Leadership Skills that Matter in 2022
With the global pandemic revealing the cracks of the world’s labor systems, it is unlikely that we will go back to the way we were working before. From burnout, demotivation, and online fatigue—employees face various stresses every day on top of the health risks enveloping the world.
By Katie Pierce, 17 December, 2021
Now, more than ever, the role of managers in creating healthy work cultures are emphasized to keep their employees happy, productive, and satisfied with their career.
It will be tough, of course. It took a health crisis to make these transformational shifts inside workplaces. But better opportunities were born out of this. We saw the potential future of remote work and new applications that provide the flexibility of working from anywhere—while staying connected with your team.
With these fast-paced changes, organizations must also adapt their company values on a more empathetic level. The typical managerial skill set will not work anymore, especially for the emotional stress that employees are facing now. So, if a company wants motivated and productive employees, they need to instill relevant and improved leadership skills in their managers and executives.
Where to start, though? Here are some leadership skills that your company can embody this 2022 and beyond.
Being a leader in 2022 involves a lot of unlearning and adapting as more issues become more prevalent in the current setting of our workplaces. Aside from the pandemic, everyone is also battling another global health crisis—declining mental health. It puts emotional wellness at work as a priority for policy-making and corporate training that businesses are conducting.
As companies finally recognize the importance of a healthy emotional state to maintain productivity in the workplace, managers and executives build on skills like practicing higher EQ and managing stress while keeping employees engaged. These interventions aim to safeguard their mental health to support other employees, too.
What traditional management pertains to as soft skills are now considered as the values that leaders must have. It can be easier to learn technical skills because they have determined answers. But these soft skills like resilience and compassion are interpreted differently by everybody. As a leader, you need to have wise intuition and empathy. These create a productive workspace that can also be a safe space that employees can trust.
Learn this skill by simply asking for a wellness status, aside from the usual health check every day. This consistency will help you track people’s performance and motivation. This little action can mean a lot to start conversations about what employees are going through. Keep the balance between being a support for others and yourself. Remember, you can’t fill from an empty cup.
Adapt and Reskill
Times are unpredictable, especially in the previous years. It’s a VUCA world—where situations can be volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Not everyone was ready to migrate into virtual meetings and online project management. In cases like this, companies need leaders who can analyze situations. Leaders that can think of ways to rise above given challenges to make things work.
Workforces that maintain their momentum despite obstinate circumstances if leaders can think and act one step ahead. You can see this trait in people who go beyond the brief, managers who are not afraid to take calculated risks and provide the basis for the said decisions before implementing them.
In the future, we need a workforce that can handle disruptions and not just rely on the survival mentality of ‘come what may. Industries are always moving. We can never be truly ready once hypothetical scenarios turn real. The ability to adapt makes for an invaluable skill that every manager should practice and teach their employees.
Learn this skill by forecasting based on industry trends. Step up your social listening skills by staying updated with the latest news within and outside your echo chambers. Don’t be afraid to learn new things and collaborate with more people while in the process! It will broaden your worldview and make your people management skills better.
The notion that leaders are always capable of doing the job of more people does not apply to the next generation of work culture anymore. In 2022 and the near future, we expect managers to be more collaborative with their teams. In taking more ideas, the team can proceed with better decisions and faster turnouts by working together.
Practicing collaboration can also help leaders accept their vulnerabilities. An open and psychologically safe environment enables this through empathy. Achieving these skills can also help leaders foster an inclusive workspace that will help the business thrive years from now.
We can humanize leaders by building on a holistic leadership skill set through collaboration. These attributes can redefine how companies would cope with unforeseeable disruptions. Shining light on these soft skills will make a difference to their future approach.
Learn this skill by accepting that stereotypes can’t change overnight. Try asking for help with your colleagues, one at a time. It’s okay to say you don’t know and learn along the way.
2022 is the year of bouncing back from the mess of 2021. It’s about moving forward and adapting to the uncertainties of tomorrow. These uncertainties make leadership skills more behavioral instead of technical. With this, the future of work lies in the ability of leaders to transform cultures and workplaces that care for leaders and employees alike.