Every industry has endured the impact of the ongoing pandemic, and the lasting effects will continue to change the way we operate in personal and professional capacities. When it comes to the future of leadership, COVID-19 has disrupted traditional standards and altered how leaders are expected to behave and operate.
Personalization Over Standardization
Standardized practices have often been heralded as efficient. While efficiency is profitable and productive, the pandemic and a massive shift to remote work have demonstrated that cookie-cutter solutions are not the way to go. Instead, employees, leaders, and clients alike benefit from personalization and tailored business and service approaches. It will still be important to cultivate and uphold standard practices, protocols, and systems. Still, leaders should be ready to embrace flexibility, individuality, and innovation to achieve goals and fulfill responsibilities.
This shift toward a more personalized business attitude will require leaders to scrap outdated metrics, accept failure as an inevitable learning experience, and acknowledge the importance of boosting individual strengths and ideas over the collective.
As a result of the new pandemic health guidelines, many businesses took a remote approach to protect their employees and clients. This shift opened new paths for employment, marketing, sales, and more. With some businesses adopting a fully-remote practice, opportunities to hire outside their physical location have increased exponentially; additionally, the digital landscape presents more opportunities to attract clients and customers from around the world, giving even local small businesses a shot in the global marketplace. For leaders, this development should encourage a global mindset that takes into account international ideas and practices. It will also prompt leaders to remember that the markets, including the job market, have become more competitive than ever before, giving them a reason to address their internal affairs and promote a higher degree of employee loyalty, engagement, and satisfaction.
Transparency & Open Communication
Leading with fear and secrecy have been standard practices in the past, but the time for those tactics is over. The pandemic has heightened concerns about health, job security, stability, and more. Leaders who fail to acknowledge and understand these anxieties may find that their workforce is often paralyzed or inefficient. Now, more than ever, leaders should strive to be empathetic, transparent, and open in communication efforts. A people-first approach to leadership is proving to be effective; by prioritizing employees’ value and well-being, leaders will find that the long-term benefits are substantial. Leaders should encourage collaboration, promote shared values rather than a broad mission statement, and give employees the courage and confidence to ask for advice and offer their opinions.