“The current environmental, economic and societal circumstances suggests there will be other crises in the future which organisations will have to get used to, giving them the opportunity to bring to light shared knowledge and innovate in order to become more adaptable” – Managing in a post- COVID 19 crisis context: How to anticipate and support your teams and business recovery (fonction-publique.gouv.fr)
The past two years have seen management take a radical turn following the COVID-19 crisis, what with remote working, business at a standstill, uncertainty about the future, societal questioning and the need to adapt each day, among other things. To start again, companies need to focus on the whole team and innovation. In the following article, find out about post-COVID management trends.
The manager is a servant-leader
“The most revered leaders work from a position of humility and service to others. An excellent leader in reality leads no-one” – Lao Tzu
A manager who supports their whole team while seeking to develop kindness and empathy serves the team. This does not mean they let others walk over them, on the contrary! They create a fair environment in which employees are considered as fully fledged individuals, which encourages the creation of a virtuous circle. The employees serve the clients and the manager serves the employees.
Developed in the 1970s by Robert K Greenleaf, this leadership model was then further defined on the basis of 10 key principles by Larry Spears in the 1990s: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualisation, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community
It is not a question of improvising as a servant-leader, it is a concept that can be learned and the aim is to work for and with the team as a whole.
Collaborative leadership takes precedence over authoritarian leadership
“Learning and management are based on interaction between all members of the group and ‘the leader’ occupies more of a facilitator position in carrying out actions and structuring ideas than that of the leader who purely decides on directions” – Dalale Belhout on democratic leadership, – “What are the different leadership styles?” - DigitalRecruiters
Since the COVID-19 crisis, management teams have given more place to the whole team with collaborative leadership. We already know the term ‘democratic leadership’ but it is much more appropriate to speak of collaborative leadership. Indeed, democratic leadership implies employees have the right to vote on the company’s decisions. In fact, employees share their ideas and make proposals to the manager, which are then accepted or refused.
Collaborative leadership relies on shared knowledge to mobilise teams, which has a double effect on team cohesion: first, the strength of the proposals makes it possible to find new solutions; and second, employees feel more involved because their ideas are valued, which fosters talent retention.
Post-COVID management encourages companies to open up to the outside world to innovate ‘better’!
“Consolidated companies can use the disruptive and growth potential of start-ups for a better mutual outcome and produce win-win collaborations that promote economic growth, technological progress and social well-being” – “Why create synergies between start-ups and businesses?” – Breizhacking
Shared knowledge is not only found within a company. It is now widely understood that it is necessary to join forces with other companies, call on experts and independent workers, and open the company’s doors to achieve a synergy which is favourable to innovation. It is collaboration that drives companies forward and promotes value creation.
While the competition could be scary before, 2021 has encouraged more collaboration and partnerships. You will have to look for skills outside your company and share knowledge to go further!
Work structures are being reorganised for the benefit of design thinking
“When human-centred designers arrive at a relevant answer, it’s because they got it wrong first!” Tim Brown, , chair of IDEO
Shared knowledge, creativity and innovation are the keys to growing a company in 2021. But the user and the human being are also placed at the heart of the development process. Combining all these factors results in design thinking, a methodology and a state of mind that encourages people to review the whole design of product or service development, with a failure-based approach brought to the fore. Indeed, it is through failure and experimentation that great discoveries are made.
Soft skills become non-negotiable in recruitment
The 12 most important soft skills in 2021 (in no particular order) are curiosity, independence, active listening, oral communication, respect, flexibility and adaptability, a positive attitude, trust, responsibility, integrity, problem-solving and openness to new things (Results of the 2021 soft skills survey | TODOSKILLS)
Employers have learned their lesson well: a technical skill can be learned, whereas a soft skill is more difficult to acquire. As such, soft skills are becoming increasingly sought after by recruiters! And as the COVID-19 crisis has forced people to work from home, employee independence has become an indispensable soft skill. Employees need to know how to organise and manage themselves while meeting managers’ expectations when supervision is less present.
The right to disconnect is in more demand than ever
“We cannot abandon millions of European workers [...] who are exhausted by the pressure to be always 'on' and the extended working hours. Now is the moment to stand by their side and give them what they deserve: the right to disconnect. [...] This is vital for our mental and physical health. It is time to update worker’s rights to the new realities of the digital age ” Alex Agius Saliba MEP, ‘Right to disconnect’ should be an EU-wide fundamental right, MEPs say | News | European Parliament (europa.eu)
With the boundary between private and professional life increasingly blurred, particularly due to home working and repeated lockdowns—providing little entertainment other than work—2021 has reminded of the need to respect the right to disconnect in the interests of employees’ mental health.
From concentration problems to difficulty answering emails and psychosocial risks such as burnout, the consequences of excessive Internet use are many and both managers and employees need to know how to stop in order to remain healthy and efficient!
Employees who learn to manage their time better during working hours are sufficiently focused and efficient without jeopardising their mental balance.
Incentive compensation is becoming more widespread to retain talent and stimulate performance
“On the contrary, incentive compensation is a real asset in a company’s remuneration policy and can be adapted to the different roles of staff to value their involvement in the company at all hierarchical levels”, Fabien Lucron Four reasons to introduce incentive compensation! (primeum.com)
Incentive compensation had long been the lot of salespeople, but now it is being extended to all departments to encourage talent retention and individual and collective performance.
Incentive compensation schemes that reward collective effort, such as profit-sharing, are part of the compensation package. They encourage talent retention because they show a company recognises all employees and includes them in the company’s success.
Incentive compensation schemes such as target-based bonuses aim to value and reward individual performance. These bonuses help boost employee motivation and show recognition for employees who contribute to a company’s success through their personal involvement.