Traditional, authoritarian leadership of the past is changing. Because of upheavals and interruptions in the environment and workplace, leaders have to be more flexible with employees and value their talent to keep them from leaving companies in search of a better workplace that allows them to take care of their needs.
The Worker Shift in the Covid Years
The two-plus Covid years made many changes to where we work and how we engage. Employees are taking back their power. They are asking for and getting greater life-work balance as well as fulfillment in their work. Worker’s expectations are to handle the tasks of their jobs as well as responsibilities at home such as child and elder care.
Some employees refuse to return to the workplace and the negative part of that, such as long commutes and the extra time and costs that working onsite entails. They are discovering that they are more productive at home instead of wasting hours in commuter traffic.
Finding Fulfillment in Work
For other employees, they questioned the value of their work altogether. Since the Great Resignation, a term coined in the pandemic years where millions of workers left their jobs, we saw many re-evaluated their roles and tasks. Many employees retired early, sought out different, more meaningful work or simply decided to make the one-income paradigm work and vacated their positions.
If a leader or manager is not adapting to being more flexible with their employee’s time, needs and schedules, then they can potentially see a talent drain in their company. Women in the Workplace reports that “More than three-quarters of senior HR leaders say allowing employees to work flexible hours is one of the most effective things they’ve done to improve employee well-being over the past year.” Leader’s need to modify their style and extend an attitude of versatility and understand that this new paradigm will be here to stay indefinitely.
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