Thought Leadership|

In challenging times, business leaders must focus on structure, trust and empowerment.

What keeps a work team strong and together when employees can’t physically be together? During times of adversity, effective leaders keep the spirits of their charges up and everyone focused on the goal and determined day in and day out. “Energy and persistence conquer all things,” Benjamin Franklin asserted.

Leadership has faced quite a unique test in this pandemic era and altered business world. Professional teams, indeed entire companies, confront a very unusual challenge in both the daily hurdles and duration of the pandemic, while employees have more choices and freedoms than ever before, meaning they can not only tune out leadership, but altogether bail on it for another opportunity with greater ease. 

Whether you call it the new normal or not, leaders must learn quickly and apply that new knowledge in innovative ways so that it amounts to peace of mind and an operational edge for their teams. Writing in Forbes, Melanie Fine asserts that employers and employees must focus on what they can control to put them in a better place for business unknowns. She shared more leadership takeaways from 2021 that should be incorporated into this year’s approach.

Trust, transparency and collaboration have never been more important in the workplace. Employees feel valued when they have a voice and more motivated when they view themselves as stakeholders. That includes leadership being on the level with the team about management’s moves and motivation.

 “By utilizing community thought processes rather than dictator-like leadership, business owners and CEOs can [retain and] attract top talent in 2022,” Victor Cuevas, CEO of Griffin Crowd Capital, told Forbes. “People want to work somewhere that they can be proud of because they feel like they make a real contribution and aren’t just a dollar sign in their boss’ eyes.”

Trust keeps employees believing in management and the mission, as well as the authenticity of the company’s message. Adding empowerment to the mix not only helps maximize performance, it also embraces the independent ethos of this workforce era.

Trust, paired with the permission to be creative and experiment, is the key,” said Michelle Granara, founder of Imanauthor.com. “The world of work is all about autonomy in 2022.

Although not exactly a pandemic-produced revelation, organization and structure will help a team be ready for the next opportunity. If your head’s down in the mess of day-to-day disorganization, you’re not looking ahead. And investing in employees, especially in this new workforce era of work from home and increased focus on mental health and deriving meaning from their jobs, means they’ll be more motivated to check off menial tasks and push through the slow periods.

Personalities and team chemistry will vary, of course, but it’s always a good idea to treat employees with caring, respect and dignity. That not only boosts motivation and productivity, but it also increases loyalty. And it certainly doesn’t hurt workforce retention. Companies don’t often get a chance to hit the ‘reset button,’ said recruiting executive Paul McDonald, but this could be the time to restart, reassess or refine your leadership approach.

To do our best in building unique and compelling brands, we know we must assemble the best teams and put them in a position to succeed,” said Vince Vitti, infinitee’s VP, Business Development. “Times change, as we’ve seen in the past couple of years, but companies should always strive to provide people with the most flexible and collaborative structure while lifting them up with trust and empowerment.”


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