As featured on Forbes.
Two months into the new year, I’m already looking ahead to what the remainder of 2022 has in store. If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s this: As much as we plan, things can turn on a dime.
We need to be agile and flexible. As focused as we are on output, the well-being of our employees is equally, if not more, important. As committed as we are to making 2022 “one for the books,” the reality is that we cannot predict what the next six to 12 months will look like.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan or do our best to lay down the groundwork. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward and anticipating what might be ahead. It’s on us to embrace change, to be willing (and able) to reinvent ourselves—and our businesses—as needed.
Success will be determined by those who can swiftly adapt, shift, monitor, and adjust. Constant change is the norm, and the sooner accepted, the better equipped we are to ensure our teams are poised for growth. Internally, people are looking to their leaders to provide direction, guidance, and support.
With those factors in mind, here are the five leadership trends to keep on your radar for the rest of the year.
As hybrid work becomes more widely adopted across multiple industries, it also brings a critical issue to the forefront: the consistency of user experience. No matter where eThe hybrid workplace model is not going away, with more than 90% of employers planning to adopt a hybrid model for their knowledge workers this year, according to the Harvard Business Review. This is not a temporary working solution; it’s the norm now. Employees want the option of working remotely and only coming into the office when needed (if at all).
While the hybrid workplace initially created some chaos and upheaval as we were learning to define and implement this new work model, it’s worth noting that overall productivity didn’t fall. It improved. Companies and leadership, that incorporate the hybrid work into their organization will see higher productivity, better employee engagement, and lower turnover.
When we give people options for how and where they work, it’s proven to be a game-changer. How open and flexible leadership is to these shifting dynamics will ultimately determine company structure in 2022.
Remembering Less Is More
Meetings. Presentations. Onboarding. Training. Webinars. What once was done in person has moved online, virtually overnight. All that remote work means people are connecting digitally at a level that couldn’t possibly have been predicted. Digital overload—with the potential for burnout—aren’t just buzzwords. They’re regular occurrences that can’t be dismissed lightly.
Finding out how to keep teams engaged and optimally performing has ushered in new ways of connecting with them. We’ve learned that keeping meetings short and on point can help to avoid meeting fatigue. We’ve pinpointed the best times to engage our team. We’ve optimized our modules for onboarding and training. We’ve recognized the critical role of connectivity and have invested accordingly in infrastructure and technology to reduce friction.
In this always-on digital world, leaders need to set boundaries and create an environment for employees to stay productive without overworking.
Finding A Better Way
It’s time for a complete audit of all internal systems and processes to gauge where improvements and efficiencies can be made. Companies will need to consider how their operations align with this new workplace landscape.
Leaders expect things to run smoothly. Ensuring a flawlessly delivered communication, whether a live event or a pre-recorded video, means having an infrastructure that can From processes and procedures to production methods and customer success, let the answers to the following questions be a guide.
• What can be shortened, improved or replaced?
• What workforce or other resources could be reallocated?
• Where can time and cost savings be realized?
This audit may be time-consuming, but you’ll be better equipped to redefine and restructure your business model moving forward. It’s in everyone’s best interests—especially your business’s bottom line—in the long run.
Rebuilding Team Connection
With the majority of business operations now being cloud-based, applications for running day-to-day tasks rely heavily on having a strong, secure, and stable corporate network. More than ever, people are looking for a connection, not just personally but also professionally. In our current world of upheaval and uncertainty, a leader’s ability to provide purpose, offer empathy, show authenticity and make bold decisions is paramount to team morale and company culture.
It’s time to reengage with your team more thoughtfully. So much has changed in everyone’s day-to-day lives. What they were passionate about previously may not seem nearly as important. What was driving them forward last year may not be a catalyst today. There’s a reason the Great Resignation is taking place. This has been a time of reassessment and evaluation for everyone.
When you fully engage your team, you better understand what motivates and empowers them right now. By giving them what they need—respect, recognition, resources—you’re showing trust and good faith. This translates into employees that are feeling fulfilled and focused on contributing.
Focusing On Inclusivity
Set aside some time to think about how to keep everyone connected and drive team bonding. A foundation needs to be established to ensure that your remote workers feel just as much a part of your organization as your in-house staff already do.
The primary goal From informal, virtual chats to purpose-driven meetings designed for information gathering, it’s on the leadership team to make sure company culture doesn’t just acknowledge change but wholeheartedly embraces it.
No matter the company infrastructure, Ramp’s eCDN technology is engineered to complement and enhance the corporate network. Testing and implementing is quick and easy By being authentic and optimistic about how your company is making changes focused on inclusivity, awareness and recognition—then following that up by demonstrating to your employees what that looks like for them—you’re setting the tone for an engaged, success-oriented and productive team.
You might be wondering if these are the only leadership trends that will shape business outcomes in 2022. No, they are not. But these five distinct trends will help companies move forward. Vigilance, perseverance, and adaptability are crucial to ensuring the ongoing success and long-term viability for the year ahead.