The last two years have been a period of unprecedented disruption to our professional and personal lives. There’s no doubt about it, the world has changed. Covid-19 has caused a seismic shift in how we all work, and it’s likely we’ll never return to pre-Covid workplace normality.
Do you have the right leaders for 2022 and beyond?
A 2021 Gartner poll shows that 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after COVID-19 versus 30% before the pandemic. The new normal is here to stay, and in order to move forward, organisations and their leaders need to pause and reflect to examine what has changed in terms of leadership and talent, and therefore how to adapt to forge a strong future.
Many HR Directors attending our virtual roundtables throughout lockdown 1.0 remarked on the different demands this ‘new normal’ places on leaders. For instance, widespread remote working proved problematic for leaders with a command-and-control style, whereas those who developed a value-based approach to leadership thrived. The key question is: The world has changed, have your leaders?
HR have a critical role in getting businesses back on track, and supporting leaders to develop the strengths needed to engage and motivate virtual and hybrid teams. Many HR leaders right now are undertaking an urgent review of their critical talent populations to determine: Do we have the right leaders, with the right capabilities, to take our business where it needs to go now?
Our data indicates that, even before the first lockdown, almost a third of organisations were unsure that their leaders have the skills required to achieve their current business strategy. Now that most business strategies have had to be torn up and reformulated, that level of uncertainty is at an all-time high. Given that effective leadership will be a key differentiator between the organisations that survive Covid-19 and those that don’t, it’s HR’s responsibility to provide certainty around this. But how? We advise organisations to approach this by following some simple steps:
With effective leadership increasingly being the differentiating factor between business success and failure, HR leaders must provide confidence and clarity around the leadership and critical talent requirements for their business. In doing this, not only can you minimise risk, disruption and wasted opportunity costs in appointing or promoting the wrong person, but also strengthen business performance by accelerating development of the necessary capabilities to take the business forward, through what will inevitably be choppy waters.