- September 21, 2023
- Posted by: Hannah Ingram
- Category: Employee Engagement
How is 2024 nearly here! Are you confident that you’ll be able to lead through change, manage difficult conversations and inspire growing teams?
From AI to financial challenges to managing inter-generational workforces, there’s a lot for leadership teams to be aware of, to lead effectively in 2024. Effective leadership skills are one-way organisations can ensure they achieve sustainable growth in the coming years.
What is clear is the amount of change that leaders will need to adapt to; from technological advances to updates in the workplace environment, including the flexible working bill, there’s a lot at stake.
We’ve rounded up 9 leadership skills you’ll want to develop ahead of 2024!
This ones for everyone! Agility is important across the business. The ability to move quickly and with ease can separate businesses that succeed and thrive from those who risk becoming stagnant.
Whilst creating an agile culture you need to be aware that some have lower learning agility than others, and that you need to help people adapt to change just as much as you need to develop their technical competencies.
The ability to think quickly and adapt does not come naturally to everyone and decision making is a very important part of this.
Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs speak about leadership agility in their book of the same name. They found that 45% of managers view their direct report through an ‘expert’ mindset which is more tactical than strategic & by identifying too much with their own expertise they miss the bigger picture. Whereas achiever and catalyst mindsets are more powerful producing a higher level of teamwork, agility, and performance.
We’ve spoken before about the power of building relationships in leadership, and building trust is a core element of this. You need to ensure that middle managers take the time to get to know their people, this leads to more candid conversations about ways to improve the business.
What’s more if people don’t trust leaders and their line managers they won’t engage with feedback.
The same principle works for your sales and customer service departments; when it comes to building customer relationships, there are many mistakes sales teams make both in terms of working with customers and with each other. Team development is an important way to help your team’s sales effectiveness. As a people consultancy we help companies improve their trust levels using important principles such as empathy and influence.
The rise of AI in the workplace is also making relationship building more important as people crave human to human interaction.
The art of listening and understanding through empathy is key to the wellbeing of employees and has a marked impact on company culture. Employees will often copy the behaviours of leadership and management, either because they want to climb the corporate ladder or because they want to fit in.
Employees are battling financial stress (due to the cost of living), a heightened state of stress and constant change. Therefore to get the most out of your employees you need to help them manage this stress and create an open culture where they feel confident to share factors which may effect their performance.
When stress is managed it makes productivity more sustainable as employees are spending less time at work fighting stress.
Compassionate leadership is strongly linked to the retention of employees. Gallup found that 75% of people have left their job due to poor management.
What’s more, by encouraging employees, by giving them helpful feedback and appreciation, you can develop your people to reach their full potential and help you conquer more ambitious goals as an organisation.
Leading through difficult and crisis situations
Difficult and crisis situations are both happening more often and growing in complexity.
The problem is, it’s hard to predict what these situations will be and often leaders won’t have encountered these before. It’s particularly difficult to lead in a situation you haven’t experienced before especially with all the moral complexities which often come with these.
Crisis management can mean leading through pandemic, disasters and tech shutdowns. Meanwhile difficult situations such as the cost-of-living crisis, restructurings and market fluxes can all pose their own HR, leadership and organisational challenges.
Whilst you can’t plan for every crisis you can build skillsets around how to act as a leader during these events. The key competencies in crisis leadership are Sense-Making, Decision Making, Communication, facilitating teamwork and facilitating learning.
Empathy and honesty are just as important in a crisis as decision making; and morality will play an important role. Watch out for your own personal bias when it comes to protecting your business and avoid knee jerk reactions until you’ve spoken with the experts within your team.
Complexity leadership theory shows a complex interplay between leaders, followers and other stakeholders during these situations meaning everyone plays an important role.
Continuous Learning: Generating a learning culture
Leaders need to stay up to date on the latest developments, from the latest tech that businesses can use through to the latest theories in company culture to stay ahead of the competition.
Not only do they need to develop their own skills but also those of their people. Many companies make the mistake of either focusing on team development and assuming managers know it all or investing in leadership development without filtering any development down to the team.
Managing your own emotions as a leader is just as important as helping your team to manage theirs. EQ has been shown to be so effective that it can increase the overall success of businesses by 37.2%. Beyond your own EQ you need to create a culture that exudes effective communication, empathy and trust.
By using regular introspection you can start improving your EQ whilst, at the same time, finding new ways as a leadership team to engage with your people.
What’s more it’s been shown that when organisations prioritise engagement this can lead to a 57% increase in discretionary effort with a 20% individual performance improvement.
A lot of success within business comes down to repeated innovative behaviours day in day out. The ability to build good habits in yourself, and those around you, allows you to increase performance and improve wellbeing at the same time.
What’s more good habits are important for set-ups such as hybrid working where the environment may be less controlled.
Poor habits may include your team regularly doing more than their set hours, collectively risking burnout and lowering productivity as a result.
What’s more, when you engrain good habits into company culture, through effective leadership, you ultimately harness the sustainable results-driven changes that happen when all your people pull in the same direction.
Companies that stand still will be the ones left behind which makes an innovative culture a must have rather than a nice to have.
In order to create an innovative thinking culture, you need to give yourself and your people the right tools through leadership and team development to access idea generation, they then need the right space to share their ideas.
What’s more your hiring practices can have a huge effect on cognitive diversity within your team. When you embrace diversity in an organisation you uncover new ways of thinking and unlock problem solving techniques as a team.
The continued global uncertainty that today’s leader’s face can wreak havoc on sales effectiveness and forecasting. Understanding how to prepare for the future and access what could happen down the line helps significantly with the sustainability of the business.
You also need to inspire your people to see your vision of the future and add the personal element to that. People are not going to work hard so the company makes more profits, however they will work harder for recognition or being part of an important project that has far reaching consequences.
How to improve leadership skills
These skillsets lead on from these 12 leadership skills we’ve already covered, all of which will be invaluable as we head into the new year.
We’re helping leaders across sectors including banking, education and government to improve their leadership skills ahead of the new year. What’s more we run effective team development programmes that harness motivation with a tight focus on outcomes for high productivity.
If you’d like to look into these programmes and consulting options further, then send us a message and we can continue the conversation.
Last Updated on 2 months by Hannah Ingram