Addressing the post pandemic shift

Post pandemic the pace of change hasn’t altered, if anything it has speeded up.  So what are organisations doing to tackle the challenges of constant renewal?
The most enlightened are focusing on people and culture, understanding that flexible approaches are required in many forms.
Flexibility is not a new factor in attracting and retaining the best people, but the pandemic has made it even more so.
From the Global Workforce Report (Adecco Group 2022*):
6 in 10 desk-based workers are considering or have already moved jobs as a direct result of having more flexibility

Flexibilty: critical to success

 As we have emerged from extended periods of lockdown and are finding our way back to the office, a heightened self-awareness of the workforce is noticeable. Factors that may have been “nice to have” pre-pandemic are now considered hygiene factors –  in many roles people already expect a hybrid workplace.   But greater flexibility means more than this – people want greater autonomy – they want to choose not just where they work but how they do so. They expect a style of leadership that is supportive and inclusive, want to feel valued and understood, and to be given opportunities to develop.

For managers this means galvanising teams not just to deliver outcomes but to function well together.  Managers need to be role models, showing how organisational values  can be translated to daily work.  They need to be capable problem-solvers and empathic team leaders, building the trust and cohesion that makes all the difference to how their team members feel and perform. They need to care, for short and long-term results and particularly for their people.  In short, they need to be team coaches but may often be ill-equipped for this role.

top priorities for 2022


Pre-pandemic in 2020, we asked a wide range of senior professions from HR and L&D about current and future needs. The results of the survey confirmed that there was a strong impetus to access new training that would equip leaders of teams with the tools and skills to confidently coach the whole team for better results and connection. Current research from various sources confirms these findings – among the top priorities for HR leaders in 2022 is to equip managers to lead with empathy, prioritise people over process, create transparency and embrace a growth mindset.
These attributes have always been the cornerstones of our approach but we realise that some work-laden managers feel they haven’t got the time for the niceties of building trust, clarifying purpose or creating time for team. Unfortunately for them, this probably means that they will be endlessly caught in a cycle of working too hard, not getting the performance latent in their team and failing to retain good people.
45% of managers say they suffered burnout in the last 12 months from working too hard and half of workers globally (49%) are worried about burnout in the future.*

Two part transformation

Our experience as facilitators and coaches shows that two things can transform team working:

1. The right mindset:

where the leader changes focus from self to team, balancing task and people, enabling collaboration by encouraging all to contribute to their best.
2. The right skillset:
where the team leader is skilful and confident, able to adapt her approach to support the development of each team member.  Where she is able to communicate intentionally, address conflict successfully, delegate and facilitate well.

Where these factors are present, the team becomes a learning organism constantly upping its game.
Managers can benefit from team coaching programmes to develop their communication, facilitation and delegation skills.  They can learn to become enablers rather than directors.
Where managers operate as empathic and effective team coaches, some of the support load from functions in HR and L&D can be reduced. Over the longer term, team coaching helps to create a talent pipeline of skilled team members, enhancing satisfaction and increasing retention.
By investing in team coaching for managers and talent, organisations will make a meaningful positive difference to their stakeholders, now and in the future.
If you are in the majority of decision-makers thinking that developing the coaching competency of your leaders is a priority, contact us to discuss how!

The severity of the Covid-19 crisis has helped liberate energy towards continuous learning, more agility, adaptability and caring about people.

Leadership through Covid-19 and Beyond

Anne Stenbom and Helen Battersby

Global Business Leaders

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