Has role of leadership changed with the New Workplace?

The last 2 years have seen tremendous upheaval in all aspects of life.  With the COVID-19 imposed physical distancing and abrupt shift to mandatory remote work, organisations have no prior experience or thought-through policy to manage remote employees. Many were forced to experiment and adapt HRM processes on the go.  

What type of leadership is required for the Pandemic transformed new workplace? What kind of leaders are needed? What is the role of a leader that remains unchanged? What is the role of a leader that needs to change?

a) More than ever, leaders need to articulate an inspiring shared vision of possibilities. With much changes in a VUCA world, a leader does not command commitment but recruit people who want to be part of this shared vision.

This starts at the recruitment process of recruiting a leader who wants to get others involved in the process of seeing beyond today’s challenges and uncertainties and contribute to a brighter future.

b) Selection – Hire people with diverse backgrounds, but with “cultural complements”, and embrace the espoused values, not just people you find likeable. Observe how the leaders behave, not the values they talk about.

c) What behavior gets rewarded? During performance Review and goal setting, how are behaviors assessed? Is feedback shared consistently? Is the feedback weighted based on the status of the speaker? Does the leader build trust in organisation? During performance appraisal, are there clear behavioral standards? Or is this a political and fear-based environments.

d) Developing. What is the employees feedback with regards to professional development, feedback assessments, or engagement surveys? Do they believe that these are irrelevant, do they tie back to what the organization actually reinforces and rewards. Is there a “safe learning environment” to help employees grow?

e) Does the leadership “encourage the heart”? Kouzes and Posner (2017) and appreciate their contributions? Does the leadership celebrate the values and victories and create a spirit of community.

f) Reward and Recognition.  Fairness and Equity seems a big concern with the Gen Z. Do leaders maintain high expectations about what individuals and teams can accomplish? What is the criteria to become a manager, director, vice president? What are the expected behaviors that earn a person said title? What technical and leadership skills are needed? These are all expressions of culture and values, but too often they are perceived as random.

Do leaders celebrate values and victories? These celebrations are not only about achievements, but even entrances and exits or promoting workplace altruism. Leaders do not need a title. They can be from all levels of the organisation or those who are encouraged to exercise personal leadership. By enabling this shared responsibility, leaders set the tone.

For more ideas on how other organisations conduct performance appraisal: Others

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