The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined the way we work—flexible work is here to stay. The year 2022 was also a game-changer with the Great Resignation giving employees the upper hand in the job market. The leader-employee dynamic has been redefined. On top of that, people’s priorities have changed. As more generations enter the workforce, they are now prioritizing work-life balance, family and self-care.
Now more than ever, it is obvious that we are living in a human-centric era. Is your organization ready to keep up? Is it ready to support the shift from traditional leadership based on power and authority to this new era of human-centric leadership?
Here are three leadership trends that will help your organization thrive in 2023 and beyond:
1. The increasing importance of human skills.
With the rise of jobs focused on culture and wellness, soft skills (also called human skills) are becoming increasingly important. While hard skills such as “knowledge” and “experience” remain important, companies are now recognizing the unique abilities and personal features of a person.
A 2020 LinkedIn survey reveals that companies are focusing on candidates with emotional intelligence, along with other soft skills such as creativity, persuasion, collaboration and adaptability.
We need leaders who possess human skills such as high emotional intelligence. In today’s increasingly digital workplace, emotional intelligence is crucial in building relationships and interacting with people.
The ability to understand and manage your emotions and those of others is not only important in roles related to culture and wellness. Any field that involves interaction with people, especially when you are in a leadership role, requires high emotional intelligence.
Leaders should also provide the support their employees need to develop their soft skills. So many things can be replaced by artificial intelligence and technology, but soft skills such as emotional and social intelligence and natural creativity cannot be easily replicated and remain uniquely human capabilities. When your employees have well-developed human skills, it boosts performance, satisfaction and communication within your organization.
2. The call for authentic and empathetic leadership.
According to Mark Whittle, vice president of advisory at Gartner HR practice, leaders must embrace human-centric leadership in 2023, which he defines by three traits: authenticity, empathy and adaptivity.
Employees want their leaders to be trustworthy and genuine. They want authentic leaders. Research reveals that authentic leadership is a significant predictor of a worker’s commitment to their organization, job satisfaction and workplace happiness. This style of leadership values transparency, honesty and genuineness.
Authentic leaders show vulnerability. They are not afraid to communicate if there is any uncertainty, and they own up to their mistakes. This allows them to establish deeper relationships with their employees. Authentic leadership inspires trust and creates a healthy work environment where people are not afraid to make mistakes. It also encourages people to be their authentic selves at work. This type of leadership boosts creativity and, at the same time, turns the workplace into a psychologically safe place.
Aside from authenticity, organizations can benefit more by cultivating empathetic leadership. A study by Catalyst found that empathy is a driving force for innovation, engagement, retention, inclusivity and work-life balance. The research reveals that practicing empathetic leadership is an effective strategy to respond in times of crisis and beyond. This style of leadership shows the heart and authenticity that many employees want, and it also makes them more productive.
3. Adopting a growth mindset.
Having leaders with a growth mindset allows organizations to adapt to ever-changing and uncertain environments. A leader must have the belief that one can develop, learn and grow so the company can embrace change and strive for continuous improvement. Leaders with a growth mindset drive their people to constantly seek out how to do things better. Moreover, this mindset prepares leaders to overcome obstacles, step up to new challenges and bounce back from setbacks.
These leadership trends are more than a trend.
These three leadership practices will help you secure your organization’s future and talent. Investing in human skills and practicing authentic and empathetic leadership will never be outdated. These will help you attract and retain A-players. In addition, cultivating a growth mindset and striving to improve continuously will keep you ahead of the competition and become a market leader.
In love and respect,