Leaders of the future – what do they look like?

The word ‘unprecedented’ has probably been used, well, an unprecedented number of times over the past 18 months. But no other word can truly capture the unique, global and all-consuming impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on every aspect of our lives.

And although many of us are getting back into the office and a ‘new normal’, there is no denying that the pandemic will have lasting impacts on how businesses are managed and their leadership priorities. Our recent white paper identified a significant acceleration towards a more human leadership style and a greater focus on the wellbeing of staff. However, it also recognised that the biggest leadership challenges are still on the horizon, as we reimagine work rather than a return to normal.

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Prioritising Wellbeing in the ‘New Normal’

“It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between 9 and 5. It’s whether or not our work fulfils us.” So says author Malcolm Gladwell.  And post-pandemic, this rings truer than ever.

Wellbeing was one of the key priorities for leaders identified in our recent Leadership in the Pandemic white paper, with respondents recognising that the greater focus on employees’ mental and physical health due to COVID-19, was a long-lasting trend. The pandemic meant it was easier to become familiar with staff’s wellbeing needs, with one respondent noting, “our leadership team have also needed to be far more tuned into the wellbeing of our people than ever before.”

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Leading a Hybrid Workforce

Leading a hybrid workforce is going to be very difficult. We need to think about how to communicate, engage, motivate – all will be different going forward.”  That was a salient quote from one of the HR leaders we spoke to for our report Leadership in the Pandemic.

From March 2020, business leaders across the world adapted quickly to ensure that entire workforces could fulfil their job role safely at home – with great success. Now, with many offices reopening, the playing field has changed. Our whitepaper discusses the new challenges facing leaders when navigating the world of hybrid work; building and maintaining the bridges between homeworking and office-based staff.

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