3 Leadership Challenges to Act on Now

Strong, empathetic and effective leadership has never been more important.

2022 has brought with it a whole plethora of challenges for business leaders. I mean, where to begin at this point but let’s have a look.

First, we have the great resignation, with employees coming out of lockdown(s) now fleeing their employers in droves to move to organisations that are more in line with their needs/beliefs or due to how they were treated during multiple lockdowns or to pursue a whole new career or even go freelance.

Then we have the skills gap, as a result of border closures and other pandemic-related mayhem. PWC recently reported that 75% of Australia’s CEOs (and 79% globally) are concerned about the availability of key skills and many other sources cite the skills shortage as a key problem.

Then there is the increasing competition for talent, as a result of the above. Many organisations are bending over backwards to provide candidates with attractive packages that include sign-on bonuses, flexible working and development programs.

We know that employee engagement is now more crucial than ever before and our customers tell us that now is not the time organisations want to be losing top talent as a result of lack of engagement or sub-par leadership.

Key challenges

We have spoken to our customers and surveyed the feedback from organisations across multiple sectors to uncover the top challenges they are facing when it comes to leadership and navigating these issues. Below are the top 3 challenges facing leaders.

1. Talent acquisition, retention, and re/upskilling

KPMG’s recent “Keeping us up at Night” survey cited that 69% of HR professionals stated that this is a major concern for them this year and given the competitive nature of the job market, we understand why.

Our recent “Finding and Keeping Engaged” employees series shows that it costs on average 33% of employees’ salary to replace them should they leave and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 31% of workers are planning on moving on from their organisation this year.

2. Managing Remote Working & Return to Work

This is a crucial challenge many businesses are now navigating. With varying rules/guidelines across Australia regarding where employees should be working now that we are through the brunt of the pandemic, many organisations are trying to implement the best strategy for their business, while managing the needs of their employees.

Many employees have simply adjusted to working from home and the benefits that come with this. From work style preferences to being closer to family to no longer having to plan for the long work commute, it’s difficult to get staff back in the office, particularly when the competition offers flexible working.

Check out our recent blog on managing virtual teams, where we looked at how leaders can utilise not only digital platforms but leadership tactics that allow managers to get the most out of their staff while ensuring employee engagement.

We also have highlighted a range of Return to Work tools you can use to introduce employees back into the office.

3. Developing Leaders

The CEO Leadership Report surveyed over 360 CEOs and more than 2,000 HR professionals found that just 38% of them deemed their mid-management leaders to be “very good” or “excellent”. This suggests that organisations are failing to develop middle-management to eventually take on C-Suite positions.

This year it is crucial that organisations train their leadership team to better manage their direct reports and to provide the skills they need to lead and therefore be considered for roles within the C-Suite.

This training must focus on training leaders to adapt to an ever-changing landscape in real-time, as well as develop empathy and an emotional connection with their teams to reduce flight risks.

You can view our leadership development packages here to find out how Testgrid can help you tackle these challenges.

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