The pandemic threw all our neat organization designs up in the air. Now, at the beginning of 2023, leaders are trying to figure out the new structures to get work done. Leaders are experimenting with remote, office, hybrid, agile, matrix and other new schemes. Whatever the new form, we can never return to the good old days—the culture and organizational structures we had before 2020. A new day has arrived.
And there is turmoil in the workplace. The so-called “great resignation” saw many workers leaving their jobs, some going to other more lucrative or satisfying jobs, many completely dropping out of the workforce.
As a result of these forces and other factors, a new cohort has been thrown into leadership or management roles. Many of these new entrants have little or no training or experience in leadership or management.
So, while new entrants lack training and development, other, more experienced leaders find themselves managing new structures, employees with new attitudes toward work, and technologies advancing at warp speed.
What does this mean for training and development?
We need a fresh look at the way we train leaders.
For the new (often young) new managers, we need to develop basic leadership skills, and do it rapidly. That means an accelerated, skill-based leadership program that gives them what they need to effectively lead and manage their team and help them avoid hurtful or costly mistakes, especially in dealing with the people on their team. Practice and feedback should be important components of the program. After this fast-paced program, the new entrants will need an active coach to continue the skill-building process.
The already experienced leaders will need to reset and rethink their approaches and skills to adopt the techniques required in the new environment. This will require new mindsets and an openness to learn new techniques and methods. Existing leaders may have fallen behind in applying technology, performance management, feedback, and employee development.
All leaders will need to understand the basics of human psychology. That has not changed. But applying good human relations principles to new challenges means leaders must adapt those principles to new team-based, agile organizations that are adapting to rapidly changing economic and market environments.
Get on board. The train is already in motion.