Team Leadership Trends to Take into 2019 and Beyond

For team leaders, it’s important to be able to stay on top of leadership trends and predictions to figure out ways they can keep up with or stay ahead of the changes happening around them. This gives them the advantage of figuring out why their teams aren’t motivated, have high turnover, or fail to attract top talent. Adopting an agile approach to team management can help identify ways businesses can leverage potential threats and opportunities associated with increasingly accelerated changes in technologies and the needs and demands of clients/customers to build and maintain teams that are willing and prepared to meet those challenges.

Brand ambassador. Influencer.

Trend: Inspiring Team Members to be Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadors are hired by companies to positively represent a brand or service and to spread brand awareness. Usually, brand ambassadors are celebrities or social media influencers. However, placing team members within the role of brand ambassador appeals to the growing number of workers wanting purpose in their work rather than money and profits. Employees who feel more connected to their company culture are more likely to promote it. Forward-thinking team leaders are aware of the benefits of creating a successful employee ambassador program. Employee insights into an organization’s culture, quality, and standards lend themselves to a higher level of authenticity and believability. Social media sites, especially LinkedIn, are great platforms for employee ambassadors. Not only do employee brand ambassadors serve the purpose of attracting potential clients and consumers, but they also help establish an organization’s reputation as the type of place workers want to be employed.

Trend: Employee Empowerment

Most career-minded employees have established personal brands represented through their career journey, career trajectory, and social media presence. Investing in employee development inside and outside of work shows employees that their employer cares about their overall growth and potential. It helps them feel both empowered and valued. Aiding employees in building their personal brand can help build an employer’s brand as it reveals what employees appreciate about their organization. Team leaders who can identify how their work aligns with their values and goals can better support their team members in doing the same. Effective team leaders utilize their soft skills such as active listening and emotional intelligence to create strategies to motivate their team members. This people-centric approach instills employee trust in their employer which leads to higher engagement and productivity.

Trend: Expanding Age Range in the Workforce  

Extreme longevity within the workforce means many people will be working longer before they retire. This essentially creates a multigenerational workforce and a dynamic to which team leaders must adapt their leadership style. Age-based seniority will continue to decrease as leadership positions will be filled by the person who best fits the role. Organizations will need to identify ways to attract and engage older workers. They will also have to be more creative in how they promote engagement and teamwork to a multigenerational team. Team leaders should avoid using stereotypes and focus on the advantages of having a multigenerational team. Mentorship should be encouraged of all team members to maximize the benefit of different strengths in enhancing the skills of the whole team.

A multigenerational workforce will be working longer before they retire.

Trend: Engaging Remote Employees

Soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, will have a stronger impact on engagement and employee communication as freelancers and remote work continue to increase. Team leaders will have to learn how to effectively onboard remote employees. They must be clear when communicating their expectations to new remote employees before they start work. The new remote employee should have a solid understanding of company values, team objectives, and individual goals, as well as, established time frames for training, reviews, and milestones. Team leaders must also ensure that new employees understand their tasks and systems they’ll use for work and discuss upcoming projects and shared employee resources. Because many remote employees will rarely, if ever, meet their colleagues, it is important for leaders to establish means of human interaction. Video conferencing and virtual tours promote face-to-face interaction for employees working remotely.

Trend: Accelerated Learning

To keep up with the pace of the persistently growing business landscape, every team member will need new, additional skills. In a digital environment, social intelligence will need to increase for some of its employees. Others will have to learn how to interpret increasing volumes of data and convert insights into actions. Team leaders will need to have continuous learning at the top of their agenda in building and sustaining a competitive team. Leaders and employees will have to continuously learn and update their skills to keep from being left underemployed or unemployed as certain roles diminish for reasons such as automating work.  Learning will expand outside of formal training to online micro-learning platforms. Traditional in-person training sessions should be designed to meet the comprehensive needs of the organization and accompanied by self-directed learning to optimize the learning styles of participants.

Wrapping It All Up

To compete in a continuously changing world, team leaders must be adept at examining trends and predictions. Aligning employee goals and motivations with those of their organizations plays a key role in attracting and keeping top talent. Accelerated and continuous learning will provide employees, leaders, and organizations with a competitive advantage. An effective team leader will find ways to keep up with changing leadership trends that work best for their team and know how to adjust their approach to the ever-changing workforce.

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