is to determine how to perform under pressure in a world that’s becoming increasing unstable. Here are six thought leadership trends for 2022.
1. Make Informed Decisions
When leaders are under pressure, they must make decisions fast. Access to quality information will help you develop your decision making skills in dynamic environments when you have a lot at stake. It will also help you keep things in perspective when you start to feel stressed and allow you to keep your eye on the big picture while helping you avoid becoming lost in small struggles.
You’ll want to think about investing in your company’s technology infrastructure. Determine what technology you need now and what you think will be needed in the future. Also, search for ways to create an agile system, one that is able to change with the company and the times.
2. Reform Relationships
For 2022, leadership is going to involve taking steps to reform relationships. The pandemic forced companies to shift away from in-person meetings that took an hour to complete to shortened 30-minute Zoom chats. Virtual became the norm as well. In 2022, leaders will need to look for opportunities to form deeper connections between themselves and workers within the company. If you don’t, some of your staff may become a part of the great resignation.
Be sure to establish a work culture that embraces listening, consideration and inspiration. When you include these elements in your company’s culture, your people will feel more connected to the business and you.
3. Review Inequalities within Your Organization
A recent Gallup report found that an estimated 76% of workers experience job burnout from time to time while around 28% confirm that they experience burnout often or all the time. One of the biggest reasons for burnout is unfair treatment at the office.
As a leader, it’s up to you to make sure that your workplace is as impartial and unbiased as possible. It can be tough to decide where to start. Often, inequality is built upon policies that are generations deep. The best place to start is with pay. Complete an evaluation of how your company compensates its staff. Consider every angle including role and gender as well as time at the company.
4. Master Overseeing Your Staff in Multiple Locations
Lockdowns have shown employees and managers what it’s like to work from home. People are seeing the advantages and challenges of the situation. Not only is it about the little things like remembering to mute yourself when talking to your kitty during a work Zoom meeting, but it is also about overseeing your staff remotely while adapting to a combination of work environments.
Make sure that you know your employees and trust them. Avoid managing your staff in an investigative way. Don’t install software that surveils your people. If you do, it is likely to backfire. When supervisors set up surveillance software to watch their staff, workers lose trust in their organizations and will probably search for other places to work.
Encourage your employees to work in multiple locations. For instance, support them when they want to work from home and in the office. Consider dedicating two or three days a week for staff to overlap in the office. When your people are onsite, they’ll be able to share information and collaborate more easily. At home, they may find it more convenient to catch up on emails and reports.
5. A Need for Faster Learning
With more operational agility, employees and organizations will need to increase their learning pace. Professor Emeritus Chris Argyris published an article for the Harvard Business School in 1978. His paper was titled “Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective.” He wrote about the need for businesses to increase their adaption speed and offer continuous education for their staff.
Today’s organizations are increasing automation. Workers who continue to advance their skills and learn new things will be qualified to take on different roles in the company. Employees who don’t have an interest in continuous learning may wind up underemployed or unemployed when their role becomes less needed. Do what it takes to prevent this from happening to your people.
6. Accept a Wider Age Range when Hiring
People continue to live longer, and this means that more people will be working as they grow older. Companies must consider ways to bring in and engage older employees. Organizations must also address the dynamics that occur when different generations work side by side.
According to leadership trends, many companies are shifting away from age-based seniority and offering leadership roles to the best person for the job. Because of this, leadership positions will change more often. Tap into your creativity to encourage engagement and teamwork within various generations.
This will help you identify and mentor talented managers quickly. While you will need to hire or promote people who are skilled in technology, you don’t need this talent in all of your workers. Consider people who are often overlooked. This might be individuals with disabilities or those who have been incarcerated. Become comfortable with a nontraditional workforce.
An Eye on the Future
As a leader, it’s important to focus on leadership trends and predictions for 2022. Don’t sit back and wait to see what happens. If you do, you’ll be unprepared. With the blending of technology changes, global interconnection and overall volatility, you’re facing both perils and opportunities from all fronts. If you need help with decision making or your leadership skills, contact me at the Productivity Intelligence Institute.