Hi there everyone, this is Tom Hallett from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast.
Well, we’re entering a new decade, the last of the celebratory new year champagne has been drunk, and the days are getting lighter (slowly!).
Now’s the ideal time to think about the year ahead and plan your goals for 2020. What are you hoping to achieve this year? What will you change in the way you lead? Are there new opportunities on the horizon?
Before you start planning, it’s crucial to see what the forecasted trends are for 2020 so you can weave them into your strategy. In a moment we’ll take a look at these predictions, but first…
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So, in today’s podcast, I’d like to take a look at some of the leadership trends predicted for the year ahead that you can embed in your plans for 2020.
When I was thinking of doing this podcast, I had a look online to see what others were predicting for leaders in 2020.
I believe this year holds some potentially major upheavals for all of us, (dare I mention Brexit at this point?) and with climate change, workplace stress and political mavericks at large, now more than ever I think that we need to look inside ourselves, focus on ourselves as leaders, and to understand what trends we need to engage with to protect and grow our leadership strategies for the next decade.
So, here are my predictions for the trends to embrace this year.
1. Building a Resilient Workforce
The dictionary describes resilience as the ability to adapt in the face of adversity, disappointment or uncertainty.
From managing your stress levels at work to making critical decisions that affect your team, having resilience allows you to be flexible, agile in your planning and recover quickly from any setbacks.
It adds a layer of toughness – a sort of protective shield – that allows you to lead others successfully during challenging or unclear times.
Building your personal resilience and that of your teams in uncertain times will empower all of you to deal with whatever comes your way.
2. Lifelong Learning
According to a recent report commissioned by The Open University, the UK skills shortage is costing organisations £6.3 billion a year, with the majority of organisations in the UK (91%) struggling to find people with the right skills over the past 12 months.
In the face of this, now is the ideal time to embrace lifelong learning for all your staff.
For you, as a leader, it will keep you up to date with trends and developments, and enable you to add to your skillset. From coaching to managing mental health in the workplace, nature therapy to presentation excellence, there is a considerable variety of training to choose from which will further strengthen your leadership ability.
For your team, lifelong learning can provide self-development and help bridge the skills gap, providing not only a skills-savvy workforce but individuals who feel ’invested in’. This sense of belonging will help build their confidence and give them a sense of ownership, aligning their personal goals with the company.
3. Social Conscience
With the extensive media coverage we have experienced recently, you will be in no doubt as to the plight of the world we live in, from climate change and environmental breakdown to diversity and inclusion.
With the rise of employee activism as experienced by Google, Amazon and even Sainsbury’s over controversial company issues, it’s critical in this arena to ensure your own business and leadership reflect the corporate social responsibility values that you would like to portray.
In the United States, 38 per cent of employees report having spoken up to support or criticise their employers’ actions over a controversial issue that affects society.
And with Millennials and Gen Z bringing ethical and moral standards into the workforce, developing a company culture of diversity, inclusion and forward-thinking will enable you and your business to grow and be seen as an ethical, fair and socially conscious employer.
4. Therapy in the Office
Once rarely spoken of in the public arena, mental health continues to be a growing concern, with reports of half of Millennials and 75 per cent of Gen Zs leaving jobs because of mental health concerns.
With companies such as Goldman Sachs training its UK staff to be mental health first aiders to spot colleagues at risk and provide help, it’s fair to say the UK is leading the way in positively supporting mental health.
This trend looks likely to continue to grow in 2020, with more businesses acknowledging and intercepting mental health issues at work before they become severe and lead to burn out – or worse.
A rise in wellbeing programmes is predicted for 2020. From lunchtime yoga to flexible working opportunities, leaders who put the effort in to maintain their staff’s wellbeing will reap the rewards of a more focused, positive and engaged workforce.
5. Purpose and Meaning
A PwC study found that 79 per cent of leaders think that ‘purpose’ is central to business success.
And Gallup found that 41 per cent of employees want to know what their company stands for.
These figures provide a clear indication that having purpose and meaning are the two drivers for business and its employees. In other words, a connection to what you do, and why you do it, results in more effort, attention, ownership and pride in the outcome.
Involving your team will give them a sense of purpose.
Two-way communication and transparency will provide inclusion while encouraging teams to work together will allow individuals to understand how they contribute to the ‘bigger picture.’
Working in this way will help provide purpose and meaning to individuals’ work and encourage better performance and happier employees.
The bottom line is – people achieve more with purpose. For a great example of this – head to Dan Ariely’s Ted Talk, where he uses an experiment with Lego to illustrate this perfectly!
In 2020 we can expect a move towards a more ethically responsible, socially integrated workplace which embraces the concept of the individual – health, purpose and skills-wise. This inevitable, and possibly long-overdue change, will be in part driven by Millennials and Gen Z.
Going forward into a new decade, for those leaders willing to embrace new ways of working together, the future looks bright!
Until next time!
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