7 Hot Tips from Young Leaders on the Future of Work
Soft skills are more important than hard skills
Of course, having technical abilities and hard skills within specific job roles are important but soft skills are just as, or even more so, important. Building on soft skills such as leadership, creativity and communication can help to bring together individuals and empower employees to work at their full capability.
Soft skills are harder to learn, to measure and evaluate since they are similar to emotions and insights that allow people to “read” others. These are the character traits and interpersonal skills that have more to do with who people are, rather than what they know.
These skills are essential for creating a successful working environment where your employees can innovate and empower one another.
People management and team leadership is key for leaders
Following on from soft skills, young leaders find that having a strong people management and leadership skills is more important for leaders of businesses. Without a strong leader, companies are unable to define their goals and aim for their achievements.
A strong leader who can manage their employees will help to pave the path for success within a business, aligning business values and strategizing for the future. By having a good understanding of the people in your business, leaders can lead with the people in mind, taking in account not just the future of the business, but the future of everyone involved.
Mental wellbeing is more important than ever
The pandemic has opened the eyes of many to the severity of the mental health crisis that is occurring around the world, as well as highlighting areas of weakness in support for employee wellbeing. Research from the CIPD shows that mental health related issues is the most common cause for long-term sickness absence in the UK, with 37% of respondents saying that stress-related absence has increase in the last year.
Business owners need to ensure that when building a hybrid work model, employee wellbeing should be the top priority, ensuring that there is support for individual employee needs.
Higher education qualifications are becoming less crucial
Whilst higher education and degrees over valuable lifelong skills and expertise, these should not be seen as a necessity for all roles. Instead, the focus should shift more to what the individuals’ skills are rather than a title or a certification.
By providing individuals with a chance to prove their skills in the interview stage, without the prior knowledge to their full education, you can usually find the individual who meets your business requirements. Also, it is important to focus on individuals who are aligned with your business values and suitability amongst current employees.
Flexible working in fact is the future.
As stated earlier on, there are a wide range of studies that express employee opinions on working remotely and working in the office. However, the term ‘flexible working’ means enabling your employees to achieve a better work-life balance, allowing for flexible working hours and flexible workplace arrangements.
Back in March 2021, our director Andy Hughes hosted a lunch and learn which discussed the true meaning of flexible working, which you can find the presentation here.
The main three factors for flexible working are:
If you can provide that experience for your employees, whilst maintaining a healthy work-life balance, you should be on the right track for a flexible work environment.
Managers should be equipped to handle their teams – wherever they may be
Whatever path a business takes in deciding on a flexible work environment, a hybrid one or a fully office based, it is important to have confidence in your managers that they will be able to lead their teams, no matter the circumstances.
Managing teams from the office and remotely are varied, in which managers need to adapt to leadership challenges to be able to adjust to their environment. The pandemic has given managers a chance to test out their new managerial skills with their remote working team, whilst testing the waters with new technology. But on top of that, managers should be taking regular steps to improve themselves, taking training whenever possible to better understand how to support their team moving forward.
By having strong leadership skills, being adaptable and support by fast-evolving technology, managers should be able to support their teams, wherever they work. If you are a manager handling a remote team, make sure to schedule daily check-ins, take advantage of the technology at your disposal, provide resources to support your team and remove obstacles: physical and emotional.
Drive for an inclusive environment and work ethic
By promoting and encouraging employees to take part in open conversations, business leaders can empower their teams to come up with innovative ideas and solutions that can boost your business forward in the future.
Alongside lifting morale and improving productivity within teams, this methodology helps to create strong relationships between employees and ensures that everyone is a priority, no one is left behind.